Friday, April 15, 2011

You Are Important. Yes, You.

My subconscious thoughts are typically wrapped around people I used to know. Inevitably, my dreams aren't filled with my children or my husband, but rather with my first-grade teacher or the boy who used to share his Oreos at recess. For instance, last night, I transferred to the rival high school in my hometown, but it was filled with kids I knew all throughout kindergarten to my senior year. I sparked a romance with a boy who fills up all of my real-life journals. I shared a locker with a girl I really admired but to whom I never talked. Eating lunch with the eight-grade ASB kids was a lot of fun.

And when I woke up, my first thought was, "All of these people probably never even think about me."

But now, after a bowl of Cheerios and a few more lucid moments, I would like to contest my initial thinking. Why must I always think fatalistically about people I used to know; since I'm not the best keeper-upper in the world, there are far more people in this category than I'd like. Therefore, I would like to make an assertion:

People think fondly of me. People think fondly of you. And they do think about you.

A perfect example of my theory is the inner workings of my husband, Caleb. When we first started dating, something that really drew me to him was how much he loved his friends. He clutched dearly to their friendship and wanted to do anything to help them. For instance, he drove his friend Rob a couple hours north every weekend to see Rob's then-girlfriend who attended another school; Caleb stayed up there with him, with no regard to his own plans, and drove him back to BYU every Sunday night. He did this for months! As he and his friends have grown up, their priorities and locations have shifted and taken them away from each other. Caleb has not seen some of his closest friends in years. But, he would still take a bullet, nay, a cannonball for these people.

Though not everyone is as loyal as Caleb, I believe that people with even a fraction of his devotion tend to think about the past in a glass-half-full way. And unless you gave them an intensely good reason to think ill of you (and trust me, I have more than my fair share of those, too), you are a drop or two or three in that glass.

I know I am not the only person who has school friends or work friends or friends you rode the bus with creep up in their dreams. I would contend, however, that the dream world is not the only place those friendly thoughts reside. There are people who have inspired you unwittingly. And when you do something that those people would be proud of, you might think about them. When I knowingly go out of my comfort zone, I wish my friend Whitney were there to cheer me on. It has been far too many months since I have talked to her. A decision to be purely nice to someone because that is what Christians do is fueled by a trillion memories of watching PJ do the same thing. We are coming up on two years of short facebook messages and distant hellos. And, you know, a guy who gave me a totally great reason to hate his guts forever continually inspires me to be go with the flow even though it isn't my strong suit. I doubt these people and so many others know how much they have affected my day-to-day life.

And I doubt you know how much impact you have had on those around you. Someone, somewhere, has seen you be a good person, even if it was only that one time. But don't lie, there has been more than one time. I can be a spiteful, vengeful, caustic individual and even I can admit that there have been a handful of times that I had the chance to show off my better side.

People think well of you. People have written about you in their real-life journals. People admired you but never spoke to you. And people have been inspired by you. Keep trying to inspire. And I'll keep trying to reign in my subconscious romances to long-lost crushes.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post. And not just because you gave me shout out. I feel exactly the same way. When someone I used to know writes me on Facebook I sometimes respond with a huge love letter about how I think of them at random times and wonder if we'd be better friends today if proximity allowed. Then I don't hear back from them and I'm pretty sure I freaked them out.

    But I guess I'm saying, I feel you on this one. I think kindly of many people I never speak to and it's great to think that I cross their minds as well. Thanks for this!