Today I learned of the passing of my elementary school crossing guard. Although I graduated nearly 6 years ago, I still remember what a lovely man he was. I used to work in the office and he’d come in each day at the same time to get his mail with a warm smile on his face. Though it was a small part of my day, I still remember it years later. It’s amazing the impact people can have on your life, no matter how small.
A crossing guard may seem like something insignificant, but his role in our community was huge. He kept us all safe on our way home from school and provided us with endless kindness. That was invaluable. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, his presence had an impact on my life.
This got me thinking about the impact we all can have on someone’s life. Simply smiling at someone or giving them a compliment can change their day, or life. Years later, they may look back and remember your kindness, even if you don’t.
We see so many people in our daily lives that we probably don’t even notice. There’s the man at the subway booth, the lady who works at your local McDonalds, the preacher on the corner; people who go overlooked. Imagine what could happen if you smiled at them, or even stopped to chat. It could change the course or their day, or yours. A little kindness can go a long way!
My girl Elsa’s song holds a lot of truth. Letting go, is hard to do. This past year and a half has been a whirlwind. New school, new city, new job, new friends; new everything. And with all the new means the life I once knew becomes the fast. I am a hoarder. Not a hoarder of items like the TLC show, but I hoarder of memories, of friends and of places.
I recently went back to high school only to discover that I am no longer relevant there. I don’t know any of the students; I’m not in any of the clubs or in any of the classes. All that’s left is my picture in the graduate composite hanging on the wall in the dreary basement. I am now old. This realization got me thinking about all of the other places I used to spend my time and how it’s the same for all of them too. Life carries on whether you’re there or not.
This is a hard pill to swallow. I am learning to come to terms with the fact that my high school days are over and I have to move on. Accepting the fact that those people that I spent everyday with are scattered around the country and who no longer speak to you. Being that person stuck in the past in not only annoying, but really unhealthy. I am starting to see my life like a book, and those times as chapters I’ve already read.
I know I can’t be the only one who feels this way. Maybe that’s one of the reasons people like “Throwback Thursdays” so much it’s a quick way to post something from the past and reminisce for a moment. Maybe we like them because we can’t quite let go of the moments in those pictures.
Letting go of times in your life, especially happy ones is a lot like throwing out your favorite tshirt. It may be old, and worn out and filled with holes, but it was once something that made you happy in some way. Our present lives may be cold to us at times, and full of “holes”, but I guess sometimes we just have to make the most of the present and let it gooooo.
After posting my first official blog post last night, I was left with the age old question, to share or not to share. Though I had already posted it on the internet, the chances that my friends or family would see it were slim to none, but posting it on my facebook made everything so…public.
Posting it on my facebook gave people easy access to my writing and as a result gave them ample opportunity to judge and criticize.
The Internet is and always has been, to me, a world completely separate from the real one, an alternate reality of sorts. An alternate universe filled with friends you don’t speak to in person, cat videos and Kim Kardashian’s butt. This false sense of separation creates a weird sort of comfortability. The ability to say whatever you want online and forget about it.
Frequently in my daily life, people will reference things I post online. “ Oh I saw your tweet last night. Who was that about?” or “Yeah, I saw your picture of that on instagram.” Even though I am the one who posted it, I am always taken aback when people reference them. It’s like I forget people actually can see them. It is extremely unsettling.
This division between worlds scares me. It’s the digital form of liquid courage. Screen courage? Digital courage? There’s probably a name for it that I’m forgetting. It makes people forget the consequences of their postings, which in my opinion can be dangerous. Some people on my social media should really learn to watch their mouth…. Or their typing and be more conscientious. Nothing is private on the internet.
I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. They’re always the same cliché cookie cutter lists filled with “eat healthier” s and “go to the gym” s along with the occasional profound “be happy”. They start with good intentions, to become a healthier, happier better version of yourself in the New Year, only to fail hours later as you stumble home at 4 am, cold, tired, and with a Big Mac in hand.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for self improvement, we can all benefit from some positive thoughts and goals for a new year, but I am also a firm believer in that there is no time like the present.
When did the notion begin that New Year meant a fresh start? I don’t know about you but when the clock stroked midnight on New Years Eve, I was still myself. I had the same thoughts, feelings, problems and dreams as I did the moment before. Everything was not erased at midnight. Contrary to popular belief, everything is not left in the old year, no matter how much you want it to be and believe me, there are so many things I wish I could pack into a neat little box labeled “2014” and be done with.
With that being said, why wait for a year to make changes? Why wait for a specific moment to achieve your goals? And though this phrase is almost as cliché as “ New Year new me” there truly is no time like the present.
And so, on January second, 2015, one day later, I begin my written journey. A documentation of my life over the next year. What once was a blog for a school project will slowly morph into a collection of my daily musings. A compilation of my experiences that I can one day look back on…. And probably laugh at. Enjoy and happy new year!