Sunday, July 26, 2009

When you disappear from people's lives...

So first, I got a new car. Wha!?!? I really did! Ha! I haven't taken a pic for you yet, so hang tight. I will unveil her this week - spruced up and looking hot. I've even named her already. It just... came to me.... like a message from above. But until then... here's some (attempted) philosophical blather. If you would like to step away for a moment and pull on your tweed blazer with leather elbow patches and done some spectacles, now would be the time.

This thought just came to me as I was doing a little Facebook searching. I am waiting for some laundry to be done - and thought I'd peruse some Facebook "friends" to see who they knew and if I knew them and la la la. To be quite honest (and maybe someone can explain this to me), I hear people say "Like, OMG I could LIVE on Facebook. It's soooo addicting, like, I am on there all day!" Cough. Which, I don't get really. What do you DO all day on Facebook? I only venture to my little page when 1. I've been notified that something has transpired or will transpire or someone is adding me as a friend... you know... the usual notifications and 2. When I'm bored and feel changing my profile pic will take up a good 10 minutes. And that's it! Shrug. One of life's real mysteries.

Anyway... as I was saying...

I was doing a little perusing. Checking out this and that. Seeing if that one boy I've only seen at church a handful of times is listed and if we know any of the same people. That sort of thing. Then I start typing in names... ya know... "names." As in, of people that I've long since stopped interacting with but am reminded of every now and again. And yes, it's people I've stopped interacting with by choice. One of THOSE situations. But don't you always wonder, long after break ups or you go your "separate ways" if sometimes they are reminded of you in some small way? Like you are reminded of them sometimes. Of coures, not in a "what if" kind of way but in an "oh yeah... they were in my life for awhile" kind of way. Or even "I wonder where their life is right now" sometimes... or "wow... I never thought I'd forget that person and I did." All those thoughts. I have them. I would imagine other people have them. And I always wonder if two people have them for each other - even when they've moved on and are quite happy and contented in their own little life happenings and progressions.

I stumbled upon one such individual on me Facebook perusing just now. My thought processes were thus, "Huh. I remember that. And I remember how important you were back then and how you're not even on the mental radar now... and haven't been for a very long time." But even still, even when we forget someone, we don't really forget them. Some people really do change our lives; even mold our character, and we don't even realize it until it's all said and done and we can look back and say "Oh yeah... I remember you. You really changed me." I think those I've found an emotional attachment to, or who have given me the most trial and even hurt me the deepest, are also those who have been instrumental in refining me the best. The lessons we learn and the people we become are so incredibly effected by the relationships and interactions around us, it's hard to really completely forget anyone completely. Those kind of people don't really ever disappear from my mind, though they may disappear from my life. They've left their mark; and just like a whiff of that lavender laundry detergent your mom always used or hearing that old song you sang together on a wispy summer evening, the memory of those who have impressed us most comes back like a silent ghostly mist drifting through our minds, "Remember this..."

I looked at a few pics of a person I'd left behind almost 2 years ago. He'd created one of those albums that has random pics from a multiplicity of activities spanned over several years. Many of them I recognized as being activities we shared together. But, any of the pictures I was in during those activities, weren't there. Everyone else was there, but I wasn't there. So, maybe someone truly can disappear from your life completely; become a nameless body you're still wanting to forget. I didn't feel bad about it. I'm happy where I am and how it all turned out - and of course, I'm a much better/smarter/functional person because of it. In fact, my not being there made me feel I had left my mark on this person too. And though I've stopped TRYING to forget them, and have really mentally filed the experience away in the back of my mind's filing cabinet, I don't mind them showing up sometimes when nostalgia snatches 10 seconds of my time. These things are best remembered, accepted, and most importantly, applied to our future selves. Wouldn't our most heart-wrenching experiences be such a waste of time if we completely forgot them? What good what it do? Even if we're trying to erase someone, after years and years, you can't truly erase them. They've left their mark. And it's clear I might've really left a mark on this person because I'm not there in those pictures. It gave me some closure knowing that I might've made an impression - though - I feel that perhaps the mark I left is still a bit of a wound. And that makes me feel... some regret. Regret that my mark may not be so easily filed away as "lessons for later" as his mark is for me. I'd hate to think that the mark I leave with people, years and years later, still causes them to feel any sort of negativity inside... causes them to keep trying to erase me from their memories. The challenge comes (in many cases like mine) in forgiveness. Which we all know that forgetting is part of forgiveness. It's such a peace to feel that "forget" when you've worked long to forgive. And again I don't believe that means you wouldn't recognize someone on the street you've attached such emotions to, but rather, you've forgotten why you left each other and it doesn't hurt anymore anyway. That's the forgetting, I believe, that comes with forgiveness. It's the healing... and moving forward.

People may disappear from our lives... but they're not really ever erased from our minds and even our hearts. We all leave our marks... impressions... our footprints. We all teach each other and reteach each other... and everyone does it at their own pace. Some still need to leave you out of their pictures... while some pause for a moment to remember the happy moments... and then quickly press on with their lives. I'm glad to be pressing on.

8 comments:

janers said...

I couldn't agree more with most of this post...it brings to mind a favorite quote of mine...whom I've never located the author of:

"You are the piece to the puzzle of someone elses life. You may never know where you fit, but others will fill the holes in their life with pieces of you."

Marisa Jean said...

Even if you didn't mean to make this post sad, it made my little girl eyes fill up with water. I use Facebook to re-connect with old friends and as a social tool to invite people to things, get new contact info, etc., but I'm with you...how and why would you want to update your status every five minutes?

Can't tell you how many times me and my friends have looked up old flames on facebook. It's a girl thing. No need to explain. And I think everyone feels that sting of seeing them with someone new, not displaying pictures of points where you were their everything, etc. It's always okay for you to move on, never okay for them to. Even after being married for a while and never wanting to venture back the people from the past, I still get those feelings.

Marisa Jean said...

P.S. If you figure out how to forget, let me know. I still don't trust some men because I always remember the sting and pain that one certain person from the past left me with. Ouch. It really hurt, and obviously still affects me.

Cory and Michele said...

Great post Miss Andrea! It really makes a person think. BTW, congrats on the new car!!

Peggy said...

Many people touch our lives and hearts...and then move on. I've learned from many and still have what I learned inside; I'm better for what I've learned. Great post to help invoke memories of the past.

Jessica said...

Wow Andrea, good post. Maybe it made me want to cry a little. But of course, I didn't, because I'm at work and that would just be unprofessional. But I have similar fits of bittersweet remembrance periodically. At least, they're bittersweet for me. But as much as some things still pain me, I wouldn't give them up simply because I love the moment, years and years down the road when you think to yourself "so this is why I had that experience." And that may happen multiple times, changing your perspective on past events each time. It's like the gift that keeps on giving. I hope.

Andrea Jolene said...

Bittersweet is an excellent way to describe such a scenario, Jessica.

Jane - I've heard that quote before too. Thanks for reminding me!

Faith said...

Love Janers comment. That's a terrific quote.