impact.

Recently, one of my friends and I went to visit a woman who truly influenced us as writers. Prior to meeting her, I had little confidence in myself and my writing. I didn’t call myself a writer because I didn’t believe I was one and I was afraid to share my writing with anyone. That year, I finally read a poem out loud. That was five years ago.

Since then, I have handed out my feelings to everyone at my school by writing vulnerable and honest feature columns in my school newspaper. I have started this blog. I have written for various websites. I even wrote a speech and spoke at my graduation!

It’s weird to think about how everything would be different if I hadn’t been encouraged five years ago. As we were walking into the bookstore, though, I thought “what is she doesn’t remember us?” My friend assured me that she would.

She didn’t. Five years is a long time. I can’t expect people to remember me after that long. Except I remembered her so distinctly. I remembered so many details and moments and that’s what hurt me. Those moments from five years ago shaped who I am. And she didn’t remember anything about me.

Five years ago, I gave her the words from my heart that I had never shared with anyone. And then, she gave me generic words. Words that felt like they didn’t fit the connection we had, that didn’t stretch to encompass all that she taught me.

I wasn’t upset, really. When I thought about it, I wasn’t even that surprised. Sometimes, people impact you more than they realize. They impact you more than you impact them because you’re at different points in your lives, you’re seeking different lessons, and you have your own problems that have their own misplaced answers. She gave me my answers five years ago. And she even gave me an answer I needed recently. Because we also have to understand that sometimes we impact people more than we realize. We spend so much time thinking about who we miss and who broke our hearts. Truthfully, many of these people probably don’t even know that they hurt us or helped us.

We let ourselves be the bruised ones. The forgotten ones. The heart broken ones. And maybe we are. We are all of those things at times. But that doesn’t mean that we’ve left no bruises other places. That doesn’t mean that we haven’t forgotten anything or anyone. That doesn’t mean that we haven’t hurt people’s hearts.

Right now, maybe you’re thinking of someone who isn’t thinking about you. Someone who doesn’t even remember you.
But right now, maybe someone you don’t even remember is thinking about you.

Sometimes, the people who we want to remember us don’t remember us. At least, not in the way that we want them to.
But that doesn’t mean we haven’t forgotten the details of someone who never wanted to be forgotten. Someone who still remembers everything.

Feelings are hard to forget. They blare through the songs we listen to and sneak into the books we read and display themselves in the movies we watch. They follow us through different parts of town and make themselves at home within certain areas of our houses.

Memories fade. We remember and forget again. But we’re not simply forgotten.
I guarantee you that someone has woven you into a song. I guarantee you that whenever he or she hears that song, memories pierce through the lyrics.

Paige Sheffield

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2 thoughts on “impact.

  1. Paige this was amazing!!! So extremely well written and incredibly true. I can’t agree more that while memories can fade, feelings remain. Also, the last two lines were so powerful because what you wrote is so true!!!!
    xo Jamie

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