The Impact You Have

I have heard it said that a person can judge the value of their life by the impact they have had on others.  If that is the case, then I have learned that my life has more value than I have realized.

Recently, I attended the birthday party of a friend I have not seen in a very long time.  In fact, the party was filled with many old friends that I have not seen in a long time.  As the party carried on, I got to catch up with my friends, find out how their lives have played out, and reminisce about the good old days.  In fact, I was actually surprised to see how many people still  remembered me.  My closest circle of friends I knew would remember me, I still see some of them on a semi-regular basis.  It was my outer circle of friends, those I would hang out with at parties or who I became friends with because they were friends with my closest friends, those are the people that surprised me.  It’s funny, but I always thought I was a rather forgettable person because I’m generally a shy and quiet person.  I guess I’m not as forgettable as I thought because many of the people I thought might not remember in fact did.  It’s nice to know that I at least had some sort of impact on people’s lives.

As the night moved forward, it was interesting to see how my friends lives ended up and to think about how my life had ended up as well.  And yet, being in a room with so many people that used to be such a big part of my life began to make me feel nostalgic for the old days when we all used to hang out together.  The wild and fun filled days of my youth when life was all about having fun.  At least, that’s how it seems in my mind.  It’s a funny thing the way the brain can make your old memories seem so wonderful that you end up missing the old times even if they weren’t always as wonderful as your memory may make them.  I believe that is what is referred to as seeing things through ‘rose-colored glasses’.  It’s also funny how one person’s memory of a certain event can differ from another persons memory at times.  Our memories are a big part of what make us who we are after all, and the memories of the people in our lives are a big part of what makes our friendships as well.

As a younger man, I always enjoyed hanging out with my various groups of friends, raising the proverbial hell, and enjoying life as much as possible.  Unfortunately, life moves on and we tend to lose touch with our friends, and even our ideas of  just ‘hanging out’ evolve as we grow older.  That is just a simple fact of everyone’s life.  It doesn’t usually happen on purpose, though I suppose there are exceptions, but it is a by-product of growing older it seems.  Think back to the friends that have left your life, for whatever reason, and you will see how true that is.  Within the last couple of years, social media web sites have helped me get back in contact with friends I have lost touch with.  At first, I was reluctant to join any of the social sites, but thanks to my wife’s encouragement, I joined Facebook, which then led to Twitter and eventually to the blog you are reading now.  A blog which is hopefully being read by friends I may not have been able to get back in touch with any other way.  I guess there is some value to the social media sites after all, just as there is value in nostalgia.  Nothing, however, can compare to the value of the friends who have had a great impact on your life.  Remember, you’ve probably had just as big of an impact on their lives as well.

On that note, I send out my thanks to all my friends who have impacted my life and have let me have an impact on theirs.  I can’t fully express to you how much being your friend has meant to me over the years.

%d bloggers like this: