Who tells your story?

I am a girl consumed by wanderlust. Not necessarily with regard to travel -- though believe me, there are cities and mountains and beaches I will make it a point to see before I run out of time. Mostly, my form of wanderlust is intricately tied to an on-again/off-again feeling of aimlessness with life. Aimlessness might not be the perfect word for it, but it's the closest way I can articulate it. There are some days where, even while I'm headed in a clear direction, when I'm happy with those I'm surrounded by, I still feel sort of lost and inadequate. I'm always worried if what I'm doing is right, or if what I'm doing is enough. It's that "enough" part that snags at me most.

This isn't a unique feeling. It's the human condition. Doubt and fear and the horrible, shrinking feeling of being something temporary. Life is a blip, and we are all dust floating in an ever expanding universe and the chances of us doing something memorable (let alone something that will actually be worthy of being remembered) is slim. *Cue speech from 10 Things I Hate About You.* But do you know what is also a part of the human condition? Fighting back. Denying the odds and trying to make an impact anyway. Do all that you can, as best as you can, with the time you are given. That will be enough.

From Hamilton:
But when you're gone, who remembers your name? Who keeps your flame? Who tells your story?  
And this is why I turn to art when I find myself in a wandering/wondering state. Art always answers me, quiets me down. It's not what we leave behind that we should be concerned about; it's who we leave behind, and how we leave them. Who have we loved, who have we lost, who has lost us? What ripples do we leave, what lives have we touched?

It's not important that the entire world remembers us. "Enough" isn't necessarily a big gesture to the universe; it's not an obvious moment of impact. It's the brief exchanges with strangers, small gestures and conversations that stick with friends long after you part ways. It's the hearts you held, the gentleness with which you touched the world. It is in both the good and the bad -- the ones in between. Every connection is an impression.

I have a small circle of friends. It is high in quality, not quantity, and for that I count myself blessed. I know that each person I have in my life has left a lasting impression on me. There are a select few whom I know, no matter how much time has passed, I will always hold with me. I will tell their story in the way I live my life, carrying with me all they've taught.


The impression I hope to leave behind -- my story -- is one of courage and compassion. I want to be brave, I want to be good, and I want to do all I can with those two forces driving me. I want to be remembered one day as someone who smiled freely and loved easily. I want to be thought of as someone who, despite the odds, did not give up and never developed a callousness toward the world, even though it may have been easier to do so at times. In the end, I don't know how many people will tell my story, but I do hope it is a story worth listening to.

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