I was thinking about all of the people I’ve ever met in this lifetime and it got me wondering what kind of impression I give. How do I make people feel? What kind of vibe do I emit? There is so much concern about which path to choose but I’m equally curious about the path that’s brought me to where I am today. If a trail were to be named after me, what would it be called? I think about these things a lot and not in a morbid way where I envision my own funeral and wonder what life will be like once my time is past but in a legacy type of way. What will I have left behind and how will people remember me?
We’ve been taught not to care what other people think. I imagine a lot of you look down upon giving anyone else’s opinion any kind of leverage within your own lives and in certain regards I stand by you %100. However I think not giving anyone else’s say any mind at all is foolish. Not only because consideration and generosity are high in my book of values but because it makes you smarter and less likely to end up in a home with no visitor larger than a cup of applesauce. So that being said I do care what other people think of me. I have a natural desire to be liked and if that’s my worst attribute (it’s not), I’ll take it. I don’t care to the extent I’ll ever stop wearing flip flops as shoes but enough that I’m not living in a bubble of ME. If you aren’t familiar with people like that, come visit me in LA…they breed here.
While most of my dad’s funeral remains a blur, both figuratively and literally because my contacts couldn’t keep up with my emotions so I couldn’t see much past a few feet in front of me, I will never forget the number of people present to wish him farewell. Standing room only. No joke. On our way to the cemetery I remember looking behind me at the trail of cars and there were headlights for miles. I couldn’t see the end of it. It was beautifully sad. It was confirmation of my bias that my dad was a great man, not that I needed it. He left happiness in his wake, everywhere he went. He had an effect on people in that way. He’s a legend. It’s probably most inappropriate to think of it this way but as far as funerals go, he set the bar insanely high. It was the Taj Majal of funerals- I’ve never seen anything like it. To the point where I thought to myself, I couldn’t get this many people to go anywhere and I’m still breathing.
I am the monarch of social butterflies (see what I did there?). If you know me, you know this. If you ask me to do something and I say no, it took every ounce of willpower in me to do so. I’ve been told time and time again that I spread myself too thin. That it’s quality over quantity. I’ve been berated for being “Switzerland” in a world of social circles and, quite honestly, I take it as a compliment. I have my main people of course, but this girl cannot be tamed. Perhaps that’s the empath side of me finding energy in other people but I have always had a penchant for being in the thick of things. My heart expands wider than a lot of people understand.
I have come across a lot of people on this adventure so far. I’ve been carried, I’ve carried others, I’ve been swept to the side, I’ve said things I didn’t mean, I’ve been devastated, I’ve been careless with others, I’ve been heartbroken and I’ve done my share of breaking as well. I’ve been unfriended, ghosted, abused and used. There are people I no longer talk to and yet when they come to mind, fond memories outweigh the bad and I can only hope the same happens when they think of me. I’ve had ups and downs, the worst of times and the best of times. I’ve had an insane amount of fun a fair amount of mediocre moments and enough laughter to fill an ocean. Life is crazy.
I can’t explain why or how certain things happen. Why this person made the cut and others got lost along the way. I don’t know how time bruises something that started off so wonderfully. I don’t know how one day you can feel something so intensely and the next day it’s gone. I don’t know if shit just happens or if it’s fate making its moves. I don’t have all the answers. I can’t control other people. I can’t dictate my feelings- Lord knows I’ve tried. There will be weather I can’t storm, words I can’t fathom and circumstances I never saw coming. The only thing I can guarantee or have a shred of a say in, is how I carry myself, how I treat others and how I take life as it’s thrown at me-curveballs and all. I hope when people think of me, they smile. Just remember, how you want the world to see you is created by the footprints you make today. Your legacy has already begun. Be legendary.
Jen when I think of u I smile! U r fun, and honest u r my back seat buddy! Thank u for sharing so many wonderful memories! Love u
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Jen, I enjoyed your thoughts and have always loved our Jenny! Jim knew you were special, and don’t you ever forget that!! Can’t wait to see you in October, and know CUB loves you very much!! CUB
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Jenny, wonderful piece. Love you, aunt donna