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It’s not the same as it was

A row of worn colorful converse sneakers.
Courtesy of Izabela Gage

By Izabela Gage

Staff Writer

You leave an imprint on every person you meet.

No matter how small - there is always an impact from your words and your actions. 

Something you say or do to someone can leave an influence for an indefinite amount of time. The interactions can affect someone for as long as they remember them.

If you compliment someone’s pants, they might think about it every time they wear them.

If you give someone a dirty look, they might recall it every time they see you.

There are different versions of us in every single person’s perspective, due to how we were perceived. We will never be able to control what someone thinks of us, and I haven’t been able to determine whether that’s good or bad.

It may help that we cannot place our personal opinions of ourselves on other people because they cannot see us through the eyes we look at ourselves through every day. But, the idea of never knowing how someone sees us causes anxiety. We may never know their true intentions.

The negative might hurt, but I choose to let go of it all. I choose to cherish the joy because it is what I want to remember. I want to appreciate the positive for what it was, and not what it turned into.

I don’t necessarily always forgive - I don’t know if I could let the things that happened go under the radar. Those small puzzle pieces of pain have changed my perspective on friendships and relationships. 

I look back fondly on memories of people who hurt me because, in the moment, I was happy. I can’t hate the experiences due to the anger I have for the people I was with during them.

The pain can’t taint the happiness I felt, and it’s bittersweet.

Every person I have ever loved has made me who I am. I’m hundreds of little pieces created and put together by the people who have impacted me in even the smallest ways.

I used to hate the sound of my laugh. But because of every friend who has complimented it, I now laugh as often as I can.

I still love my nine pairs of Converse, even though I no longer talk to my best friend who influenced me to get a pair in middle school.

I still thoroughly enjoy chocolate peanut butter ice cream, even though I broke up with the boyfriend that I first tried it with two years ago. 

I still listen to songs I was shown by old friends who no longer think of me. 

While it stings knowing I lost them, I am grateful for the moments I knew them.

For the lessons they taught me.

For the love they gave me when I needed it. And for teaching me I could love back.

If I could love the wrong people so much, I know I can love the right ones even more. We change, we grow, and we move on. We are made to find the people who make us happy to be alive.

I will never regret the love I have given any person in my life, no matter how badly they hurt me. They needed it, and if it happened to be undeserved, that’s OK. I have so much love in my heart that I will always be happy to share. It’s possible they need it more than I do, and I cannot withhold the overflowing amount of love I live to express.

There is so much love to give, in a world that’s been taught to hate. 

I subconsciously do many things I had never done before meeting specific people. They left an impact on me, that I no longer fully notice because I have grown accustomed to the behaviors.

I am a puzzle, made up of pieces from every person I have ever known. 

I will continue to change as I meet new people, and as they unknowingly build in the work zone of my brain. 


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