Are there people from your past that have had an unforgettable impact on you? They came into your life at a specific time, left that imprint on your heart, they may or may not be in your life anymore, but you remember the lasting effect they had on you.
There are so many people in my life that had that kind of impact on me. Children, other families, parents of children I took care of, friends, the list goes on. I can remember when I was in elementary school, a neighbor on my street would let me come over after school. She had been an art teacher and took time off to have a baby. I would come by to play with her son, and she would often have an art project out on the kitchen table and ask if I wanted to join her. I learned a lot from her, and often wonder if her encouragement and interest is what ignited my interest in art. If she had not left that imprint on my life, would I have pursued many of my creative and artistic endeavors? I will never know, but I am grateful for the connected afternoons of playing with baby + paints, paper, pencils, wax, and my imagination.
Why is it that I remember very specific details of interactions outside of my family, but many details of life inside my home are a blur? I could list off many experiences I had babysitting kids in my neighborhood, or from my church. Families I came close to in high school and college. Often I spent more time in their home and with their children than I did in my own home. Many times it would begin to feel more like my home away from home. I would have meals with their family and the parents would tease me that they wanted to adopt me. So why did I find such solace and comfort in spending time with these families? They had a definite impact on me. They taught me different ways to live, politics, things I wanted in my life, and things I did not want.
The unforgettable impact continues in adulthood. Whether a colleague, a friend’s precious child, or that night out to dinner with friends. I can walk away from an experience and feel the imprint internally. The deep conversation that changed me, taught me to look at myself differently, or helped me to appreciate all the goodness and greatness already in my life. I am honored to look back and appreciate all the individuals that have changed me.
Who has made a great impact in your life?