And no, this is not a self written eulogy 😀
This was the question posted to me when I made my first attempt to meet my two of my lovely blog friends. In one rainy Sunday afternoon, I braved my shy personality to finally meet Kelley and Janelle. Kelley happens to be the oldest in our group. She proudly admitted to be 51 and her eldest daughter was of my age. Kelley was like the mother and facilitator of our group. In the course of our discussion, she challenged us to answer this question
How do you want people to remember you?
I took a deep breath and forced myself to utter something that doesn’t come from my mind, but from my heart. The irony of life, the simplest questions is often the hardest to answer. Questions that pertain to oneself are ironically the toughest.
“I wanted people to remember me as someone who did what is right. I also want them to associate me as the person who always understands.”
Come to think of it, I have a number of goals and ambitions in life. I wanted people to recognize me because of research and writing. I wanted to be a great teacher. I wanted to be the best daughter for my parents. I wanted to be the best friend to my few close friends. I always wanted to be the best. But at the end of the day, I realized that I only wanted two simple reasons for people to remember me.
I wanted people to remember me as someone who did what is right
As I was walking on the way to work, I found myself contemplating on this thought. To be on the right side seems easy but in reality, everything is complicated. Defining what is right already entails a disaster of perceptions. What may be right for you may not be the same in the point of view of your friends, family and colleagues. We also know that doing right does not always yield positivity and happiness to everyone. In my attempt to stick with what is right, I have to endure hurting someone along the way. For the few who know me well, they know that the least I wanted to happen is to inflict any harm or negative feelings to anyone. I’d rather render some sacrifice than gaining an enemy for a lifetime.
Now I realized that my perceived simple answer was conversely complicated after all. In the first place, no one ever claimed that being right was easy.
I wanted a person to remember me as someone who understands.
Then again, understanding does not merely mean recognizing the situation and knowing how the succeeding events unfolded. Real understanding crosses beyond the borders of the actions and decisions made. Whether a friend was at fault, looking at the causes and issues than the blame meant understanding.
Why I want people to remember me as someone who understands is because such requires the perfect tango of the heart and mind. Genuine understanding means having the mind to grasp the situation and the heart to accept things the way they turn out.
I did what is right. I understand. These were the initial traits that surfaced from my heart and mind after I was placed on the spot. If I were to improve though, I also wish that people would remember me because
I silently and honestly make things happen…
Pardon the overemphasis but I always prefer to work things the most discrete way. I never wanted all the attention in the world. I’m contented with the love and attention of the few and special in my life. This could also explain why I value my almost invisible presence in the blogosphere.
I would be the happiest if people will regard me as someone who never spoke but worked hard in her entire lifetime.
Lastly, I can make things happen… I used to dream of outshining the rest and becoming the best. As I age however, I realized that competing becomes a form of those self inflicted stress. If I will spend my entire lifetime beating other people, I can turn out the best but not necessarily the happiest.
The only competitor I want to beat now is myself. As long as I have new achievements and milestones in my reach, I’m the happiest. I may not necessarily own those wondrous achievements. However, the mere fact that people know that I was able to make things happen for myself is more than enough reason to be considered as best and happiest.