I received an email this past weekend that was unexpected; it was from an individual who is a few years younger than me. I was still in high school when our paths crossed. She was in one of my last classes of HS. When I opened the email and started reading, I felt discouraged after reading the first sentence.
“You probably don’t remember me…”
I had to immediately stop reading–it broke my heart that someone could think that I’d forget her. Before I continued reading the remaining content of the email, I started a draft reply and made sure my opening sentence was, “Of course I remember you!” I appreciated and cherished the rest of her email, but that is beside the point I want to make right now.
This teenager who I only knew for twelve weeks; who I saw as outgoing, sweet, and genuine; who I respected and appreciated. This teenager who thought she was forgettable.
At first, I felt inadequate to empathize, because I’ve never thought about being forgotten. But then, I felt like I failed at truly showing this individual how much I appreciated her. It is a hard burden to carry, knowing that someone thinks you don’t remember them.
I cannot seem to let this concept go; it has opened my eyes and has shown my naïveté–something of which I never like to admit. But now that I’ve uncovered this, I cannot be silent about my reaction to hearing what this individual said.
There are people all around us who feel forgotten or forgettable.
I wish I could bottle up this feeling I get when I think deeply about it, so that you could experience it, too. It feels like everything stops and pauses for a brief millisecond–almost like your heart skips a beat. It is like that weird tingly feeling you get when you try holding your breath for a really long time. It feels like a mix of panic, confusion, remorse, even frustration. It’s like a spark igniting a flame within you that spreads through your entire body. It’s a passion to end the distress for those individuals who don’t feel remembered.
I may not know what the girl who emailed me feels like, but I do know that it won’t stop me from reassuring her of the truth that she is memorable.
To everyone who feels forgettable: you’re not. To everyone who feels lost in the shadows: you’re not. To everyone who feels ignored: you’re not.
I may not have the best memory in the world, but rest assured, my memory isn’t bad enough to forget a person. Every single person I meet leaves a lasting impression on my life–whether I’ve known them for an hour or for my whole life. It’s impossible for me to forget you, because you’re important to me. I care for everyone and that will never change.
I wish that I won’t have to receive another email, phone call, text, from a person in the past who is certain I don’t remember them. I am going to work so hard to make sure people know how much they will be remembered.
Each individual has something to offer up to you in life. You can take it or leave it. But you’ll never be forgotten.
You are not forgettable.
Believe it, it’s true.