June 21, 2023

I was at a wedding over the weekend. I didn’t know anyone other than my girlfriend and a few of her friends. Needless to say, I met a lot of people.

My girlfriend and I were chatting about the wedding and she was saying how by the end of the weekend I seemed to know everyone there. She would point someone out and I’d tell her their name or give her a short story about them. It didn’t seem like anything particularly special to me. I mean, when we arrived at the farm where the wedding was being held, the bride’s father hugged me. Tightly. He and I had never even heard of each other.

As we were talking, I told her that that was my dad coming out through me. My dad’s like that. He’s jolly. He’s not afraid of who he is and he finds joy in making other people happy. He’s an incredibly generous man. He’s principled, too.

I remember once getting upset about someone saying that they saw themselves in me. My issue was that I don’t want anyone other than my father to think that I’m anything like them. I claimed that I’m not living to follow someone else’s path.

When I’m teaching, I sometimes feel myself interacting with my students similarly to how my dad would interact with me or how I’d see him interacting with other kids. I used to get a bit miffed about it but I’ve learned to accept it. Besides, it works. That guy seems to make friends with everyone.

As we continued talking, I told her about how an ex-girlfriend of mine once told me that I’m the easiest person in the world to forget. We were eighteen. It made sense to me when she said it. I think I internalized that comment and made it a part of my identity. I could probably write an entire blog post about how I enacted that belief, but one thing that it do for me was force me to be aware of whoever is in a room with me.

It’s important to me that people know they are seen and acknowledged, that they aren’t unwillingly alone. I’m not consistent with this and I have my moods, but I try. I don’t like most people but that’s probably a me-thing. Still, they should feel present. I remember what it’s like to feel forgotten.


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