All my life, I thought that when I learned something, I would pass it on in the form on posts online (i.e forums, blogs), or to people I meet. They would look at me and say, “You’ve inspired me!” I sought that experience as proof that I somehow learned some new life lesson. Passing things on in that way would be my legacy, much the same way certain individuals inspired me through their posts online and through our conversations in person. But whenever I learn something, I somehow incorporate it into my daily life and don’t actually write about it or share it online. If I do, it tends to be abstract. Instead, I move on, explore different places, do something different and so I seldom share, in words, what I’ve learned or the changes I’ve made to the people I expected to inspire. Likewise, I never take note of their changes anymore as well. I just move on.
A few years back, I found myself trying to reenter those places I had left behind in an attempt to incorporate my changes and lessons into those places. I wanted to incorporate the new me into the life I had left behind. It was stressful, uncomfortable, and unpleasant. I learned, first hand, that many times when you no longer resonate with an old place or with an old experience, it’s best to move forward and not cling to that snapshot in history. Some memories are best left as just that. Maybe that means that I won’t be inspiring those I left behind through words and teaching. But I think that’s okay. In fact, I’m sure of it.