More Than Words
Like millions, I was saddened to wake up to the news of Maya Angelou's passing this week. A beautiful, profound life so well lived, and so robust with wise words. As a writer, this one of course speaks to my soul:
In terms of overall life, though, this is the one I anchor most to - and oddly enough, just shared through my own social channels less than a month ago:
I'll only know so much about how I truly made or make people feel while I'm still a part of this earth, because this is dependent on people telling or showing me this. I can and have made assumptions about how I impacted feelings, be it a stranger I never spoke a word to, and never saw again, or something who has been a staple in my life for decades or more.
The surest way for me to know is for it to come directly from the source. But do we feel safest to share how people truly made us feel only after they're gone, and unable to do anything with this information?
That said, I also know is I can make choices that will likely lead to creating feelings that are more on the positive mark: appreciated, confident, loved. And I can make plenty of other choices in terms of my actions and words that really only have one possible outcome: negative residue, from the fingerprint to the permanent scar variety.
The more life I live, the more I reflect on my choices past and try to make better choices present and future - to the point that part of my first and only tattoo ever, inked at the beginning of this year, includes an italian phrase that was the closest I could come to the sentiment, "Make good choices."
This is, of course, easier said than done on some days versus others.
But as I move through my days, my intent is pure. That I will make the kind of choices that create feelings of sincere care, concern, protection, inspiration, joy. That my life will be measured not by my last job title, or bank account balance, but rather by how widespread I can leave these kind of marks.