Thursday, July 2, 2015

#181: To be known

I went to lunch today at the cafeteria where we go every day here at NUI, the same one I went to every school day last summer as well.  When I got to the register, the woman behind the counter smiled broadly and greeted me heartily, "You're back!  How are you!  You were here last summer, right?"

I was delighted!  I recognized her immediately but never dreamed she would not only recognize me but remember exactly who I was.  Even eleven hours later, the little girl inside of me that wanted so desperately for someone to notice me is still doing a happy dance.  I asked her if it was okay to put her in my blog and she agreed!

All my life I have been convinced that as soon as I was out of anyone's line of sight, I was forgotten.  Though this attitude seemed to protect me from some hurts when I was little, it is not, on the whole, a good way to live.  It sprouted some...unhelpful...behaviors over time.  Among them are a compulsion to remind people I'm still around (even if they just left my sight 20-30 minutes before), a pretty substantial craving for attention.

As I have learned to let go of this fear and accept that people may not ever remember me again after they leave my presence, I am finding that this isn't true at all a lot of the time.  I keep being surprised that people remember who I am!  At silent disco last night I ran into someone in the 3rd year of our program who gave me a hug, though we didn't talk much last year.  An instructor from a different cohort who was also here last year told me, "I know you're Joy," after I introduced myself to her yesterday.

So thank you, Niamh (pronounced Neeve), for fulfilling in me today a most fundamental need: to be known.

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