Impression. There are so many connotations and meanings that go along with this word. Indentations in something tangible, meeting someone, being impressed with a person or act, suggestions of something, viewpoint. When I think of impression, I think of a mark; a permanent mark made on someone. Or there’s always the ever popular ‘first impression’; the first mark you make on another person. It’s their memory of you.
But I’m not so concerned about the first impressions I make. I’m more concerned about the impressions I leave behind me after prolonged contact (or at least more than one or two meetings). Are they good? I want to be a positive mark on people and the world; I want to make an impression that will make a positive difference to others. There’s so much negativity in the world as it is, and I don’t want to be a transmitter of gloom and doom. When I’ve died, will people be able to say that I left something good behind? Impressions can be permanent, and I have to think carefully about what kind I make.
I think about all of the people in my life. Every single one of them has made an impression; weather it be positive, negative, joyful, searing, neutral, peaceful, or if the impression wasn’t even enough for me to really remember them, everyone left their mark. The way I view each person in my life depends heavily on what mark they left on it. I remember the person who made me feel awful about something that was out of my control, the person who’s apathy made me want to be sure I don’t do the same, the person who’s devoted friendship taught me about real love and made me want to give the same to others, the person who’s positive spirit inspired me to reexamine what I was putting out into the world. These impressions have helped shape me and my attitude towards life and the way in which I behave.
But I’m not sure I always succeed in leaving behind the best impression. Sometimes I get lost in life; the daily grind and the struggles, and I allow myself to become stressed, anxious or irritable. Sometimes this difficulty causes my thought patterns to change to ones of sadness and hopelessness. I don’t want to be that person sharing hurt. How can I leave a good memory with people when I’m not in a good place myself? How can I share goodness if I don’t think and feel it? Not that dealing with everyday stresses takes away my ability to impress positivity on the world, but I do think it has the power to diminish it if I’m not careful. I can’t allow myself to get too swept up in the challenges or to remain in a less positive place for too long, or that negativity is what I’ll be leaving with people.
And I don’t want to leave behind something that might make a negative impact, and I don’t want to be a negative person. I want to make a good, beautiful and positive impression on the world and the people in my life. I want to share love.
Photo: Freeimages.com/Shauqee Pauzi