People Make The Difference
Over the past couple of months, my mind has been racing. I always take time at the end of each year to look back on the things I experienced that year, but this past year I found myself looking back at previous years, too. The last few years have kinda blended together for me. Things that happened in one year, seemed to be unresolved until the next year. I guess you could say New Year’s Eve ended with a “To be continued…” feel in a lot of ways.
When I think back to the greatest memories of my life, the first thing I remember is who was there, or who was involved. As memorable as the event itself was, the people are what stand out the most in every situation.
In the years that I spent traveling across the country, I had the opportunity to meet a ton of people. I visited a lot of places that I never thought I would get to visit. Those are memories that will stick with me forever. I really did get to live my lifelong dream. I remember when I was younger and attended concerts on a regular basis with my mom, there were a lot of times when the artist we were watching perform would make a comment about how happy they were to be in our city, or they would mention something from a previous show they had played in our city. I remember always wondering if they actually remembered that stuff, or if they just made it up, since most people wouldn’t know the difference anyway. While I suppose both of those scenarios are very possible, I know which ended up being true for me. I still remember every single place I visited over the course of 6 years and over 600 concerts. Some of those places I only visited once, but the ones I got to visit repeatedly are the ones I could tell a lot of stories about. More than anything, it’s the people I remember from those places.
I haven’t really written much on Positively Rolling Through Life about my time on the road yet, but I will get into it more over time. I am so focused on the present these days that I don’t really stop very often to look back to that time in my life. But, when I do look back on those times, it’s the people that I think of first every time.
I never really wanted to get too far ahead of myself back then. I knew that I was living my childhood dream, so I made myself a promise that I would enjoy the moment while it lasted. I never wanted to look past anything or take anything for granted. The band’s schedule was confirmed several months in advance at all times, but I rarely looked more than a week ahead to see where we were going. The show that mattered the most to me was the next one, wherever it may have been.
I was very fortunate to meet a lot of really wonderful people back then. I am still friends with many of them. We don’t keep in touch as much as we used to, but we do still keep in touch, and I always love hearing from them. They know who they are, and hopefully some of them are reading this. I sold the band’s merchandise, so I was definitely not the person that people were coming to the shows to see. When I decided to leave the band and move across the country to start a new chapter in my life, I wondered if anyone would miss me. I wondered if anyone would know I was gone. Although the majority of the people who came to the shows throughout the years probably didn’t notice when I left, it meant a lot to me that the friends I made in a bunch of my favorite cities sent me messages after I left and told me they missed me. It was a great feeling to know that I had some kind of lasting impact on them.
Looking back even further, I remember a lot of random things from when I was young. People I haven’t seen in 20-25 years still cross my mind from time to time. They may not remember me, but I remember them. I still remember the person who took me to the driving range to hit golf balls for the first time in my life. I was about six or seven years old at the time. I haven’t seen that guy in well over 20 years, yet that memory has stuck with me. It has become an even more important memory for me now that I teach golf for a living.
Fast forward to the present. My life is very different now from what I did previously, yet it’s very similar in a lot of ways. I am in a position to meet a lot of new people on a regular basis. We don’t see each other frequently, but we do get to see each other occasionally. The people who play a recurring role in my present life are people I associate with certain places or events, just like I used to do on the road. I know that when I get to visit a certain place or be a part of a certain event I will see those people again, and we will get to catch up. It’s something I look forward to every time.
Living so far away from my family and friends that I grew up with, it’s nice to have some familiarity in my life. I enjoy seeing familiar faces as often as possible. Whether I know the people or not, I just really enjoy seeing someone who is familiar to me. It’s a comforting feeling. Being able to have brief interactions with people who are familiar to me is what has always kept me from getting homesick, especially since I haven’t been able to go back and visit my hometown in nearly two years now.
There are certain people who have no clue how much I appreciate them and how much I look forward to seeing them. I wish they knew, but I don’t know if I’ll ever have the opportunity to tell them. I spend as much time as possible at Walt Disney World, specifically Magic Kingdom. I have gotten to know a few people who work there, but most are just strangers who are familiar to me. Once again, whether I actually know them or not, those people are the reason my favorite place has become even more special to me. It truly is my happy place.
As I have mentioned in a couple of my recent posts, 2018 got off to a brutal start for me. Nothing seemed to go right for a few weeks. Slowly but surely, things are getting worked out. Things always find a way to work themselves out over time, and a few of the things that were stressing me out are now closer to being resolved. The difference, not surprisingly, has been the people I have dealt with recently. I like to be in control of the situations I am in, and I hate the feeling of having to just wait and rely on others to help me. In situations like those, you have to just hope that eventually you will find someone who is in a position to help and is willing to do so. Not everyone who is able to help is willing, but I have been fortunate to find the right people when I have needed them.
If all of you who are reading this take a look back at your fondest memories, I think you will also find that you will tend to remember the people more clearly than certain other details from those situations.
While I still have a ways to go to feel truly comfortable in my current life situation, key pieces of the puzzle are starting to fall into place one by one. If/When everything finally does work out, I already know for sure that I will look back and will remember the people who played the biggest roles in making things happen. We can’t get through life completely on our own. We always have people helping us out along the way. Prove to people that they can believe in you, and they will likely put in the time and effort to help you succeed. More times than not, if you can help someone, then they will help you. People helping people is what makes this world work. I just wish more people would realize that. Making enemies and going out of your way to make life difficult for others is just unnecessary. In any great success story, the people involved along the way make the difference. Remember that. When you’re able to do so, make a difference in somebody’s life. You never know when you may need someone to do the same for you.