We only gain meaning from those that pass it to us.

I am No One. I have meaning only from those that pass meaning to me.

I’m not anybody special. In fact, I’m about as far from important as you can get. I hide that well, most of the time. I definitely show more ego than someone with as little significance as myself actually deserves. I think I can do that, though because I’ve had so many people of real significance in my life that I’ve learned how to fake it. I try hard, to put my best foot forward, and I even throw myself out on the limb every so often for things that I believe in strongly enough. Still, I don’t do most of these things because I think I’m the person to do them. Many of the things I feel compelled to do, I do because I’m trying to fill a void left in my life by someone that I think was important. Someone I think really made a difference in my life, and in the lives around them.

My Family

It’s pretty obvious to everyone I know how highly I think of my parents. They are truly amazing people. I think the reason they’re as amazing as they are is because of how amazing their parents are. Admittedly, I don’t know my father’s family nearly as well as I know my mother’s. My grandfather on my dad’s side was already fairly gone to age by the time I was old enough to remember, and sadly I can barely remember my dad’s mother. I was blessed to be able to know not only my Grandmother and Grandfather on my mom’s side, but also my Grandmother’s parents as well.

Of course that doesn’t even mention the giant pile of aunts, uncles and cousins that all hang out in the family tree, or even my brothers and sister. My family is made up of some of the most awesome people I have ever met.  At one point in my life I tried to separate myself from them, and well, everyone else, too. I didn’t realize it back then, but it was probably the biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my life. I wasn’t happy without them around, and I think part of me had forgotten exactly how tightly that bond holds, and how comforting that hold can be.

 

My Nakama

I love the trope idea of Nakama. Though the original Japanese concept is different, in western culture it is almost always used to allude to the concept of “found family” or friendships that go beyond friendship. I’ve been blessed in my life to have an amazing family, and blessed even more to have consistently been able to find friends that are close enough I consider them family. I spent a really long time trying desperately to be a hermit, all the while gathering people that I could count on and keep close to me for the rest of my life. Consider it an important life lesson. We might be strong enough to stand on our own, but we are nothing without the support of those around us.

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I doodled this several years ago, back when I has aspirations of being a webcomicist.

Mr K.

My High School English teacher, who despite teaching no less than 4 classes I was in, and having me as his TA for 3 semesters still often referred to me by my older brothers name. I suppose I can’t blame him, he’s probably taught thousands of students, and he definitely taught all of the boys in my family. (My sister, being much brainer than the rest of us was in GATS English, which was taught by Mrs. K, his wife.) It probably gets hard to remember the names of all your students after a while. Mr. K was an amazing teacher who had a way of encouraging his students to finding what they were good at, and getting them to keep reaching for those dreams.

He also had an interesting way of dealing with people he caught smoking in the boys room across the hall from his class. If there were more than one of them in there doing it, he’d offer them the choice between the 3 days of In-School Suspension for smoking, or 2 after school suspensions for Public Display of Affection. He made sure they knew he’d be very public about that punishment, too.

I can very honestly say if it wasn’t for this teacher, I would not be writing this blog today.

 

Mr. S

My High School Theater teacher, who actually remembered my name, despite dealing with all four Brothertons to pass the hallowed halls of BHS. Mr S was a goofy, awesome kind of guy that had a way of making me feel like it was ok for me to be a giant freak. Some of the best times I had in High School had to do with theater, although, admittedly if some of the things we did were ever discovered, I’m not entirely convinced they wouldn’t retract my diploma as a form of retroactive expulsion, and despite being 27 years old, I’m sure my mother would still find a way to ground me. Still, despite being a crafy, genius lot of hooligans, some of whom had quite a talent for lying, we were of course in theater, Mr S had a way of keeping us reigned in also. Probably because most of us were afraid of disappointing him once he had put so much faith in us.

 

Sebastion and the Duke

I might be the person running Eldaraenth these days, but I pretty commonly feel like I’m not filling the shoes of these two men. They created the game, gave it life and spirit and passed it on to those of us playing it now. I don’t think I’ll ever not feel like a poor placeholder and substitute. I might be slightly better at all of the clerical minutia and bureaucratic red tape, but I will never be able to hold a candle to the bonfire of that was their love for the game and its world. Every time I talk to a new player, I try to instill the significance of what they did for the game, and every time I make a decision on something I try to do so thinking of how they would rule on it. More often then not, I’m still convinced I’m letting them down, and no amount of players telling me otherwise is going to change my mind on that.

There are some shoes that simply cannot be filled, and theirs are some of those shoes.

Trust me on this one, I borrowed a pair of period boots from one of them once and they made my feet hurt for weeks afterwards.

 

5 thoughts on “We only gain meaning from those that pass it to us.

  1. Inkytwig says:

    Don’t forget those you pass YOUR meaning to. None of us are no one. We are all someone passing on our meaning to others just as they pass their meaning on to us. I like to see us all as miniature encyclopedias of knowledge. It is up to us to sit down and listen/share what we’ve learned with others. It is up to us to take the time. Even when life hands us a raw deal there is someone else looking for help, a smile, advice, attention. YOU provide meaning to MANY.

    1. Type your reply…

      1. Inkytwig says:

        indeed. i agree.

    2. I like to think that all of us are threads in a giant tapestry. Individually, we don’t mean too terribly much in the grand scheme of things, but as each of us adds a little tiny bit to that big stream, it adds up to something truly spectacular.

    3. Brandee says:

      First, I love that you included teachers in the mix. Teachers can be some of the first people to get us for who we really are, and reassure us by accepting it as is. I once had a science teacher look at me, a senior, sitting in the front row of his class, waiting for the rabble behind me to shut up. He said, “You are going to find your tribe in college. They are out there.”. He was right.

      I also love that you talked about Nakama. I didn’t know that term, but Iike the idea of it. We find our family in unexpected places.

      And Tracy is right…you may not think that you contribute or bring anything of significance to the table. You couldn’t be further off. We see you as becoming part of our tribe…our family…our Nakama! See? You taught me something today!

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