Can one person change your life? Can they change your outlook on life and the way you look at the world? Can they change the person you want to be and who you are? Yes. It is a simple answer to a very complicated question. Yes, a single person can change your life; change your goal in life. For me it started out with a nod on the first day of school, and a smile as I retrieved my missing notebook the following morning. I learned to be myself, and not let other people's opinions and outlook on life bring me down. I can honestly say that this person has changed me, and left a huge mark on me. I have learned not to hold grudges and to be more patient, and to give my heart up to someone, even though they might not love me in return. I feel that I have become a better person, and person that in the future I would be proud to have known, someone who is not forgotten. If I haven't already, I want to make my mark on all of the people close to me. I want to be remembered as the person who had a huge heart, who people trust their secrets in; a Nick Carraway of sorts. I am tired of just sitting back and watching the world turn when there is still so much I can do to improve it. even though we have parted ways and moved on in life, I hope that someday she will know how much she changed me with the little things, I hope that she will realize how much I changed her.
As I finish writing the final sentence of the letter I am about the fold up and seal, then carefully place into the time capsule, I think back on how I am now a completely different person. It is hard not to think back on all good times that this place has left me with. It is hard to leave the place that made me into the person I am now. Tears well up in my eyes as I think about how much I am going to miss not only the hallways of this school, but the people who were by my side as we all went through the high school experience. As my warm tears run down my cheeks I seal the envelope, write my name on the front and hold on to the one piece of paper that sums up what I got out of high school, and how only one person really changed my life; not a close friend but a teacher who in my eyes was and still is the person who made the greatest mark on me.
My friends and I bury the wooden box that we called a time capsule in the forest behind the school; it is perpendicular to the classroom, under a pine tree that is secretly marked, where we spent most of our freshman year. On the sides we wrote each of our names, and a message that we thought described ourselves. Next to my name I neatly wrote "well rounded" then we carefully lower the box into the five foot hole we dug.
As we cover up the box, tears begin the well in my eyes again, but I hold them back, trying to think about the future not the past. When the box is fully engulfed and we carefully place the grass back on the hole, covering up the evidence that it had even been moved, my friends and I stand and think about what we have just done. Not only have we buried letters that contain all of our hopes and dreams in them along with old newspaper articles and things from childhood, but we have left something that if we don't dig it up in twenty or thirty years then someone is bound to find it and they will have a piece of history on their hands, along with a sense of wonder of who the person who changed my life is.
Fast Forward Five Years: I have just graduated college, and I still trying to find a place to live, along with planning a wedding.
Fast Forward Fifteen Years: Our high school time capsule is the last thing on my mind. I have three kids and a husband to take care of along with balancing a checkbook and still spending time with other adults.
My life is nothing but normal middle-class; I don't make millions of dollars each year, my husband is anything but a male model, but luckily I still I have a good figure. I tend not to look into the past anymore, but sometimes I miss not having a care in the world, being out with my friends not having to worry about coming home to a messy house and bills to pay. Luckily I have a roof over my head, someone to love, and enough money to get us through.
It is a nice spring day when the phone rings at five in the morning. "Who the hell would call at this time of day?" I find myself muttering as I roll over in bed to answer the phone. "Hello?" I say in the happiest voice I can muster.
"Hi," says my best friend from high school.
"Hi," I say a little surprised.
"I am sorry that I am calling so early, but it couldn't wait," she said in a sad voice.
"What happened?" I say concerned.
"She died. Yesterday in a car crash," she said suddenly breaking down.
"Who?" I ask frantically, hoping it wasn't anyone close to her.
"Yes…in a car crash," two hours later I found myself on a plane to a small town in New York. It wasn't until halfway through the flight that I realized that the person who had made the greatest impact on my life was dead; gone forever.
The service they held for her at my old high school was beautiful; it turns out I wasn't the only student who took a liking to her. After I met up with all of my old friends, all of our eyes puffy and red from crying, until one of them finally murmured, "I think it is time to dig up that time capsule."
The next day we dug it up and carried it to the shade outside of what was her classroom. As I pried open the top, the day we buried it suddenly came back to me, and I remembered my letter. After sitting in silence one of my friends took the box away from me and started pulling things out of it. when they finally stopped, I dug through the box frantically trying to find the letter in what was left inside, one of my friends murmured, "Looking for this," holding up my letter. As I opened it seemed like time was standing still; I was about to open the piece of writing that defined who I was up until that day. I pulled out the letter and read the first sentence Can one person change your life? And suddenly tears began to well up in my eyes again, remembering the days when life was carefree and simple. At the funeral the next day I read the letter, and it just made everyone cry harder, thinking about how one woman had changed not just my life, but every single person she came in contact with, and even though she died tragically leaving a huge part of life in front of her, we were all thankful for the person she was, and how she made her mark.