And although I'm pretty certain I will never really know what sort of impact I had on other people (and am reasonably at peace with this), I can't help but be excited by the occasional confirmation of having actually done good somewhere along the way.
Near the end of my senior year of high school, the entire music department packed it up and made a trip across the state to some big shin-dig out in Grand Junction. Sadly I cannot remember what this trip was actually for, beyond details like it included lots of performances, all the students from the bands, orchestra, wind ensemble, and choirs, several days in a hotel, and numerous large buses full of high school students.
(As I reflect back on it, I'm sure it was a logistical nightmare to pull of. So major kudos to the band and choir directors.)
There were the moments of crises, like when I realized I had somehow managed to leave my required orchestra dress sitting on my bed at home next to where I had been packing my duffel (however my very smart orchestra director had packed extras, and therefore didn't kill me for this). There were the moments of silliness, like when we staged a tea party in the elevator with everyone in concert dress clothes, complete with live violin music.
(If only we had had picture capabilities on our cellphones back then.....)
And there were moments of minimally supervised flirtatious teenage antics.
There were chaperons, and curfews, and the hotel rooms of opposite genders were separated as much as physically possible while still being in the same hotel. Dire threats were made as to what would become of us should anyone be caught doing hankypanky, and as far as I know students were pretty well behaved.
(We were music nerds after all.)
But a few of us may have still found a little coed mischief.
There was this fellow bandie of mine, whose biggest flaw was being 3 years younger than me, but otherwise whom I liked well enough. And whom I may have let feel my boobs on the back of the bus driving home.
That was the extent of that (see, my morals weren't that bad), and I never gave the incident much after thought with going right into IB exams and graduation and the impending leaving for college.
And that was nearly 9 years ago at this point.
But do you know what he did recently? He struck up a conversation via facebook, and said that he owes me a debt which he can't repay for the years of self confidence I gave him. And he THANKED me. For something which I genuinely thought was non-consequential, because personally it had been. But apparently for him, it had totally rocked his 14 year old world.
The moral of the story: