Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ray of Light

Last night I went to a memorial for a friend.

The focus was on celebrating their life and sharing funny memories, and while memorials are never easy, and the loss of my friend loomed large, there were some really great moments, involving some genuine laughs that seemed to lift the whole room. And it was during one of those laughs when I realized, once again, that THIS is what it’s really about.

It’s not what we are in the world, but how we are that matters.

Or, to steal a line from SHADOWLAND:

“We are not defined by our things . . . It’s not the clothes that we wear, the cars that we drive, the art we acquire—it’s not where we live—but how we live that defines us. . .it’s our actions that are remembered long after we’re gone.”

And while my friend will be remembered by thousands of people around the world for his groundbreaking books on screenwriting, it was his unfailing optimism, generosity of spirit, and pure passion for seeing his students succeed that touched us the most.

How do you want to be remembered?

Alyson

PS- I'm over at Living Your Five today, blogging about my progress! See it HERE.

15 comments:

Alissa said...

I hope to be remembered just simply as a nice, good person. And it'd be wonderful if some people could remember me as being a famous author (hopefully! :) I'm getting there!)

Alyson Noel said...

Hey Alissa- I think that's a great way to be remembered!

Lucia said...

Hey!
Well, in my opinion life shouldn't be measure by how many people remember you, you know? I think it's all about that when the time comes and we look back on oneself's life, we are happy and content with what we see, you know? I think it's all about having no meaningful regrets. Of course we are gonna wish that we did some things differents maybe, but then we have to realize that if we hadn't done something the we did then we wouldn't have ended being the way we end up. That's pretty much my goal in life. When I am old and all decrepit and look back on my life, the good moments overshadow the bad ones. If I know I made a difference on someone's life at some point (say, my mom or a really good friend or the old lady I helped cross the street when I was eight years old), then I would be happy. I think humans tend to fear death because of that: we die and we fear no one would remember us. But I think that it's okay. I'd rather be remember in the memory of my children (if I have any) or grandchildren or whoever is it that loved me and that I loved.
I don't know if I am making much sense, I am kind of rushing because I have College Writing in like, fifteen minutes :)
But I don't know. I think the important question shouldn't be "how do you want to be remembered", but "when the time comes, what do you wanna see when you look at your life". Or something like that.

I hope everything is going wonderful with you; and I really hope you come somewhere in Massachusetts next year for your tour!!

ps: I can't wait for Shadowland to come out :)

Alyson Noel said...

Lucia- I agree.

I didn't mean to put the emphasis on how many people remember you- I don't think that's the least bit important. What I meant was, how do you want to leave this world? Do you want to leave it having committed many acts of kindness and making a positive difference in however many lives you touched--or the opposite?

My friend knew a lot of people--but that's not the point--the point is that he managed to touch all whom he met in a positive way, he really listened, he supported, he was a great cheerleader, he made a difference--even if he'd only met 3 people in his life, he would've made the same impact on those 3 people.

I guess what I'm trying to say is we put so much importance on chasing after things that don't even matter, when the truth is--at the end of your life, what really matters is your relationships- whether or not you helped to lift people up or tear them down. That's what I meant about how you'll be remembered!

All the best on your classes!

Alyson

Gracie said...

Im so srry about the loss of your friend :(

I'd like to be remembered as someone who bettered the lives of others.

Alyson Noel said...

Thanks, Gracie--and I have to agree, bettering the lives of others is as good as it gets!

DebraLSchubert said...

Alyson, I'd like to be remembered as kind, generous, creative, and as someone who had a deep love for my family and for life.

Nice to "meet" you, btw! You're linked on my blog today by guest blogger, Daisy Whitney, as one of the Top 10 YA Must Reads. Stop by if you get a chance.
http://debralschubert.blogspot.com/

Alyson Noel said...

Hey Debra- Nice to meet you too! And thanks so much for the link--Daisy is awesome!

» αℓεxα☆ said...

Alyson, are you reading any particular paranormal fiction right now? I went to Wal Mart on Thursday and got the Vampire Academy, it's so good. I am unhappy cuz I could've read it months ago! (Don't worry, your books are still #1 cuz it's not vampires!) So I wanna ask if you're reading any vampire stories or anything paranormal. I can't wait for Tempted of House of Night to be out this month. I might buy the 2nd Vampire Academy book, Frostbite too. Then comes November, the month where Shadowland comes!! Well, I am very excited for this release and I hope you have a great day!!

Alyson Noel said...

Hey Alexa- Well, I wish I could say I was reading something exciting right now--but mostly I'm reading research books on ghosts and psychics and magick and stuff, which is still fun and exciting, just in a non-fiction kind of way!

I read the first book in HON- MARKED--and really loved it! I hope someday I'll have time to get caught up on the rest! And I've heard very good things about the Vampire Academy (haven't read them yet!) so I'm glad to see you agree!!

Happy Reading!

Alyson

Kajikitsune said...

Hey! I'm sorry I haven't been posting comments in a while. I've been showered with school work. BLAH to High school! I would like to be remembered for my personality. Which by the way (if you ask my friends)is strange and weird. Maybe even famous also. I'm practicing to be a girl drummer. I've drabbled a bit on the drums but I would like to take actual lessons. My dad said I might be able to for my birthday. Which is actually in 23 days! Turning 15! WHOOT!

Lucia said...

Hey Alyson!
I hope to be remembered as the person who made you smile, you know? I'm pretty good at that. Or giving good advice; I'm pretty decent at that too.
But I seem to have a little problem with people: I fully trust them at once. I am so comfortable talking about anything in my life that I trust more often than I should. And because I also moved a lot, I became really closed up, it's like that saying "Fool me once and the joke's on you, fool me twice and the joke's on me" (Or something along those lines). And even though it may seem contradictory, it isn't. It's hard to explain. (See? It's so easy for me to say how I am! Even in a publicly open blog!)
So when you been hurt so many times, it is hard to care for people who don't seem to care back.
But I don't know, somehow caring is what makes us better persons, right? I bet your friend cared deeply for you, and that is what makes them unforgettable I think. Because love, once returned, it's so powerful that it's tripled in strength. So yeah, as long as one person remembers me when I'm gone (but not all sad, but with a smile on her/his face) then I'll be happy wherever I end up :)
Don't you love how my messages never make sense?

-Lucia

Ps: [For Alexa] The VA series is pretty cool, I think it's worth reading. Anything by Maggie Stiefvater and Lissa Mcmann is pretty decent too. I just finished reading the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and it was really good. Although, if you like really entertaining books anything by Michelle Rowen would work. I would recommend Alyson here, but we already know how an awesome writer she is :)

Alyson Noel said...

Hey Lucia- Moving is hard, making new friends is hard, knowing who to trust is hard- but I give you boat loads of kudos for your enthusiasm and willingness to keep at it--because you're right, it's all about how we care for and treat each other!

Have a great day!

» αℓεxα☆ said...

When was the last time you got to read, Alyson? Guess what? I got 100% on my book report for Evermore!!

I have to do a book report on mystery next. Any recommendations on a mystery book that'll keep me on edge??

Haha, I wonder if the release date for Dark Flame will be pushed up like Shadowland? That'd be cool if it release in December...

Alyson Noel said...

Hi Alexa-

Yay--congrats on your book report--that's so awesome!

It's been awhile since I've read a book for fun, but one mystery I really liked was SHUTTER ISLAND by Dennis Lehane--the movie is coming out soon, too!

As for DARK FLAME--well, I'm working on the revisions now, so it won't be out until sometime in 2010 for sure!!

Congrats again on your book report!