Have you ever seen someone that was a part of your past in a completely different (and hopefully better) chapter of their lives than where you last saw them?
I hope so.
I see so many beautiful lives that I’ve once been a part of becoming even more beautiful with age. And all I can do is wish them the best, wish them happiness because I no longer can play a major part in their journeys.
Sometimes it’s hard to be on the road.
Sometimes you can’t always be there for the people that you love the most. And that’s incredibly hard, to know you have to sideline those you care about for your job, yourself and your career. I have battled with this selfish conundrum for years, wondering if it’s right, wondering if I actually am so selfish as to not be there for people that need me or love me.
But you know what? People will always fall in and out of my life.
You hope a friendship will last forever and some of them do, but it is not the end of the world to see one move on, to experience change that will propel you both to that next life chapter. To see people you love grow up and move on without you.
That’s what parents do for their kids anyway, right?
They help them grow, they inspire them, they love them with every fiber of their being…and then they let them go out in the world to become who they are truly meant to be. They may not be there when they fall. They may not be there as they always have been. But they have left a part of themselves with their child, to always carry with them.
Everyone does that. Anyone you have ever encountered has left their mark on you in some way, some good and some bad. It’s all a part of this learning experience that we call life.
I creep on my Facebook timeline sometimes (meh…daily). I mean who isn’t a creeper on their Facebook homepage, right?
I see people I knew in high school. In college. I see people I met on The Sing Off. I see my longest and best friend Will killing it and working towards his dream, just as I have been working for mine.
I see old best friends in their new life chapters that are so foreign to me. Marriage. Kids. I see people I loved being loved by others in an even better way than I could have ever loved them.
And I am so incredibly happy.
So happy that I could have been a part of these people’s lives, for whatever amount of time.
It made me think of a movie my mom and I serendipitously saw on TV once, “Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont.”
I have never in my life been more impacted by something I’ve seen than that movie. I don’t even remember how old I was, young for sure. But I was so captivated by the relationships, the storyline, the meaning behind it all.
And at the end of the movie there was this special quote that I memorized from the second I heard it.
“There are people that cross our lives, in tiny fractions of time, in the briefest of encounters, and yet they leave an indelible mark in our hearts. In our minds.
Thank you. Goodbye.
Man, even now I tear up about it!! Because it’s so incredibly true! You never know how the briefest encounter can impact someone, how one word or act of kindness can completely uplift someone.
Call me basic, but I know everything comes in to our lives for a reason. I can’t count how many signs or meetings that have come from happenstance that have made an irreparable mark on my life and way of thinking.
A taxi driver who cared enough to share his life with me. His travels. He is someone that I had the pleasure of getting to know for one less than an hour ride, yet his story and his kindness continue to follow me through my own life journey.
Friends with whom I am no longer close to. Some because of a negative fall out, some because we just simply grew apart while pursuing our different life paths. At a time, these people were my everything. The moments in time that we laughed, cried, danced, loved together before we went separate ways I will never forget and I will always treasure.
A masseuse I met this past week who had one of the most gentle, ethereal spirits I have ever encountered. Who told me, “It’s okay. It’s okay to let go” as she tried to release the anxiety and tension I’d been trapping in my body for weeks.
“You know what?” she said. “I kept thinking there was someone behind me trying to get my attention while I was working on you, but no one was there. I think someone’s watching over you.”
“That’s really nice, wow… It’s been really difficult for me.”
And she said, “Don’t worry. You have an angel on your side.”
Is that cheesy? Maybe?! On some days, maybe I would have thought that was really sweet but not thought much of it. But man, this day, her timing.
It was perfect. And it made me feel so loved.
It made me feel strong.
It made me feel okay.
Life is such a roller coaster. You can expect many things from your future, but they never seem to follow through exactly the way you wish. You can hope and dream for something and then suddenly realize that is not what you want.
All that is okay.
Life is about figuring yourself out. It’s about finding you.
But don’t ever forget the people, minor and major, good or bad, that helped you get to where you are in life now. Because you have learned from them.
A friend gave me the best advice the other day when I confided that I was unhappy I’d lost friendships along the way, grown apart from people I used to know everything about. She said, “Your life is like an elevator, taking you to each new chapter of your life. Your friends and the people that you encounter help you get to each new level, but many get off along the way. But that’s okay, because that makes room for new people to come into your life. And they will help you grow as well. Perhaps they will stay forever, perhaps they won’t. But every person you meet impacts you and aids you on to your next step.”
I think that’s beautiful.
I used to torment myself about friendships that died somewhere along the way. About people I so cared about but lost touch with.
But perhaps, my time with them is done.
And now seeing them in a new light, in a new life and happy…makes me happier than I ever could have imagined.
All I hope is that there was a time when I impacted their life for the better (cue Wicked’s “For Good”).
Don’t underestimate kindness to anyone. Friends, family, strangers. You never know how long these people will remain in your life. You never know when one single act, one conversation can impact them for the better.
In that perfect moment of time, or even perhaps…
For the rest of their lives.
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