In your lifetime, you will inevitably encounter more faces than you will be able to remember. You will have brief—yet maybe meaningful—conversations with strangers that you might never see again. The interesting part is recognizing that the people that you see on a daily basis will someday become strangers, too. That isn’t true of everyone. But think back to every major transition that you’ve had in your life, and try to recall all of the people in your life that stayed constant. In the grand scheme of things, more people left than those who stayed.
A few months ago, I attended a talk about happiness. In the talk, she told us to remember that we are in charge of our own happiness. She said that at the end of the day we are the only ones who care about us as much as we do. And in a way, that is true. I will agree that you are 100% in charge of how you choose to live your life and how you interpret the world around you. You can choose happiness. The events in your life will not always be happy, but I believe happiness that happiness is a state of mind. But the power of the people in our lives is underrated in that assertion. In Abnormal Psychology the importance of social support is stressed for proper mental health. People with high social support are at a lower risk for disorders like PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) and Panic Disorder—and many more. Overall, people who are surrounded by others who care tend to be happier people.
In the past few weeks, it has become more apparent to me how important it is to have strong connections with the people around you. When everything else seems to be too much, you just have to open your eyes and see that you are loved. And cared about. And that you matter. No matter what happens in the future, at this time in the history of the world, you are making a difference in each other’s lives. You are teaching them, and they are teaching you. You are supporting them, and they are supporting you. You are learning about them, and they are learning about you. If you’re ever feeling insignificant or lost, it might not be about changing yourself, but rather, changing who you spend time with. You only have so much time on this planet—so spend it with the people that you care about the most. If someone isn’t worth your time, don’t waste another second with him or her. It just isn’t worth it. Don’t lose another moment worrying about the things you can’t change—it’s easier said than done (and it’s something that I work on daily), but try to always have that in the back of your mind. It’s far more important to spend your time contemplating the meaning of life over a cup of tea with friends, or debating the details of old memories with family.
People will always come and go, but that doesn’t mean that those who go didn’t have a significant effect on your life. Sometimes those who are only there for a brief time are the ones that can have a huge impact on you. Maybe something that they did or said strongly resonated with you. Or maybe they inspired you to push yourself farther and believe that your dreams and aspirations are valid—and that they matter. As I compose this post, it is not without thought of the many people that have made an impact on my life. Many people have inspired me, from the teacher who questioned “why not” when I spoke of my dreams like they were too far out of reach to the guy that told me he wasn’t afraid to follow his own dream.
I encourage you to take some time, and really appreciate the people around you, because they won’t always be there. Life moves on—sometimes before you’re ready—and the only thing you can do is make the most out of the present moment. Embrace the malleability of life, and try to make every interaction that you have with other people a positive one. I truly think that the people in my life are some of the best people that I have ever met. And I think the best thing you can do in life is search for the ones that make you feel that way.