An Homage to the People I've Met

I’ve never been someone to hold grudges. I find it to be a waste of energy, and think that there is no use in dwelling on the past. What has happened has already been done, and from here, we can only dedicate ourselves to improving and growing. As I am nearing the end of my senior year in high school, I’m evaluating all of the loose ends I have flying around, and decided which ones are worth tying up and mending, and which should be left alone to fray.

    All of the cliche sayings about cherishing your high school years, as they will zoom by never really resonated with me, and quite frankly, they still don’t. I grew up always knowing what I wanted to make out of my destiny, and I have kept up with it. There are few things that I have done that I regret or sit and wish I could rewrite, and although having more time with those who I have lost touch with or have passed on would inevitably something I would cherish, I know that they time I had with them was the length it was supposed to be. For the most part, however, I feel that I used my time wisely. I was dealt a tough hand of cards at a young age, and was able to quickly grasp the reality of how precious everything in life is.

    Everyone you meet, whether it be a co-worker or best friend, cashier at a grocery store or president of a highly respected company, has a purpose in their visit. You are told to let everyone inspire you. Even if an interaction is just seconds long, you are able to make an impression in that very moment. Your decision to wear a gracious grin to the man holding the door or to grab the handle next to it to avoid the confrontation demands your attention. When you choose to smile and say thank you, the chances of you proving that the good in humanity has not been lost sky rockets.

    As I move on to bigger and better things, I know now who to dedicate myself to, and why. Every week when I’m driving to work, a rush of wanting to turn the car around and not showing up for my shift runs over me. When I’m clocking out at the end of my shift, most likely filled with three shattered wine glasses, a table tipping much higher than they needed to, and a server coming to me with a crisis, however, I remember why I’ve stayed around. The actual work may not be the dream career I thought I would have snagged by now, but the family I’ve grown with is something I wouldn’t ask to change. When I walk into my journalism class, there may not be a friend who I have plans to go out for pizza with afterwards in it, but there are friends who have the same humor as I do, or friends who just suffered through the same history lecture as I did. It’s a comforting feeling to have those middle ground people around.

    This is to my family. This is to the people who I have gone to school with for the last thirteen years. This is to the friends who I’ve made just a year ago, and those that I have lost touch with. To the teachers I’ve had. The neighbors who are no longer living just around the corner. The people I’ve worked double shifts with, and to the people who I volunteered with in town one time. I want to thank you for making a presence in my life, whether it was positive or negative, for a long stay or an overnight trip. Because I met you, I was able to grow. I was able to learn that my story is decided by me, and that even when I seem to be drowning in between the break of the shore, I can never let the current take me. Your strength has ignited me to stand that much taller, and your passion has pushed me to not let mine die off. You have changed me, and for better or for worse, I will always be grateful.

We meet people for a reason. The reason may not always be highlighted and bolded immediately, but it will reveal itself. Take everyone you meet, and give them a chance. You’ll find why they’ve shown up eventually.