Recently, I have had a breakthrough in coming to terms with things that have happened in the past. We all do it- hold grudges, allow regrets to fester, wonder what if? I'm extremely skilled in living in the what if realm. I often fail to find happiness in the present because I am so far stuck in the past. Now I'm not talking about reminiscing, because thinking about good times I've had with friends and family often keeps me going. I miss college all the time, miss the friends I made, miss the fun times, miss the feeling of not needing all the answers right away. For me, college is the best example I can think of to describe living in the moment. Even if I was down or moody, someone new was always there to take me out to dinner, to meet for drinks at the pub, to distract me with a movie marathon. I have found myself thinking a lot about that time and the relationships I formed on campus, relationships that have shaped who I am today. The people I met there changed my life in the best way possible.
I went in to the college experience timid and shy, completely blind to the ways in which I would learn to open up to other people and not be afraid to explore. I think this is an experience that most people share. We go into college one person and come out completely different. Well I guess I shouldn't say different, just changed, improved. I came into myself there. Do I regret certain choices I made? Of course I do, but then I think where I would be if I hadn't made those decisions. I might not be where I am today, maybe I would have made the same mistakes in the real world where it is seemingly harsher. I know I learned from everything I did, good or bad, and took it in as an experience that helped define who I am.
We aren't simple, none of us are. We are complex individuals, composed of many parts, of diverse experiences, of varying morals and beliefs, and we can't claim to know one individual fully, not completely. There are parts of each of us that we keep hidden, that we only write about in private, that we only vent about to someone close to us, that we keep locked away in dreams and subconscious thoughts. The only person who truly knows who I am is me, same with anyone. So while we are apt to judge others or think we know best, honestly we don't and we never will.
I have learned that I have friends who understand different parts of my life. People I grew up with who know where I came from, people who have been there through my darkest moments, people who are there for me now. People come and go, and I thought I could beat the odds and take every one of my friendships from high school with me to college, and every one of my college acquaintances with me into the real world, but I can't. No one can. People are in your life for a reason. They may be there to pick you up and then they leave, they may be there for the long haul, they may only be there to teach you the smallest of lessons. Appreciate them while they're with you and appreciate them when they need to go. Sometimes holding on only holds us back, while letting go is the only way to grow.