We leave a lot as we go to college-- our families, our hometown, and our friends, but mainly we leave memories in hope to make new ones. During the changing of seasons in our lives our relationships inevitably transform. Many people struggle with being present in a particular place wishing they were somewhere else, and I wanted to make sure I was fully present in the current task. Many of times a result of this is that we find home in a different place and slowly lose touch with our childhood home. But nothing ever beat coming back for holidays and picking up exactly where you left off.
Graduation came sooner than I expected when the world went into quarantine. After receiving my diploma via PDF and virtually walking on a zoom call I was left with what was next-- I needed a job. Luckily during Quarantine I reconnected with a longtime friend of mine and he said if I needed a job I should apply where he works. So, I did. I never thought I would like working in retail but it was the people that made everyday such a joy. The friend I had that recommended me to apply I have known for over 11 years, and after working everyday together I was amazed at how much I never knew him at all. But I don't say that in a malicious way, I say it out of guilt. Sometimes we can spend our whole lives surrounded by someone and never even take the time to really get to know who they are. Then in contrast sometimes we meet an absolute stranger and quickly and without us even realizing it they are forever engraved in our hearts.
At the beginning of summer I lost a lot of my childhood friends. It's hard to lose people in your life that you always thought would stand next to you at your wedding, but losing them also taught me an important lesson. Sometimes people come into our lives for a specific reason at a specific time and as you both grow individually the friendship grows apart. Losing them was hard, but this summer God provided new opportunities and new people. People i never even knew I needed.
One night after work my old friend Ben who originally encouraged me to apply and a few of our other co workers came back to my house and talked around a fire for a couple hours. The age range between myself and my co workers varies, but as we sat there it felt non existent. The next day we decided to get a big crew to come to a bonfire and just like that a group of strangers became best friends. We laughed hysterically and very quickly began to share our own stories. Suddenly and without me noticing God provided me with exactly what I needed in a season of loneliness and these people were it. Throughout the summer we've had multiple bonfires, late night hangout after work, spontaneous purchases of Kegs, and adventures to various places. Everywhere we go we are guaranteed to be the loudest individuals there but I don't know if I have ever laughed harder. These people saved me without ever realizing it, and I tell you about them not from a place of over sharing but because these are the things we should be flooding the media with--good people. Evil makes the headlines everyday. It's the kindness in people that we over look. Well this article puts these people at the forefront.
Jake just recently got out of the navy and is the quite literally the life of the party. He is filled with stories and can make anyone laugh. But he is so much more than comic relief he is one of the most caring people I have ever met in life, he is always looking out for his fellow man. Olivia is the most naturally beautiful people I have ever met it radiates from her inside out. She draws people in with her kindness and you immediately want to be her friend.
Claudia is the loudest person in the room but simultaneously the most fun. She's protective of her friends and makes her love for others known. Maddie will surprise you. She starts out quiet and shy and before you know it she will show this hilarious wild side she has that will draw you in. She is also incredibly mature and self aware of what she wants and needs.Sydney is not a stranger she has been my best friend since I was in third grade, but came to work with me this summer and it has been a highlight to my day ever since. Sydney is the funniest person I have ever met--seriously she started making me laugh at eight years old and I never stopped. But Syd also has this heart bigger than this whole town and that is what separates her from others-- her kindness and her love for others.
Mario is your best friend if you have spent more than five minutes with him he will 100% be in your myspace top ten of your favorite people. He is hardworking, caring, and always wanting to give you a hug and make you feel welcomed and wanted.Jessica is the most independent and strong lady I have ever met. People older than her should look up to her-- she's that great. She a hard worker, an amazing mom, and a great friend. All while being the most beautiful girl in the room.David is intuitive he cares about the people around him and wants to get to know them.Florine is quiet but he has this secret side of being incredibly successful while also being incredibly warm and kind.Eddie is the most chill dude in the room. He's everyones friend while also always telling how it is. Then lastly there is Ben. Growing up I just saw him as a talented athlete with a hard exterior and damn was missing out. Ben cares deeply about the people around him, and often sells himself short-- the dude is pretty great. He is a hard worker that wants to help people and always knows what to say at just the right time.
There is a poem by Marianne Williamson called "Our Greatest Fear," there is a line that says, "and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same." These people shine so bright they bring out the light in others. I mentioned earlier that as move on to different stages we hypothetically find a new home with different people in a different place-- well these people will always be a home for me. Throughout life I think we need to always be in search for people that bring out the child in us and not in an immature way but in a pure and adventurous way. Last week a few us randomly drove to the city with no plans other than asking people the best places to go as we ubered around the city our night ended in laughter on the shoreline of the beach smoking cigarettes and I felt like a child in the best way-- so carefree. I would relive a night like that a million times over.
Sadly, in a less than a few weeks I'll be leaving once again for a new story with a new home. But thanksgiving is about 127 days away and I already have a table reserved for a night like this with the strangers that so quickly became home to me.