Recently, I went to a get-together for a friend's 21st birthday. I knew that since high school we had somewhat grown apart. We'd talked off and on here and there but weren't close like beforehand. Admittedly, I was nervous. I was nervous because I hadn't seen many of the people who were there since high school. I was also nervous because I felt like they'd hate the person I am now, that maybe they wouldn't accept me because I may have gained weight or looked different. I was nervous that I wouldn't be accepted.

As the night went on, I conversed with friends, laughed undoubtedly hard, and had the most fun that I've had in a while. Because I'm always studying for college, I don't often have the chance to be with friends or enjoy myself, so this get-together was a really nice change for once.

What I didn't realize was how much I missed these friends. I knew that we were once close and that there used to be a bond there, but because we had grown apart, I felt that there was a reason for it. I hadn't known that they still meant a lot to me, that they could make me laugh harder than anyone, that I could be myself with them still.

This realization created an even bigger void for me. It made me realize that I've missed out on their lives. It made me realize that I'd missed out on a lot of fun events and memories in the past because I was too focused on school, so I pushed people out. I decided after this that I'd make an effort to be a part of people's lives. That I'd go out of my way to make sure they were okay. I always knew in my heart that if anyone that I used to talk with tried contacting me, I'd be there for them in a heartbeat. This time, I wanted to make sure that they knew it. I want to start making that conscious effort to let people know how much I care about them, how much I want them in my lives, and more importantly, I want to make more time for them.

So, to everyone I used to talk to, or even those who I barely spoke with, if you ever feel like you need someone, I'm there. I don't care how busy I am, how far apart we are, I'm always here for you no matter how far apart we grow. To everyone whose lives I missed out on since then, I'm sorry. I hope to change that from here on out and I hope that we're closer than ever. You're important and loved, and I hope I can help you see that.