From a simple phone call, I decided to spend a couple hundred dollars on a plane ticket to see someone who didn't even truly care about me. I wasn't sure what he and I would be and thought this would clear things up. It made what we were (and weren't) crystal clear. Even after coming all that way, he ghosted me instead of texting me to get together. But then I met you.
I'm still not sure what made me take the jump and come, but I'm happy I did. It changed everything.
You were there when I passed by him multiple times, and he hardly looked over at me. You were there when I felt sick and didn't want to go to an event, because he was going too. You were there when I was hurt that one of my friends would do this to me.
You complimented me, checked on me and reassured me he wasn't worth it. "You're gonna let him go, but you're gonna be OK. You are worth so much more," I remember you saying.
That stuck with me and helped me long after you said it. I no longer remember the awkward situations of that trip, but the meals together, the walks around campus, long talks, laughs and singing together. I felt at home the minute we said hello, and missed you the moment we said goodbye.
In such a short period of time, you have taught me so much. You are unlike anyone I have met or most likely ever will know. When I first met you, I knew something was special and different, but I didn't know exactly why. Now I know what I saw — you are a genuine, honest, raw and present human.
Through the good and bad times, you have stayed the same loyal friend. I know I can count on you. You don't just say you're here — you really are and you are willing to show up.
I'm so grateful you came into my life just when you did, even though I know it was the hardest year of both our lives. I had no idea how much you would mean to me after that day we met.
It was almost like we could see through each other that first day — looking past first impressions and into the heart and soul. I meet new people often and go on multiple trips a year, but this one now stands out a forever memory. It was the start of a lasting, unexpected friendship.
We started out as strangers, but before I knew it you were picking up the broken pieces that someone else left behind.
You made me feel heard, seen, cared for and loved. Little by little, you have torn down the walls I have had up for so long. With you, I knew I mattered and was supported. I no longer felt alone. You made me laugh way too loudly, smile as wide as the sky, and even tear up a few times because of how thoughtful you were. It wasn't about what you could get, but what you could give.
People need us in the most ordinary, little ways.
But we will miss out on those if we don't stay long enough. We miss out on serving. We miss out on showing up. We miss out on loving the person next to us. Saying "yes" to others is a powerful, yet understated word. Let's just keep saying 'yes' to the best things, and only continue to change if it's for the better.
Your story is needed and incredible, just like you. Remember that, even if you forget everything else I've ever said. Maybe you haven't been convinced before, but I hope now you realize I mean what I say even when others don't.
You are rare, precious, and cared for. You give hope to all those around you that darkness will not win. You are full of purpose, talent, and potential. Your eyes sparkle with light, your smile with life, and your heart glimmers like gold.
Maybe you haven't changed the world (yet), but you've changed mine.
You came when I wasn't looking and when I least expected it. I was so distracted at first that I could've missed you altogether, but God made sure I didn't.
You are and always will be a highlight in a world full of black and white.