From broken friendships to first breakups, the phrase “Everything happens for a reason” has been ingrained in my brain since I was a little girl. Although it’s the last thing anyone wants to hear when they are going through a difficult time, I have come to learn that like with most things, mom was right.
Do I believe everything happens for a reason today? Yes, but what I believe to be even more true and more important to acknowledge is that people come in to your life for a reason, regardless of how long they stay and regardless of the outcome of your relationship.
Unfortunately, the role they play in your life usually reveals itself after they are gone and often when it’s too late to thank them for teaching you the difficult lessons in life.
To the girl in high school who was a bully, you taught me how I didn’t want to treat others and the importance of kindness.
To the boys who teased me in preschool, thank you for teaching me what’s worth buying in to and what’s worth letting go of.
To my childhood best friends, thank you for loving me, helping shape me and cheering for me as we figured out who we wanted to be.
To the first boy I ever loved, thank you for teaching me how to love and thank you for reminding me that I have the world at my fingertips and it is mine for the taking if I want it.
To the shitty ones, thank you for teaching me that I deserve better and that games are games for a reason and I no longer want to play.
To the one who broke my heart, thank you for teaching me that the pain in temporary and timing is everything.
To my best friends today, thank you for creating some of the best memories of my adult life, dancing until the sun comes up, eating pizza at 5 a.m. and lifting me up when I am down. For that, I will be forever grateful regardless of how long you stay.
To the strangers that have flashed a smile, given me a compliment, held a door open, and any other form of kindness on both my good days and bad days, thank you for reminding me that regardless of all the bad, there are still good, kind and genuine people in this world.