I don’t think we meet people by accident. Sure, not everybody comes with the intention to stay, but I believe everyone we meet has a purpose. As I am typing this, I am listening to an album from 2009. This album was introduced to me by an old friend… where is she now? I am not sure. She was not meant to be a permanent fixture in my life but I still thank her, even if the main thing she brought into my life was this album, filling a quiet night some years later. The lyrics of the song might remind me of another person in my life, another person who is a now a dusty memory.
My point is, people come and go but their footprint or baggage can get left behind. We do not meet these people by accident, their habits become our own and their song becomes our Sunday night in. Nobody is ever completely erased, it would be physically impossible. The people around you, whether you click with them or not, all shape you in some way. They inspire you and anger you, make you so low you have no choice but to rely on your own strength and make you so high you realise what it truly is to live. People deserve so much credit because one person can bring such value to your life – Their favourite book, their scent, their favourite type of biscuit and their favourite place to have lunch – All of these little things can become so familiar to you that a person can become a place to call home. Sadly, these people can also go, by choice or by no choice at all, and you are left to decide whether to dwell on the absence or the memories.
Another point I am making here is that you are important. So, so, so important. Everything you love, everything you do, everything you say has an impact on somebody’s bigger picture. Right now, you are reading this which impacts me, and me writing this has impacted you. The girl who served you in the cafe at lunch, maybe she loved your shoes, and maybe the man in the queue in Tesco heard you laughing and was reminded of a person from his past. It is unlikely they will tell us this though, and many of us will head home, perhaps filled with a sense of isolation. Even when things seem to have fallen apart, the good times we shared with people cannot be erased. They can become shadowed, but not erased.
I think back to my own childhood, my teenage years, even just last week and the most simple of triggers send my memories racing. Where are these people now? The ones who passed through quickly and the ones who stayed for the good and the bad? Where have the jokers carried their laughter? Where have the adventurers followed their dreams to? And all of the tears, the hugs, the secrets, the lies, the longing to grow up, where did they go? Well, nowhere. They stayed put. They stayed imprinted on that day in the minds of everyone present.
Life flies by, and before we know it, we are missing the moments we thought would never end. These moments were not made up of nothing, they were made up of souls that are probably still painting pictures for other people… for a second, or forever. It is hard to imagine your life any other way because it was always supposed to be this way in some shape or form. Age changes us all and we gain people along the way, but if the thought of the previous people still fills you with rage or uncontrollable laughter, they can never be truly lost.
I don’t think we meet people by accident. Not ever. Not at all.