Opening yourself up to other people can be the scariest thing to do.
This choice can also be the best decision you’ve ever made.
I would not consider myself an “extrovert” or extremely outgoing.
I don’t go out of my way to meet new people as often as I maybe should.
But what I do pride myself on is really focusing on building relationships with the people that I do have in my life.
These people have come into my life in a variety of ways: school (high school and college), work, similar friends, hobbies, extracurriculars, and so on.
Something that has always been really difficult for me is just truly enjoying the people I am with, their company, and the time that we have with them.
Something that I’ve been working on doing I got from an episode of The Office.
It’s from the episode when Jim and Pam are getting married, and Pam says that her aunt told her that everything with the wedding goes by so fast that they should try and take mental pictures of the highlights.
And as cheesy as that sounds, it resonated with me so much.
I started taking my own “mental pictures” anytime I could remember to do so. But not just the highlights.
I would do it when I was just sitting with my best friend playing a game of cards, really appreciating her company and having the opportunity to spend time with her.
I did it when my brother and I got in an argument a few weekends ago about something pointless, because I wanted to remember why this was something that I didn’t need to be upset about for the future.
I took a mental picture when I was in my kindergarten classroom for class and I was sliding down the hill and playing in the snow and smiling so big my face hurt.
I also took a mental picture when my best friend left for a semester abroad in Peru and I cried in her bed.
Life is about embracing all of these moments.
We should not just be celebrating the high points in our life with our loved ones, but also our low points and hard times as well.
This is what makes us human, our ability to feel and love without a filter is what literally makes us who we are.
I want to share that with everyone in my life.
One of my biggest fears is that my family and friends don’t know how much I truly love and appreciate them.
So I’m starting to work on showing them that in any way that I can.
Whether if it is actively listening to their story, and not just waiting for my turn to talk; or sending them a thoughtful text, or even actually picking up the phone and calling them.
I’ve also never been very big on showing my affection through touch, but I know some of my friends are.
They love to give me a hug goodbye before I leave for the night or play with my hair when I’m stressed out.
I’ve grown to look for and love this type of affection, because they do and it has helped me open up to a different kind of love.
I’m not saying to change yourself for your friends, but if you’re willing to be open to them and their needs, it will only increase your connection and love for each other.
When you really open up to others you are leaving yourself out there and vulnerable.
This is something I used to almost literally run away from.
Now it is something that I try to look for and bring out in others.
I love people; watching them and seeing them interact with others they have a connection with, seeing them laugh, and really just being themselves is beautiful.
You need to break down that wall and let others in as much as you can.
Because once you do, the way that you get to know people and connect with them is literally nothing like I’ve ever experienced before.
I want everyone that I care for to know that I will always be there for them no matter what.
If you’re reading this and I know you, know that I truly appreciate you and I love the time that we get to spend together, I treasure every moment of it.
Or at least I’m trying to, no one is perfect.
If I don’t know you, I hope that I get to one day and just remember to let those that are close to you know how much you love them, and the ones you’re not as close to try, and let them in a little more.