If you’re reading this, you’re one of my people.
I notice the guy with the strawberry blonde hair and denim cap that rides his bike past me at the same time every day. I notice when the girl who always sits next to me in class switches from her fall coat to her winter one. I notice when the man I buy sushi from trades his commercial-ready smile for tight lips. I notice the guy, clad in punk-rock attire, always reading at the end of the hallway.
And I notice when it’s 10:47am and the bicyclist is nowhere to be seen, and when air replaces my seatmate, and when the sushi man’s smile fizzles, and when that hallway dweller puts down his book to stare blankly out the window.
I notice my people.
I notice you.
And when one of my people is gone, a piece of me always wonders where they went. And a piece of me asks myself why I care so much, if I should care so much. We’re all alone in this world, aren’t we? Surely, I’m the only one who has these imagined relationships with the strangers all around me, with you.
And then I was sick. And when I returned to class, the girl who sits next to me told me about an important announcement I missed when I was out. And I realized that nobody is alone. So when your family is gone and your friends boil away, you’ve still got your people. And just because I don’t talk to the bicyclist or the reader, doesn’t mean they don’t matter to me. They shape and direct my day, they alter my emotions, they bring a sense of camaraderie to my life.
So when you’re stuck in that place you go when it seems like nothing is going right, when you feel alone, anxious, stressed, sad, angry, terrified, unmotivated, or completely out-of-it, pick your head up and open your eyes; look around, find your people, and know that you’re one of their people too. We’re all just people looking for a way to make it through this crazy ride that we call life.
And remember, I am changed because you exist..
Anonymous, University of Virginia