The 20s are all about looking for the best in people. One thing that's worth remembering is that everyone, and I mean absolutely everyone you meet knows something you don't know. Wow. Let that sink in for a second. Every single person you come across has a bit of information unbeknown to you. At the very least there is something to be gleaned from all those we make acquaintance with, how much more amazing is it to realize that everyone has something unique to offer the world? There's this spark, glint, shimmer of something special within all of us. What does it mean? Send out your flare.

Parents have this uncanny ability to say exactly what you need to hear when it's most necessary. I don't know how they do it and frankly I'm pretty sure they don't really know the significance of what they say and their impeccable timing. I do think that people are in our lives for a reason, and often someone will be put in front of us to tell us what we require (if only we'll listen and take it to heart). My mother told me that I should leave my heart open, that I should never stop looking for the best for people, and giving myself to others. It's funny because I only mentioned to her how tired I was feeling about constantly giving my everything especially to those who seem to not appreciate it.  That word seem is so very key. Perception may very well be everything.

She reminded me that first and foremost that there is literally no one in the entire world like me; second, that unlike how I've become purposeful in vocalizing my gratitude to others most people never express it whether they experience it or not. She said that people often don't realize the importance of what we do for or say to them until later on much less convey that to us. Just when I had resolved internally to focus more on myself she completely answered that debate for me - I should NEVER stop looking for the good in people. What they have to offer is beyond words, what makes them worthwhile can't be valued, and their significance is can never be explained. No matter what I have to be me, and I would not be me without giving all of me to others. That's my flare. That's what makes me shine. That's the glister of me. What's yours?

Smiling - one thing I noticed at home for winter break was that I found myself doing it way more there. I think I chose to do so. I think I let myself there be free. I think I let myself like people. That last one in my utilization of the rule of thirds is a little weird. My guard is up, I am closed off, and I keep people at a distance, but home or I guess any semblance of it lets me send out my flare. It lets my light shine bright for others to see. It gives them a peak into the me behind the exterior front that I put up. Maybe I feel safer there, more comfortable, or trusting? Whatever it is it's drastically different then when I'm at school. I want to smile more. I want to relax and not be on edge all the time. I want to trust people again. People are worth it. They deserve trust. They have good in them. They have a flare that needs to be pursued.

People are all different. People interact with us individually. People are not who we think they are. Often we perceive them to be someone who they are not, and that's for better or worse. We idealize them as these perfect portraits of beauty or demonize them as the embodiment of evil itself with little middle-ground in between. We don't want to see them as they are, flawed and complicated, but remarkable nonetheless. Listen, look, and experience because if you let them, they'll show you who they are. We place these stereotypes on them, and our grudges/good graces with others who look/act like them. It's not fair. It's not right. It's not real. That interaction individually piece is imperative. We have to take them at face value. We can't deny or endorse them for the deeds of others. We have no idea what their signification in our lives may be. That scintillation about them, look for it - hold on to it.

In the past few days I have been reminded by those I know, those I thought I knew, and complete strangers that everyone means something. They have this glimmer about them that you can't ignore, stifle, or quite understand. From having an intimate three hour lunch catch-up session with flowing conversation in the company of my four high school friends (Taylor, Chelsea, Katelyn, and Gabby), and to the kindness of strangers at the airport travelling who just looked me in the eyes and smiled, that thing about people is so wonderful (in the classical sense). My friend Henry retrieved from the airport and we went to eat and talk. For someone I have only known for a few months my willingness to be vulnerable, trusting, and real with him serves to show that it's okay to like people, that I need to, and that people are good. I spent that evening laughing so hard, grilling people, and eating Chinese food with some of my favorite people in Isora and David for a solid four hours. In the midst of it I just looked at them and smiled. What a gift are all the people in my life. Last but not least was working prep day for January Orientation. All those people warm my heart, represent the goodness in the world, and never cease to amaze me in the smallest but most awe-inspiring ways. Each one has this quality about them that they just are, you know? Sierra in her genuineness, Angela's thoughtfulness, Megan's selflessness, and it goes on and on. I don't know how I missed it before. I'm telling you look at the people around, put yourself out there, and I promise you will not be disappointed in the goodness people display daily. That's their flares - never extinguish them.

My blog post question for the day is ... what one quality do you think you embody? I think people say different things about me - decisiveness, humor, or eloquence but the was about me and about myself so I say compassion. I hope people see that of me.


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