Sometimes people walk into your life and everything just clicks. They’re a puzzle piece you didn’t realize was missing, a perfect fit in the open space in your inner circle. But then, suddenly, something changes and they’re no longer filling every crack of the empty space, rather they’re an awkward lump that no longer can mold into that perfect spot.

I came across this quote recently.

“Everyone has their own path. Walk yours with integrity and wish all others piece on their journey. When paths merge, rejoice for their presence in your life. When paths are separated, return to the wholeness of yourself, give thanks for the footprints left on your soul and embrace the time to journey on your own.”

Nothing I have ever heard or said has seemed truer to me. When I think about the individuals that have walked in and out of my life, I ask myself this: how have they changed me, for better or for worse? Would I be the same person had they not had a chapter in my life? Usually the answer is no, I wouldn’t be the same. It’s rare to have someone in your lifetime that doesn’t affect who you are.

Innately, when humans spend a significant amount of time around another human, they begin to adopt similar styles of speech and mannerisms. It’s why if you want to learn a new language or an accent, the best way to do so is by integrating yourself within another culture entirely. When you remove yourself away from where you’ve immersed yourself, it is only then you truly realize the extent to which this experience has impacted you.

Of course, to come to these conclusions it takes an immense amount of self-awareness. One must be able to see the bigger picture, to be able to take a step back and truly critique themselves. The only way to achieve this is by completely removing oneself from their past situation.

As with all memories, my brain finds itself lingering in nostalgia. It likes to leap back to fonder times, times when certain people were still by my side. But the rational part of me steps in to give a reality check – those people, they’ve drifted away for a reason whatever it may be. Maybe it was them, maybe it was you. Whatever it was, they aren’t here now and most likely, that is for the better.

It stings to think of happy memories of past times when people who used to be in your story treated you with care and kindness, something so unimaginable coming from them today. It’s a raw feeling to think of how you once felt so much for these people but now when their name comes to mind its confusion as to how you feel nothing at all, or in some cases, you still feel so much for them but you don’t know what they’re thinking.

And the thing I’ve learned from reaching that point is that, the past is the past for a reason. While a person needs to be proactive to make things happen, I do think that for the people that float in and out, there is always something to be learned. Always something you didn’t know until it’s over, something you wish you knew but you know now.

It’s easy to say negative things about those who have hurt you – but where does that get anyone? Saying negativity not only brings another down, but it doesn’t make you a better person either. Walking with grace and leaving another to peacefully stride on their path alone is the best way to let one go, and if I could have one do-over, that is what I would change about the last person who floated out of my life. It may hurt unbearably, and you wish you could turn back time and change things, but in reality, there is no better way to let the things that need to float away than to do so with eloquence.

I sit here and write this while I continue to journey on alone. I know that wholeness is not found within another person but found within myself. I am the only one necessary to be complete. People will float in and out and every once in a while, there will be one who’s forever. But usually, it takes a long road to get there. So for now, it’s best to focus on the now and the things that matter that I am in control over and to let the past be the past and remain a place I can do nothing but learn from.



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