I often hear people say, “Everyone comes into your life for a reason.”
I’m not sure I can agree 100%–I mean, everyone?–but I do know that when someone does come into your life for a reason, there’s no way of keeping them out. There’s just no way to ignore, abandon, or otherwise run away from your person, and if you do manage to do so, it’s only a matter of time before they find their way back into your thoughts, and then, if you’re lucky (and maybe kind of brave), your life.
One year ago yesterday, I got the chance to reconnect with someone I tried to kick out of my life twelve years before. The reasoning I used then sounds ridiculous to me now, but back then I tended to act on impulse, believing that I was “trusting my instinct.” Banishing his physical presence, while eventually successful, did nothing to keep him out of my mind. Over the next twelve years, I would often wonder where he was, what he was doing. In the earlier days, I found myself tempted to pick up the phone, but always backed down, wondering what I would say.
On October 13, 2012, I got brave and decided to find him. Two weeks later, on October 25, I made it through a day at work, sat through an excruciatingly long class, got drenched in the rain on the way to my car, sped home to dry off and get changed, and finally, at about 9:30pm, sat across from this person I hadn’t really seen or spoken to in 12 years. It was almost as if nothing had changed. And really, everything was just beginning to change.
I had no idea that things would happen the way they did. I thought that I would apologize for what was probably the meanest thing I ever did, that we would tell each other highlights of the past 12 years, that we would say good night and promise to keep in touch, knowing that it was just a polite gesture. I never thought that I would find a best friend. I never imagined that one year later, I would be looking back at a challenging, amazing, beautiful disaster of a year. It hasn’t been the easiest year, but to me, that just makes it even more perfect. I’ve said it before: Nothing that’s worth it is ever easy.
Before I left my apartment that night one year and one day ago, I took a picture of myself to send to a friend, just for fun, to show off my outfit and my hairstyle. Today, just for fun, I snapped a picture before I walked into the yoga room. When I put the two side-by-side, I was surprised, but not as surprised as you would imagine, to see that I looked very different. Not on a surface level (although that, too, is true). There is something different about my expression, about the look in my eyes. Something that says that for once, I figured out the balance between serendipity and intention. Something that says that says I’m figuring out the balance between perseverance and acceptance. Something that was missing, but is now there.
I’m not sure if everyone comes into our lives for a reason. But I am sure that you should keep your eyes, ears, and minds open. Don’t ignore the voice of intuition. Don’t shush the voice that tells you, “Do it now!” Don’t underestimate the power of love and forgiveness.