Over the past few days I’ve been doing some thinking. I’ve always been somewhat of a thinker, whether it be about something trivial like remembering some silly things I’ve done or seen, or something a little deeper like what we’re all here for.
What’s been on my mind lately though is a lot more specific and it has changed the way I’m looking at life on a day to day basis.
Every story needs a little context; so, here’s a bit about me and how I got to this thought.
Growing up I was always happy. Very sociable, very full of energy and always doing something. As I got to my early teenage years I received some news that had a big impact on my life, in ways that I’m only really seeing the full scope of now. I went from being this happy go lucky kid without a care in the world into someone who was barely recognisable as the same person.
From the age of 14 onwards I started battling depression. The sunny days outside went away. Days that I would have gotten home from school and gone out with friends turned into getting home and playing games on my PC or console. That became the norm. Before I knew it that was my life. What started as every now and again became every day and I very soon began to turn down invitations to spend time with friends because I felt more comfortable with this.
The weeks soon turn to months, and the months into years. My depression is no better, if anything the self-loathing of letting my life descend into this routine has made it worse. On top of that, after all the time spent like this, I had lost my natural ability to interact with people. Something I thoroughly enjoyed and had absolutely issue with now became one of the hardest things I could think of doing.
Fast forward 7 or so years, I still spend more days depressed than I do happy, I still have social anxiety, but I am forcing my way through it, and I am doing a damn good job. I am proud of myself.
Most of my adult life I’ve gone from relationship to relationship. Despite all my issues with my self-confidence, my insecurities around socialising – I’ve never really had any trouble finding someone to be open and intimate with.
Until now …
I recently ended my most serious of relationships I’ve been in. We were together for 5 years, living together for 2 of those. It’s been 10 months since I walked away. I feel better for it, and I stand by my decision. We are both in a better place than we were when we were together.
That being said, it wasn’t long after I left that my depression worsened, and I went back to old habits of being antisocial and withdrawing from the world around me. I’ve moved away to an entirely different area where I don’t know anybody. I’ve been using meetup quite heavily – which was very difficult at first, but it has really helped me.
So, what’s my point to this? What is my thought about and how does this tie in with it?
Well, being an introvert who had receded from the world as most people experience it, most of the people I’ve met in the last.
About a week ago now I had a random thought that that has really stuck in my head. So many of the people who have been such massive and integral parts of my life I could have so easily never met. I could have swiped left. Or just stopped swiping for the day. Never said “hi.”
I like to think of myself as a pretty intelligent person, but it never really truly dawned on me how incredibly easy it is to miss something in your life, something that belongs there. People talk about fate, etc a lot. Especially in the context of meeting people. The idea of ‘the one’ etc. I personally don’t believe that, but for the sake of getting my point across I’m going to use that.
It is scarily easy to have never met your ‘one.’ You could take a bus or a train somewhere, and by simply smiling at someone it could initiate a conversation that could lead to a chain of events firing off that could end with marriage, kids & a mortgage.
You could go for a walk, bump into someone and that could lead to you making a close friend who could potentially help you in ways unconceivable to you. The amount of times I’ve wanted to go for a walk and just said “eh, I’ll do it tomorrow.”
I imagine that a lot of people have long since realised something similar. But for me it hadn’t, not until now. And now that it has I have a very different outlook on life.
Opportunities are a sin to waste. Life is what you make of it. You never know what is behind a closed door. It could be something that could change your life. It could be something to make you remember who you are meant to be.