Running Forward

Giving Voice

Well, hello there. I regret not posting anything for the past year, but it’s been a whirlwind. Living in New York City, there’s no option. Life moves quickly. All. The. Time. But I’ve missed writing – even if I’m far from being a Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City reference, can’t help myself).

Last week I attended a dinner party only knowing one of the 12 other attendees. Situations like this used to give me such social anxiety, so I’m always proud to see how far I’ve come. Towards the end of the meal the host posed a question for everyone at the table. Who would you like to give voice to tonight? Sounds simple. There are countless people in my life who don’t get the praise and credit they deserve; my parents, my brother, my friends, etc. But after thinking about this subject for a few days, it’s actually much deeper. It’s interesting and oddly embarrassing to think about some of the people who influenced my life the most. Embarrassing because often times they hardly had a role in my life that merited a title and probably didn’t even know I existed.

The boys in middle school who didn’t give a second though to anyone but themselves used to make fun of my body. To this day I struggle to have a normal relationship with food and exercise. When I look back it’s silly to realize that some stupid comments affected me this greatly.

But I’ve also drawn inspiration from friends and acquaintances. The difference is that I make a more conscious effort to thank these people and let them know how much I appreciate them. I have one friend, for example, who is a complete go-getter and thrives on interactions with others. I’m not the type of person who can constantly socialize without my alone time, but I’ve become more outgoing and adventurous in social settings because of her. She serves as a great example and I let her know how much I value her.

Small things, but they had lasting impacts on my life. And these are just two examples of the countless people who have somehow shaped the person I am and will become. I firmly believe that every single experience and person you encounter has something to teach you. Whether you learn something positive or negative is determined by how you view the situation.

On the flip side, it makes me hope that I’ve somehow impacted others. Hopefully it’s almost always a positive impact, but know that’s probably not the case. I’m human after all and we’re a species far from perfect. But through my everyday actions I can become a better friend, be more patient with others and put my needs aside more often. Who knows, a simple action might just make someone’s day a little better.

 

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