The Impact of Crossing Paths, of Meeting You

Ever wonder why we meet the people we meet? Or how the most mundane events can lead to so much more?

We don’t always realize how the tiniest things can have a strong impact in our lives. The acquaintances, the missed seconds, the slightest of words. We don’t think much about the ripple effect, the butterfly effect. It’s okay though. There’s always a reason.

There’s always the right time.

I couldn’t help but be amazed on how life brings people together. You get to cross paths with them, somehow make moments, and then treasure those memories forever.

As I tried to gather my thoughts on my recent trip to Malapascua, I allowed my mind to dwell on how after five years, I got to reunite with one of the first persons that I’ve made friends with when I started traveling solo. My mind then wandered to that day when I truly allowed myself to be open, to that time I made my first travel friends.

Yes, it was more than five years ago when I braved my way to the unknown and hoped not to be completely alone.

Being the shy person that I’ve always been (although a lot might say otherwise), the cozy hostel I stayed at in Barcelona intimidated me at first. Back then, I was still getting the jive on how to do small talks with strangers. But somehow, that hostel allowed me to meet people who I ended up exploring the city with. People who I got to watch the winning FC Barcelona match with. People who I managed to stay in touch with until today.

6603FC Barcelona vs. Panathinaikos, Camp Nou, 2009

Truth be told, the idea of meeting new people, of making new friends made me excited. It was just an idea back then. Something I had hoped for.

Now, as I look back, it’s just unbelievable. I did meet new people. I wasn’t completely alone. And I did make friends. It’s surreal and getting that chance is something to be grateful for.

As I muse on how great that journey had been, I allowed myself to take a moment and check up on the rest of them via facebook. I didn’t expect that those thoughts would pave the way for me to learn that one of the people I’ve met already passed away. And that just breaks my heart.

I couldn’t stop myself but dwell for a bit on the small talks and brief moments before, during, and after the FC Barcelona match. I remember her having that bubbly personality, that infectious smile. I remember checking up on her later on, trying to find out if she’s a cousin of someone. I remembered her. And as affected as I am in spite of just spending moments with her, I could only imagine how hard it must be for everyone who truly loved her. Who loves her still.

Learning about this almost a year after still gave me a surge of emotions. But somehow, it also made me feel that there’s a reason why only now. You see, I had been depressed these past few days, shutting everybody down and living in the small room my mind had created. My logical self understand how that’s such a mess, making the simplest of thoughts complicated. But the thing is, when you’re depressed, no logic can be heard. And it took all my will power to take the smallest step, to listen and talk again.

But as heartbreaking as it is to learn of what had happened, it gave me a deeper appreciation of the people I’ve cross paths with, the moments we’ve created, the impact they’ve given, and that perfect timing. It makes me have a stronger belief that everything falls into the right place always at the right time.  Every single thing.

Meeting people will always be the easy part.

Establishing a connection, a friendship, and maintaining that might even be a bit of a challenge.

But the hardest part among all is allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, knowing the possibility of aching, breaking, and being left behind when the people we meet go away.

Amidst all of those things, it also allows us to just appreciate life and the people who’ve impacted it altogether.

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Sheila, you will always be remembered. You don’t know how much of an impact your presence is to each of the people who loves you, even to those people you’ve come across with. I thank God for knowing you.

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