The past few weeks have felt simultaneously like only a few days and an entire lifetime. It’s crazy to stop and think about where my life has taken turns, and so I try not to because it’s anxiety-inducing and, honestly, scares me more than anything I’ve ever known. I’ve come to terms with the perpetual swarm of butterflies in my stomach. (Apparently there is a saying that you can’t get rid of the butterflies in your stomach, but you can get them to fly in formation, which is probably the wisest thing I’ve come to realize in a very long time.)

As a long-time advocate for reflective journaling, I still do it frequently (not every single day, but pretty consistently), and that always helps me divide myself vaguely into two pieces so that one can help the other in the most constructive way possible. Especially with my life moving a couple paces faster than I can keep up with, I feel an even greater need to pay close attention to how I am growing and evolving as a person.

Over the summer, I met somebody who, admittedly, has significantly changed my life for the better–probably unknowingly and just by being himself. I should include a *cheesy and cliche* forewarning because it is just that, but more importantly, it’s me being honest with the truth. Or at least, as much truth as tiny, little 20-year-old me can be convinced of. I’m not embarrassed to share this because I truly hope that every human being on this earth is graced with an opportunity to encounter and know somebody who changes their life. And by “life-changing,” I mean gaining knowledge and learning how to see the world with wider eyes, a more open mind, and a more compassionate heart. It’s not an easy thing to do, letting somebody else guide your boat through uncharted waters. But remember that you’re still the captain; you’re in control.

With what extra time I have after twelve nonstop hours each day, between class and work and back with cramming homework and studying in the middle, I try to spend time with the important people in my life right now. There aren’t many, but that’s not what matters. They deserve my time, and I deserve a break from hunching over a desk. My life had never been this crazy, and I never learned how to say, “Well! No rest for the wicked!” This person I met this past summer has become a close friend to me, and as he unravels his life before me, I find myself left here gawking in sheer amazement. (I’m not often left speechless because, annoyingly enough, I always have something to say… *sigh*) I have an incredible amount of respect for this guy, even though he’s only 21 (age is merely a number), and he always seems to be wading through mud.

From him, I am inspired by his belief that every single human on this earth has something to teach him. From him, I am trying to learn how to stay positive and real and muster the courage to tackle all the things I revel at doing. From him, I learned that if I want to be able, then I can be able. He’s definitely not superhuman, but what’s the harm in believing that you could be? And so, spending time with him has driven me to push myself harder, to take control of each precious minute of each of my days, and to accept the potential (that everybody inherently has) to fulfill more and become better.

Do not let somebody change you, but don’t be afraid of letting them change your life. Change is never going to be something you can’t conquer because you’ve been doing that you’re whole life. And, well, you’re here reading this, aren’t you?

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