“Always remember, everything happens for a reason”. Anytime anything interesting or out of the norm popped up in my life, my family would always re-iterate these very lines. As a young child, I never thought much of it. My brain worked like any other kid my age- stuff happened, I didn’t care why it happened . You had to experience both good and bad times and usually people got their fair share of each. But this view change as I grew up. I began to start thinking for myself and shaping my own views. Many of these thoughts involved the universe around me, how things worked and why they happened. Why did specific incidents that happened to me really happen to me? Was it all just random or…? I instantly thought of the time I was stressing hard about this project I hadn’t completed, and right then, my parents got a text saying school had been canceled the next day. What if school got cancelled just so I could get that “A” I ended up getting? I went back to my childhood memories and analyzed them with a fresh perspective.

I thought back to one of the most vivid memories. As an eight year old, it felt as if my whole world had come crumbling down. I had come home from school to what seemed to be an empty house. In less than 5 minutes, my after-school tired self had converted into a screaming, crying lunatic. I had discovered that while my friends and I were playing on that red slide I had always loved, my great-grandmother had passed away. It wasn’t the idea of death that made me freak out, it was her dying. We had always been super close and I visited her every single day as she only lived minutes away from me. The whole idea of change scared me- what would my grandmother be like after losing her mother? My whole family seemed to be depressed, we hadn’t even seen it coming. Were we going to be like this forever?

“Mom, I’m scared. When will it be ok again?” I confided in my mother, relieving myself of the anxiety that had been built up within myself. Her reply was calm and simple.  She explained that there would always be something good, even in the worst situations. Surprisingly, the whole thing wasn’t that bad for our family, all in all. We grew closer together, I met relatives who lived halfway across the world and my grandmother consoled siblings she hadn’t seen in years. We began to have more family get-togethers and become a support system for each other. Maybe there were some perks to this awful situation. Maybe her death hadn’t been some fluke- she was perfectly healthy after all.  In some way, it seemed as if it was all meant to happen.  In the end, everything worked out.

As a ten year, I felt dazed whilst walking down the busy streets of my favorite place, New York City. I noticed a myriad of different faces, but not a single familiar one. Despite having my family around, for the first time in my life, I felt lonely. The feeling was new to me and sent a shiver down my spine. Loneliness was not something I particular enjoyed experiencing.  Just then, we decided to take a turn and walk in to the nearest Barnes & Noble’s. We had been there for maybe ten minutes, and I felt more at ease, flipping through the pages of a whimsical book, and losing myself in an other world. But, the feeling still lingered within me. Right then, I saw my best friend right in the middle of a bookstore thousands of miles away from our homes back in India. Her presence, alone, made me feel like I was on top of the world. I had needed nothing short of a miracle like that right at that very moment, and somehow, I  had received it.

Our lives are made up of the experiences we experience, people we meet and our attempts at leaving our mark when we are long gone. We all take our own separate paths and end up in our own places. All our lives are different because we complete them ourselves, our personalities playing a huge role in this.  Everything is the way it is because that’s the way it’s meant to be.

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