I heard this a lot during college when I was supposed to be “networking” with alumni, professors and anyone else with a pulse. I kept being told that I wouldn’t find a job unless I knew someone, and I don’t necessarily think that’s true (or maybe I don’t want to believe it’s true), but we can save that for a later discussion. However, the fact remains the same—you are who you know.
I believe that I am a little piece of everyone I’ve encountered throughout my life. I am compiled of pieces of what I’ve learned from my family, my teachers, my friends and even people who I’ve only known for a brief period of time. They are apart of me and I, in turn, am apart of them. And all of those pieces, big and small, while they may have originated from someone else, uniquely make up who I am. We’re all beautifully connected in that sense. Of course there are certainly pieces we all wish we didn’t have—hurt, heartbreak, grief, bitterness, prejudice—but without them we wouldn’t be our true selves.
The best thing about it is that the pieces are unlimited and unpredictable. We have no idea who could walk into our lives tomorrow, and we don’t know what the people in our lives will teach us today. I think that’s part of why we are constantly changing, and how we are all complete and incomplete at the same time.
“I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those who help us most to grow if we let them, and they help us in return… So much of me is made of what I learned from you, and you’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart.” –Wicked: For Good