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Writing People Off? You Might Be Missing Out!

Writing People Off? You Might Be Missing Out!

I’ve met people I don’t mesh with. People who I don’t have much in common with and people who I don’t feel happy around. But even with those people I’ve never met a person where, after hearing her story, that my heart didn’t change toward her. Sometimes we just need to give people a second chance at understanding each other.

Take my friend Hollee, for instance. In high school, we had the same circle of friends. There were five of us in the group, and one of her best friends was also one of my best friends. But Hollee and I didn’t get along.

She was the cute girl, confident, wore makeup, had boyfriends, and I was the shy one who didn’t understand fashion or makeup and had very little self-esteem. We were different and never gave each other a proper chance because we were superficial and judgemental.

During those high school years Hollee said some mean things to me, and I said some mean things to her. I simply didn’t like her and she did not like me. When Facebook came around we ended up friending each other on social media. (Remember we weren’t enemies just not fans of each other.) Whenever we’d comment on the same post as friends of friends, I would have a sour taste in my mouth. The negative feelings between us would show up all over again.

Out of the blue, Hollee reached out. She sent me a Facebook message, apologizing for being a brat in high school and for treating me badly. “I’m really really sorry,” she said.

Her message of apology meant a lot to me. I responded back to her message with thanks and that was it for several years.

Then I moved from Virginia to Utah. I needed someone to do my hair, Hollee was a cosmetologist and she lived near my new house, so I called her up. I was willing to trust her because she had sent me that contrite message. I thought that she’d do my hair and we could have a pleasant relationship.

But things changed after that appointment. I went in, she did my hair, and we connected. It turns out, we’re actually a lot alike. As she shared her story and I shared mine, we clicked. It’s been almost 5 years now that we’ve been besties.

We, who disliked each other for so many years, have now been able to share some of our hardest times and some of our greatest heights together. She knows the worst of me and my life and the best. We have a really deep friendship. I love Hollee. She is a genuinely good person who treats others with love and acceptance. She likes to have fun, she gives good advice and she listens with her heart. I feel blessed to have her in my life.

I’ve thought about our story a lot. All the superficiality from high school has melted off and we’ve ended up in a really beautiful friendship that has blessed both of our lives. If we had just written each other off, we’d have missed out on this friendship. We’d never have known how good of friends we would become.

I think the life lesson is: We shouldn’t write somebody off as not worth knowing. Don’t judge others. Just don’t do it! Instead listen to each others stories. Once you hear a person’s story the judgment melts away and there is only room for love. Who knows maybe there is someone in your past that could be your future bf?!

Fallen Officer David Romrell is My Cousin

Fallen Officer David Romrell is My Cousin

Officer David Romrell

My younger cousin, David, died in the line of duty as a police officer in Salt Lake City. His tragic death has made me pause and ponder on the fragile nature of life. David was three years younger than me, and the age gap made his connection to my little brother much closer than to me. Even still, I respected David, especially as we became adults. I saw him become a man and join the Marines. He was dedicated and hard working. I was always happy to see him at family gatherings and relieved after his tours in Afghanistan were over. I hate war.

After David’s time in the Marine Corp he transitioned to the police force only 11 months before being killed. I imagine he thought being a police officer would allow him more time with his wife and new son than the Marine Corp did.

None of us know when or how we will die. We don’t know how many days, weeks or years we have left. My cousin kissed his wife and new baby goodbye before going into work one morning and he never came home. Thanksgiving was just a couple of days earlier and Christmas one short month away — his baby’s first. I’m sure he had a lifetime of plans to carry out and memories he wanted to make.

David enjoyed life. I saw him forgive and mend bridges that would have been easy to keep broken. He was kind and had a good soul. My heart hurts for his family, for his baby who will grow up only hearing stories of how amazing his dad was, for his wife who lost her best friend and lover, for his parents who don’t get to see their youngest son thrive at being a dad, for everyone who now doesn’t get the chance to know him.

We can’t plan when we die. We can’t plan disease or accident. We can only plan to love and live life without regret. God has given us one life, one body, one soul. We decide what we do with it. That was His gift to us. I call it agency. My cousin’s tragic death has reaffirmed to me just how precious life is and how mindful/intentional I need to be about living it. Hug your loved ones tighter. Eat dinner together and talk. Connect in weakness and show your vulnerability. Allow yourself to be human and show yourself some self-compassion. Do something you love. Enjoy being you and stop comparing. Look for the good in yourself, in others, and in hardships.

Despite how much bad there is in the world there is also an infinite amount of good. Like my cousin David, be the good.