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When I was 16, I remember a girl from class walking up to my best friend on the playground swing set and asking why she bothered spending time with me. She stated and I quote, "Taylor is too happy. She has to be fake. No one really is that happy and nice to people". This girl and I had been classmates for over 4 years, so it was a bit shocking to hear that after all this time she considered my kindness fake.
My best friend told me about their conversation later that evening. I didn't feel backstabbed or angry. I felt disappointed. It saddened me to think that we live in a world where being generous and optimistic seemed to out of reach. That people felt there wasn't enough in life to be happy about, and therefor showing up every day with a smile on your face, was projected as deception.
Was I supposed to be miserable? Should I have more of a typical stereotype teenage girl attitude? Was being mean the only way to be approved by my peers? Hundreds of thoughts passed through my mind, but none seemed to speak to who I was, and most of all, who I wanted to be.
I had realized from a young age, that life is too short. There are moments and people in your life that will make a large impact and then pass by fleetingly. So many things you could have said; things you would have done differently. You can dwell on those thoughts and anticipate the negative, or do the exact opposite. Life is too short- live it openly, freely, passionately. Lead with kindness and appreciate what life has given you.
You won't always see eye to eye, or should I say smile to smile, with every individual you meet. But you may bring a warmth and compassion that someone needed that day. Even if not vocalized, I believe there is always someone who could use a smile or a brief moment of connection. Sometimes that is all it takes to impact a life.
Keep shining, the world needs your light.Shop our sweater, inspired by this quote