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At the Risk of Sounding Cliche

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“Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I’ve ever known.”

Everybody I’ve ever known (although “ever” in this case encapsulates a relatively short time-span) has inadvertently or directly influenced me in some way, be it imperceptible or immeasurable. Rarely are we fully conscious of the impact of the people around us.

Out of all the influences I have had in my life for the past few months, there is one person who easily surfaces to the top of my mind. We are the two of the most different people imaginable: the open book versus the one who’s impossible to read. The one of too many words versus the one of too few. The one who cares about the tiniest matters versus the one who doesn’t give a crap. We talk for hours at a time, and I often wonder what it is we even have to talk about. Our common interests are limited to a couple films that I can count with one hand, a restaurant or two, a prevalent color in both of our wardrobes, and each other. Oh, and we share the same vices – but that’s pretty much as far as our similarities go.

Of the two types of influences, he is without a doubt part of the latter – although I can’t pinpoint a single great change in me that can be attributed to his presence in my life. I wish I could say I’ve learned to be more attentive, more considerate, or more mature, but I can’t detect that type of growth in my personality or person. On the contrary, my focus on my academics is teetering on being practically nonexistent, I’ve learned how to take advantage of his patience with me by annoying him for my entertainment, and I’m as argumentative and flawed as ever. But I can’t remember what happy stood for before him.

What I have learned is the last thing on my mind before my eyelids become heavy, the first one I run to to share anything at all with, and an unconditional best friend. What I have learned is a belief in me more powerful than my own and a way of lighting up around him. We are nothing alike, and yet, there is only that much more room to learn and influence and grow and change. What I have learned is missing a presence a mere few hours after being apart and craving that presence, even if it's just to sit together and not talk and not do anything at all. And just be. What I have learned is appreciating and caring for another person so much that you think selflessly without even meaning to, to admire someone so fully, for every virtue and every vice...

To my love, my best friend, and the biggest influence in my life.




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