More often than not, and I am guilty as well, I hear people saying three words much too often ....No, not "I love you"(although opinions on that later), but "I hate people". A statement that slips off our tongue unknowingly when someone cuts us off in the street, or fails to hold the door, or maybe even when you see something tragic on the news. But, in the past couple of weeks, I've found that people are quite remarkable. At school, I see people everyday juggling competitive majors, jobs, and sports. A teammate who just clinched all american status while in one of our toughest majors at Springfield, and completely humble at the same time. One of my residents in the air force wakes up several morning a week at 4:30 to go to PT, then comes back for classes and track practice- he's on an air force base in New Jersey during our spring break. I see people around me everyday pushing their comfort zones, getting involved, and helping others be their better self. Then there are the people you don't see everyday, the people who are in the back of your mind always, people back home, or even a someone you have come in contact with no more than twice. Upon coming home, I've been inspired and lifted by the people around me. Of course, being home with my family and dog is usually all I need to recharge for my next return to classes, work, etc. But this break I have taken so much away from my interactions with others. When I went to get my hair cut, only the second time ever seeing this particular hair dresser, she remembered I did track and which school I had gone to- it had been months since I've met this woman for the first time, and she still took the time to remember what I cared about. The mother of two small kids, with a crazy busy life, remembered mine - and that simple thought meant more to me than I could ever explain in words. I went to see our school band concert last night, and was blown away by the talent some of these kids had. Kids I watched grow up, some even my campers over the summer years ago, and they were absolutely incredible. The transformation, the dedication they have put into what they love was beautiful. During the show, the band director had select high school students introduce the songs they performed. One walked up, potentially one of my favorite humans in the world, capturing the hearts of the crowd immediately. Cracking jokes, walking across the stage, he transitioned into a beautiful poem from which the piece was based and suddenly the crowd, howling with laughter just seconds before, went silent with awe. This kid, never ceases to amaze me, warm my heart, and support me in everything I do - and for that I will always be grateful, as I am grateful to everyone who makes themselves a part of my life, and lets me into theirs. To the boy who still takes my calls when I need it most, and threatens to drive two hours just to give me a hug, and offers to drive me to orchestra rehearsals because he knows I miss it- the same boy I've hurt in the past. His forgiveness and care leaves me in awe everyday, no matter how much we get on each others nerves. "The squad" back at school who never fail to listen to any thing I have to say, no matter the hour, or the stress they are enduring themselves. It is people like this, the people we say we "don't deserve", that we deserve the most. The people I described are a mere few of the crowd I've been lucky enough to be surrounded with throughout my life. People I have let into my life as they have opened the door to theirs. A concept so many people struggle with is self-care and self-love, myself being the worst culprit, a concept I am beginning to learn and accept whole heartedly, especially after this break. We need to remember that we deserve the people who support us, that they are there because they want to be, and those people you try so hard to please? The people who can't seem to give you the time of day? They aren't worth it. Our hearts can only stretch so far, and we sure as hell should not be bending over backwards for the people who can't even extend their hand to us every once in a while. It is time to realize that we deserve what we put out, that we are worth supporting- we are worth the time of day. With so much going on, and so many people dealing with the same stress, it is easy to lose that self love, to give away everything you have to others rather than leaving some love for yourself. So lets start being aware, and leaving something for ourselves- respect, love, and appreciate what you are to others and start living life for you!