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  • Sometimes, it's not your family or friends who have the most to lift you into living your life to the full. For me it's often strangers, people I never met, may never meet, or meet once and will never see again who stick in my memory as catalysts in my life. A smile or a word can change your view on something. Some of my dearest friends in life were people I met online before I met them in the flesh, drawn toward like minds by discourse and connection. Others disappeared from my sphere but not before they had taught me something about myself.

    I know a lot of people afraid of revealing themselves, who try to hide, don't smile at strangers, barely communicate with friends and loved ones, who don't trust social networks. I used to be like that, very shy, never speaking. For many years I didn't have a voice, and thought I had nothing to say. I tried to hide myself but nobody can hide forever. And then, through a sequence of random people who crossed my path I transformed, became the lively popular and more courageous person I am today.

    It's easy to hide for a while, but you can never hide forever, the true you will seep through to other humans. The friends you've never met will seek you out and force you to reveal yourself, to challenge yourself, they'll welcome what you offer and support you when you don't expect it, say profound things that catch your attention or fuel you. And then some will fade from your life and some will stay. Some will just pass you on a street and for a second have a smile to offer, and there is possibility in that smile given just for you that makes it worth being alive that day, to witness and be changed by it.
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