I have to believe in "everything happens for a reason" because I feel like my life is proof. There is a reason why my parents decided to switch where I was going to middle school. Otherwise I wouldn't have met my husband in 8th grade. There is a reason why I was awkward and incredibly uncomfortable at middle school because it allows me to sympathize with people and be a good listener. There's a reason why I was friends with toxic people, because it taught me (albeit the hard way) the importance of surrounding yourself with positive people.
People come into our lives for a reason, to teach us something or for us to teach them something. My neighbors are a great example right now. Living on our street we have an ER Doctor, the Mechanical Engineer, and the Political Science Ph D Candidate. For us, being around these incredibly smart people drive us to do our best and to keep striving and keep learning.
Although we all have our rough patches handed to us, in hindsight we grow from those experiences.
This last week a close family friend passed away. I didn't expect it to hit me as hard as it has but I think it's a valuable reminder that life is short. We have to live the life we want. We have to take care of and nurture the relationships in our lives. Appreciate our blessings and learn from our obstacles. It puts life into perspective, at least for me. Stop stressing and start just enjoying the moment.
It's all about timing, and your perspective, and how you decide to react.