Living A Life Surrounded By Good People

Last Thursday, I rushed home from work, finished my last-minute packing, and called a car to take my husband and me to the airport. That was ten days ago, and tonight is the first time I have slowed down since. Ten beautiful, busy, love-filled, high-energy days.

I was born and raised in New York, and I go back to visit every few months. After my cousin’s wedding last Friday, I spent the week driving around Long Island, NY visiting family and friends. I flew home this morning feeling incredibly grateful for everyone I got to see during my visit. I live a life surrounded by a lot of great people.

During my visit, I went to a wedding, helped throw my sister’s high school graduation party, went to a winery with old friends, and visited my grandparents. Would you believe me if I told you my sister’s backyard graduation party had over 50 people? All 50 people were so excited to show their love and support for her in this exciting time.

I thank my parents a lot for the community that I have around me. As I have started to accept that I am an adult now, I have taken on the role of surrounding myself with good people and maintaining relationships with the community that I have.

Family in front of Peace Pie in Cape May, NJ.

My wedding was a profound day for me for so many reasons. One of those reasons was the realization that I have so many people who love and care about me so deeply. Beyond that fact, I realized that the people I have around me, loving and supporting me, are incredible. They are kind, connected, and feel genuine happiness for others. For that, I feel so lucky.

Wedding party in front of Flowerfield's corner cocktail hour bar, St. James, NY.

The last song of our wedding was “Today Was A Fairytale” by Taylor Swift. I have such a vivid image in my head of my husband dancing with me, tears in our eyes, surrounded by over 200 people. My childhood best friend was crying because she was overwhelmed with the joy that she felt for me. All 200 people had their arms wrapped around each other as if they were best friends. A friend of mine from college with her arm around the shoulders of my grandma who was standing, elbows interlocked with her cousin who she hadn’t seen in years.

Every event, big or small, that I have been to since my wedding, I am reminded of the value of being surrounded by good, happy people. For every wedding, weekend trip, or backyard party, I can look past the food, or the venue, or the music and recognize that the experience is defined entirely by the people I spend my time with.

It’s so important to be aware of the blessings in your life. Right now I feel so aware and grateful that in my neighborhood, at work, in my family, and my volunteer network, I am surrounded by people who are kind, caring, and happy. I think that this awareness allows me to feel joy and gratitude, even in hard times. It also allows me to say thank you to the people that make my life joyful and to show them the same support and love that they show me. 

With so much love, Kristen Mary Carolan

Family at Park After Dark, Massapequa Park.

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