According to science, out of the seven billion people on this planet, only 150 matter to you at any given point of your life. Any more strains your cognitive processes.
Let me introduce you to Dunbar’s number: the theory that you can only maintain a meaningful relationship with a finite amount of people at a time. It’s got its own Wikipedia page and everything; you can even Google it if you want to.
As someone who firmly believed that I had an infinite amount of space in my heart for anyone I wanted to invite inside, I didn’t want to believe this. I realized that if this is true, then these 150 people deserve to know how I loved them. This piece is for them, who they were, who they are, and who they will be.
Firstly, this is for the people who have left the equation. You’ve left my 150 either because you had to leave, or you had to stay; because we fell out, or fell apart; because we wanted different things, or wanted the same thing too much. I will never forget our late night conversations about passions that have faded, or the Facebook posts you used to tag me in that I can no longer relate to. Dunbar’s number states that now, since you are gone, I am capable of replacing you with someone else, another meaningful relationship for my life to handle, but in truth, no one will fit the puzzle the same way you did.
Secondly, this is for the people who are currently in the equation. You are all so important to me, and I can’t imagine any of them one day being a part of my “then,” instead of my “now.” You make me smile at nothing. You make me want to give you everything. You make me think I can do anything. Dunbar’s number states that you are my 150 in a world of seven billion. With this speech, I can tell you honestly, that you are truly my one in a million, more or less.
Lastly, this is for the people who will be part of the equation eventually. You could be a classmate, a coworker, or even just someone I bump into in the street one day. I’m not sure whether or not I’m excited to meet you. Dunbar’s number states to make room for you in my 150, other people have to move out. I’m still trying to make peace with this. In the meantime, I trust that you will be worth the wait, worth the pain, and will arrive exactly when I need you to.
In the end, all I know is this: regardless of whether or not this theory is completely true, there are certain things that cannot be measured in numbers. One: my ability to love and be loved. The second: the impact others have had on my heart.