How has your life been recently? If someone asked me this question, a myriad of words would spring to mind: exciting, interesting, fun. A word I probably wouldn’t say, though one that I would certainly think, is busy. I try to avoid describing myself as busy – because really, we are all busy in some way – but I can’t help thinking it’s a good word to use to accurately sum up the past few weeks of my life.

From wisdom teeth extractions (and subsequent infections) to school event-planning, to French exams to essays, a lot has happened in the past month: and a lot is happening in the upcoming months as well. I’ll be graduating from high school in June, so I’m in the final stretch. The pages of my planner are full of events and to-do’s. With so much going on, it’s easy to get swept up in it all. I think, though, that these crazy times are the ones where it is the most important to take a moment to pause and reflect.

This past week, news broke that NASA has confirmed the existence of 1284 new planets. Some of the planets are potentially inhabitable. The thought that there could be another Earth out there is scary – aliens, and all – but in a strange way, it’s also comforting. Our struggles on this planet, busy schedules included, seem less serious when you think about the fact the incredible universe that surrounds us.

We like to think, as humans, that we are important. I believe that we are important, that upon our birth everyone has value and potential. But we are also kind of insignificant, in that there are billions of us on this one spinning rock and maybe billions more on another planet. I think humans matter – you matter, I matter, the guy who served you your Starbucks coffee this morning matters, the homeless woman on the street corner matters.

Having said this, I think there are some aspects of humans, of humanity, that matter more than others. Love matters. Kindness matters. Happiness matters. In the grand scheme of the galaxies and stars and planets, those things matter. They deserve to be cherished no matter how insignificant they may seem. Some other aspects of our lives, like stress, seem less important when you think about the world out there.

If you read the opening paragraphs of this post and nodded along, perhaps thinking about your own hectic schedule and crazy planner, take a moment to think about who you are – not just who you are as a person, but who you are. You are more than the things that stress you out. You have value, to this world and the things beyond it (newly discovered or not).

This post is as much a reminder to all of you lovely people as it is to myself. As I wrote earlier, it’s easy to get caught up in craziness; but it’s these times that are the best for reflection – especially if that reflection is the one you see of yourself in your window, looking up at the night sky.