Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"some pages turned, some bridges burned, but there were lessons learned"

I'm thankful, that I'm breathing.

How often do we hear ourselves say that aloud at Thanksgiving dinner? As we go around the table, and count our blessings, how often do we count ourselves blessed to simply be alive ? TO have made it through another year where millions of people die of famine, dehydration, chemical warfare, among a million other reasons? How often do we simply count ourselves immeasurably blessed, to be in possession of a body that is still working and allowing us to give thanks at all ?

Have you had a bad year ? So have I. As is customary for Thanksgiving dinner at my grandmother's, I sat down tonight to write my "What I'm thankful for" Speech. For the last four years, I've been something of a sideshow come thanksgiving. We all talk about our blessings as we share a turkey, but at one point or another, my grandfather looks at me and says "And now to the wordsmith" Or something equally as flattering. Compliments don't come often from him, and usually when they do , they're wrapped in an insult. "You're too damn smart to be so stupid" is his favorite for me, But, On Thanksgiving, he's looked at me these last few years, with pride in his eyes as he asks me to read the message I've written.

Last year, I had quite the speech. There was so much to say , and so much that I couldn't. Last Thanksgiving, I wanted to be "anywhere but here" and I was counting the hours until my family left for their vacation and I could have my own time, but none the less, I thanked the world for the family I had, as broken as they may be, I was thankful that we'd all pulled through the swine flu, thankful that I wasn't lonely, thankful that it was almost christmas. I was thankful that I'd graduated highschool, and thankful that I was so happy with who I was. There was so much to say last year, and so many to say it to.

This year is different. This twentieth year of my life has been a trying one, to say the very least. In a year filled with so much loss, and frustration, with so many hours full of tears , In a year where I can count months that I layed in bed with no desire to see the outside world, I am so, unbelievably thankful, to say that I am breathing.

I am thankful for other things, the kindness I've seen this year, that the trials I've been through have been formative, that at the end of a dark tunnel, I know who I am, I am thankful for my siblings, for my sister who is my favorite person in the world, for my best friends, I'm thankful that I'm able to get up every day and know that not all is lost.

But most of all, I'm thankful, and you should be too, that we're breathing. Because as long as I'm alive, I have a chance to make it better. As long as I am breathing, I have it in me to be the stronger, better, more adept version of myself that I know I can find.

What a wonderful gift is it to say I'm alive to keep growing, to learn and to try harder?

This year, I'm thankful, that I'm here to be thankful at all.
And everything else, is an additional, extra, WONDERFUL blessing.

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