Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gratitude, appreciation, thanks

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I told myself I wasn't going to write the typical blog addressing the typical topic listing the typical things I am thankful for.

But I have to. I can't not. (Yup, that is me using a double negative to address a positive).

I know it sounds corny, cheesy....
....Hm. I never noticed those similar adjectives both have a food in the word. Interesting.

Okay, this blog is jumping over the place. Stay on track, Lindsay.

I have to address how thankful I feel because I am almost overwhelmed by it. Though I attempt to be appreciative and grateful every day, every Thanksgiving, I think sometimes it is easy to fall into the trap of negativity, which sucks out the appreciation, the ability to stay positive. Thoughts of  "Why didn't it work out for me?" "Why is this happening? "Why did he leave, why didn't she stay, why didn't they care as much as I did?" enter my mind like a snake that just wraps itself tightly around my thoughts, suffocating the positive. Sometimes,  I take the easy way out. And too many times,  I have taken my wonderful friends and family for granted. I have been blessed to have such amazing people in my life; I got spoiled. 

But over the course of this past year, when I have dealt with a lot of change and challenges in a variety of contexts, I think about the people that have been there, over and over and over and over again. And I just feel especially grateful. Grateful for the people who stood by me or helped me through the tough times, the losses, the rejections; those nights I couldn't get to sleep and my friends would say "Call me if you need anything" and they would listen to me on the phone. The times I felt I would never finish my thesis and that it wasn't good enough or I didn't know what the heck I was writing; my parents and friends who would try their best to offer their opinion when I would babble, "That sounds like social constructionism, right?" or when I texted my friend Adam in the middle of a kickboxing workout because I was obsessing over the difference between reasons and motivations and needed him to look it up for me, right now, on his iPhone, before I went crazy (I was already way past crazy).

The situations where my friends reminded me what I deserved when I completely would forget. The  conversations at coffee shops where I was reassured I am not the only one that feels like I have no idea what the heck I am doing, ever. The times I eat dinner at a restaurant and my friends or parents put the ketchup bottle in front of me without me asking. 

My family members that are also my friends. My friends that are like my family. The relationships I still have with people despite the fact they live in North Carolina, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, DC. The relationships I no longer have, because even though they ended, I have definitely learned. Grown. Changed.  

It's the people in my life that make my life what it is.
And sometimes, when you feel the weight of the world is bearing down on you, all it takes is a shoulder to lean on to take off the pressure. I don't know what I would do without others' shoulders of support.

I am a lucky girl. And for that, I am grateful. 

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