Thursday, November 26, 2015
I have always loved Thanksgiving. It is one of the holidays that is less about "showing" or "showering" others with gifts of appreciation and more about an internal reflection of what we as individuals are giving thanks for and recognizing those many blessings we have. I, for one, used to despise the times when I had to be alone with my thoughts and "reflect." For many years, I would much prefer to focus on others and not have to worry about sorting through all of the craziness going on inside. However, over the last few years I've come to love and appreciate my alone time. Perhaps my two-three hour daily commute has given me that time I never had before. Perhaps those hours of therapy have started to pay me back. I'm not really sure exactly, but I know that part of it is the ability to settle into myself. As I've gotten older I'm able to have a better framework for what I want out of life and I think more importantly, what I don't want. I've began to prioritize those things in ways that I never would have thought possible. It is still a struggle, but I'm confident that I'm moving in the right direction. Part of reflection is prioritizing what little free time I have. For some relationships that has meant more distance or in some cases letting them go all together. For others it has really strengthened my bond and developed others. I think so much of my personal twenties was more about pleasing others. Having lots of friends, being the life of the party. Making sure that everyone was comfortable- flying under the radar on many deep things like politics, religion, and beliefs to make sure everyone (myself mostly) was comfortable. That those around me CRAVED the time we had together. Of course that was mostly a defense mechanism, meant to cover up really getting to know or go to levels unknown with those people. Ive told this story a lot, but when I met Sabin and he had a seemingly bigger personality than me, and saw how people flocked to him, it was a bit frightening for me. When we went out together it was nice not to be "on" all the time because he generated a lot of the attention and charisma that I was used to giving/being. However, it was also one of the best gifts any person could ever give me. My ability to fade into the background (willingly of course) is/was so refreshing. It gave/gives me the ability to really connect with people. To have corner conversations about real life big deal things that I was really never able/willing to do when I was so busy being that life of the room! I, of course, miss those friends and family that I have drifted apart from, but I also must say I sit more firmly in my chair, walk more solidly in my shoes, see colors/lights/beauty more clearly because of this internal shift and I could never go back to the "way things were." I also need, and truthfully only have time for, those deeper relationships when the other person fully accepts me (as I am now, and not romanticizing how I used to be). Those in my first ripple of circle have dwindled down to less than a handful, whereas the number used to be upwards of a dozen. But those in that ripple really know me; know and accept the real me with my crazy liberal thoughts one day and deeply religious or conservative the next. They have begun to really understand the complexity that comes with me now and never wince at any aspect of my life no matter how personally uncomfortable they may be with certain things. I haven't really blogged about our wonderful amazing wedding and honeymoon, but one thing that really sticks out in my mind is that out of 125 invitations sent out, we received 4 "unable to attend" RSVPs from those guests who would've chopped off their limbs to make it but just couldn't because life got in the way. And then, we did not hear back anything beforehand from FIFTY EIGHT of those invitations. At the surface, it might seem like I'm heading into a tangent about how upsetting that was or how I'm frustrated about basically getting nothing back from half of our invitees (most of which were from my "side"). But the truth is, I actually found it to be the framework for what I wrote about above. Life moves fast, but when I looked out at the 90 people who celebrated with us on the most important day of my life thus far, I realized that while my circle has drastically dwindled, it has also strengthened tenfold. To those that celebrated with us on that day, we shared some of the most vulnerable and emotional moments ever together. It's almost like we have this secret among us that I'm almost hesitant to share with others because we are wrapped up together forever in an amazing beautiful web. When I close my eyes and think back on that day, the grin lines are unavoidable. So are the tears, but it is such an intimate memory that I will treasure forever and eternally thankful that we shared together. So this Thanksgiving I am most thankful for a husband who shows/tells/showers me his love and commitment to me and our family and an understanding of me that sometimes I don't even understand, a good job that allows me to provide for my family, health and happiness living in my dream home across the street from great friends as we take over Marguerite Street, a mom and sister that fully accepts me exactly as I am with no strings attached and no expectations for anything in return, a great relationship with the mother of my daughter and her entire family, and most importantly that beautiful blonde child who fills my heart so much that many days feels like it may explode. May you remind those that you are thankful for how much they mean to you today and everyday.