I’ve always liked Thanksgiving, not because of the food, but because it is a time where loved ones come together and celebrate the good things in life. There are no presents, no religious undertones, just a time of reflection, of giving thanks and appreciating what we have. Something that we should do more often. We spend so much time focusing on what’s wrong, what we don’t have, how things could be better, that we often find ourselves not recognizing the good that’s in front of us.
I am thankful for many things this year. I am thankful that I have a roof over my head, enough to eat, am in relatively good health, that I have a choice in what I do and who I am. I am thankful for the opportunities that have been and continue to be afforded to me. I am thankful that I have never known true suffering and hardship. I am thankful for my family, who are incredible and have always been behind me, supporting and loving me. I am aware that not everyone is so fortunate.The list goes on.
This year, though, my Thanksgiving dedication is a bit cliché, but necessary. I am thankful for my friends. I had a pretty rough year, for me anyway. I struggled through a depressed phase, I had a few upsetting health situations, and I watched my life plan and future blow up in my face. Now I am aware that my challenges this year, though were tough for me, are nothing compared to so many people in the world. I realize that my worst year would be considered a dream for many which makes me feel even worse about the fact that I felt so bad at points throughout the year. But that’s not what this post is about.
My friends, from all over the world, were incredible when I was feeling broken and low. They let me know, through words and actions that I wasn’t alone, that I was loved, and reminded me that I was going to be GREAT, that I AM great, even though I didn’t believe them at all. They repeated these sentiments, citing examples or just being there until I believed them. Until I remembered who I was, what I was worth, and what I deserved. I had fallen and they picked me up and held me until I stopped stumbling. They answered their phones at all hours, they came over at the drop of a hat, they listened, they cared, and they didn’t even judge me (to my face)
They never once complained that I was being too needy and vulnerable, and they never once abandoned me during my time of need. I took selfishly and they gave generously, asking for nothing in return.
I was shown unconditional love, patience, compassion, and support from so many people that it was IMPOSSIBLE to not sit back and think to myself, “Yes, things are bad. Yes, I have lost things…but look at what I haven’t lost. Look at what I have surrounding me.” Through them, I saw the life that I built for myself, the real one, not the one that I was currently existing in. I also saw how relationships should be, romantic or platonic, I was reminded of what expectations should be met, and what everyone deserves. I started refocusing on the things that matter, the people who matter. Over the years, I have collected incredible people that I am lucky enough to call friends, and my life is rich and utterly blessed because of it.
So thank you friends. Nothing I could write could even come close to giving you the accolades you so deserve. I can only promise to be as good a friend to you as you were to me.
And everyone, let’s start counting our blessings more regularly. Would save a lot of heartache and complaining, I think.