Thankfulness Thursday II

Thursday, November 25, 2021


Hi friends - Happy Thanksgiving. :-)

Thanksgiving is always a quiet one over here, and that's exactly how I like it. I've been slammed as of late with all of the chaos of graduation (only two weeks away! what?!), and have been so looking forward to a quieter pace, even just for a day. 

The trees are more and more bare every time that I drive through the mountains, and I feel as though I'm living in an in-between, not here nor there. November always feels like that, I think, but even more so this year, with so much on the verge of changing and becoming new. I haven't decided if I like that yet. 

But for now, it's Thanksgiving, and my world is calm. And that is perfectly fine with me. :-)

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Last year, for one of my Thankfulness Thursday posts, I wrote about moments of oblivion amidst the chaos that was 2020. Oblivion wasn't quite the right word - because let's be honest, we were all too aware of just about everything last year. But amidst the mess, there were moments in which the world didn't feel quite so terrible - moments where the hard wasn't quite so consuming. I wrote that those moments were what I wanted to remember of the year - not the moments of worry or hurt or exhaustion, but the moments of peace, of joy, of normalcy. 

I'd be lying if I said that I've managed to rewire my view of 2020 enough to look back on it with fondness - the 2020 Christmas ornament that I banned from my grandmother's Christmas tree can speak to that. (But come on, you can't tell me that thing would be a good omen for the holiday season. You just can't.) It remains a year that I would be all too happy to forget, no question about it. But looking back on the words that I wrote last year, there were so many moments that I'm grateful for, even if they felt far too few and far between. I don't know if a single post has ever transported me back to a litany of moments so quickly. 

I can't say I quite have the words for 2021 yet. I'm grateful that it's been lighter than 2020 was, but gosh it's been a rough one all the same. Still, I want to remember the good. I want to remember just how much  has been to be grateful for, even amidst it all. And so, a new tradition begins - of hanging on to those sweet moments of peace and oblivion, no matter where they're found. 

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The new year begins. We're tired and we're sad and we're worn, but we blast Taylor Swift and start new traditions, and ring in the new year on the floor with a jigsaw puzzle. We hold on to hope. 

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My mom and I road trip, just the two of us. The day is hard, but we drive into the sunset and play all of our favorite songs, and I think I could live in this moment.

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Early February holds a morning that's just about perfect. The sun is shining, and my mom and sister and I go on a museum adventure. It's a gift in about a thousand ways. 

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We play games with my grandparents and everything feels right again.

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It's early, early March, but it's eighty degrees, and secretly I think the south knows I need it. (God knew I needed it.) I read in the sun. We get the best news that day, and I refuse to believe it's not related.

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Spring comes again. I don't know why I always doubt it. 

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My kids my kids my kids. God, I love my kids. It's not oblivion, no, but it's joy. They gave me a shirt so that I'd remember them, but how could I ever forget?

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It's April and I find myself in the same coffee shop as Hannah Brencher. How is life real?

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Performance night. Once again there's no oblivion to it, but one night I'm joined by a friend I haven't seen in ages, and the next I sit on the floor next to my favorite person. I wish I could hold onto them forever, but in this moment I'm just glad I'm here.

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The roads are winding and unfamiliar, but before I know it, I'm in Georgia hugging Hailey and it's so sweet and so wild, I can't quite wrap my head around it. When I get home that night, there are cars wrapped down my driveway and so many of my favorite humans are on my back porch, talking and laughing, and it is so, so good.

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We dance in the sun.

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Two weeks at the sea. The ocean always tries to heal my heart, bit by bit. I sit on the porch and stare at the sunset until there isn't a drop of light left, tiny flecks of seashells and sand still stuck to my skin.

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"I booked my flight."

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There's nothing I love more than the late summer air. We sit under the lights in my best friends backyard and laugh with people who've been there for it all.

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June sounds like the rustle of picnic blankets and the snap of a camera lens. We explore our own city, because why not?

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Atlanta. There will never be words. We run around the city and laugh over the stupidest things and soak in every last second of being together. It's summertime picnics and good music and staying in Hanne's hotel room until ungodly hours because we just don't want to say goodbye.

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I turn twenty-one and feel more loved than I knew was possible. All I can think as I drift off to sleep: may we all be so lucky.

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Book sales and cream puffs and my sweet grandma's birthday. I teach my first dance classes since May just a few days later and leave that night to the prettiest sunset.

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My last first day. It's strange to be back, but this time, my sister is with me. We run into old friends and face the season of new.

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I have never been so grateful to hear my phone's text chime.

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September holds weekends at the lake and the most precious downtown day and picnics with Mary Shelley. The crepe myrtles are still in bloom, and I snap a photo for Keira. 

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The weeks blur, but they're sweet. Dancing in the car and eyeball parties in literature, movie kidnappings and lots of Come From Away.

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We celebrate my grandparents' sixtieth anniversary with a last-minute beach retreat. We walk, and I savor every sunrise.

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Broadway is back. It's the very first night and our city is alive. I've never seen this many people at the theater before, and the electricity makes me want to weep. No one cares about the masks or the checks - we're just here to watch Orpheus bring the world to life once more.

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The fall afternoons are gentle. I sit on the swing with the same book I've been trying to finish all semester and watch people pass as they crunch through the fallen leaves. The light is golden as I drive home through the winding roads, and music from the playlist my friends sent pumps through my speakers and into my heart.

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Some people just feel like home, and she's one of them. We sit on her porch for hours, and I end up in her kitchen until late into the night. And I'm nothing but grateful. 

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The light is perfect as I spin through the field. I hear the click of the camera and can't believe there are just a few weeks left. 

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It's freezing and I couldn't care less. I laugh with three of my dearest friends for the first time in three and a half years, and I think to myself how lucky I am to have people who loved me at nine and still love me today. How lucky we are, the four of us, to have each other.

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Thanksgiving. We're together. What else could I ever ask for?

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I am so easily discouraged when I think back on the past year. But oh, how much gratitude I hold for it. 

I'm grateful that when it comes to moments from the past year, this post really only scratches the surface.

I'm grateful for rest, and for art, and for light. 

I'm grateful for laughter - because isn't it just the most beautiful thing?  

I'm grateful for new beginnings, even when they're the last thing that I want. I'm grateful that the sun always rises in the morning, and that life can, too.

I'm grateful for connection, and for community. Life is always, always, always more beautiful when I'm with my people. I'm grateful for the friendships that span decades, and for the friendships that span months, and I'm grateful for the people who've come into my life through this space - wildly, wildly grateful. You all have held me up, time and time again, and I feel forever in your debt for that.

I'm grateful for a God who holds me, even when I'm crazy enough to think He's not. I'm grateful that He loves me even when my brain is a mess, and that He keeps reminding me, over and over again. 

I'm grateful that we're here. That I'm here. That you're here. That my people are alright. For health, and for home. The world's still spinning. We're all here. And that will always be more than enough. 

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. Thanks for sticking around for another year of Thankfulness Thursdays - they've been a joy. Grateful for each and every one of you every day. 

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Thankfulness Thursday Friends 



6 comments:

  1. I'm thankful for you and the light you shine with your beautiful, honest words. Thank you, thank you. What a joy to get to know you, a little bit, and to share the journey in a small way❤️You are right: life is so much sweeter with our people. Love and hugs to you! xxx

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  2. Thank you for this post. Hope yu had a nice Thanksgiving.
    Marion and Marilyn

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  3. not me fully tearing up at this post. i aspire to view life through the lens that you see it in. ily.

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  4. also this is the first blog comment i've written in at least a full year and it was EMBARRASSING how long it took me to figure out how to do it

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  5. i'm grateful for so many things this year - especially in the closing stages of the pandemic in my city. also thank you so much for the light you bring into my life every tuesday ♥ your letters mean so much & yes, life is much better with friends, family... and a little taylor swift! what's your favourite off of red (her version?)

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  6. Congrats on graduation being so close. This is such a beautiful post, it sounds like there were lots of moments of happiness and goodness this year for you! <3

    www.melodypersonetteauthor.blogspot.com

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