My life right now is a strange crazy mess. It is rushing and frantic. It is a bunch of tiny little notes written in corners of things and on sticky notes (and very rarely in a tiny notebook that is really meant for these things). It is pulling off to the side of the road when creativity sends something to me because if I don’t it will be gone. It is trying to decide where I am going and what I am doing, and whether I can muster enough trust so that I don’t actually need to know these things for certain. It is all life. Good and bad.
Today I am feeling strangely thankful for my own pain and struggle. For all the bad I have gone through that has shown me how good the good parts really are. So I have decided to make a list of the bad things I am thankful for. Because the more I move along the more I see that the bad taught me more, and faster, than the good ever did.
Author’s put acknowledgements in their books as a sign of appreciation. It is their chance to give thanks to those who deserve it, even if they never said it before for one reason or another. I would like to do the same for some of my life’s underappreciated hardships. These events have had their influence on different parts of my life. The least I can do is spend some words acknowledging them before I move on to the next story.
To factory work for helping me buy a car and learn how many hours I can actually work without losing my mind. And for introducing me to some amazingly resilient souls.
To the Great Fire of Ot-13, Amstutz 416, and the seminary apartment. Thank you for the strawberries and the tears and the angry rants. Thank you for people who drop everything to help you move and for bringing about the question, “Can you tell me about this?” Thank you for daiquiri day drinking and movies on the couch of a lovely apartment that was comparably terrible to our newly feng shui-ed home. Thank you for making us feel shit on by bad luck, and for all of the comedy, love, and memories that came from it.
To AmeriCorps for teaching me what I don’t want to be, and solidifying the things I do. For allowing me to live with some of the most real, cynical, fantastic people I have ever met. And for showing me what I am capable of fighting through when I put my stubbornness to work.
To myself in all the times that I was a less than kind human being, whether it was an accident or not. Thank you for making me feel truly hideous. So much that I resolved never to make the same mistakes again.
To being an adult(ish). For teaching me never to wish any amount of time away. Because time moves fast, and you never know which moment is going to be the one you wish you could go back to.
To loss of all kinds. You are the one I find hardest to thank. Your hurt lingers longer. The unfairness of your actions sticks. But to you I am thankful for hope. Because through you we find faith. We find each other. We find strength we never knew we had. And if we can live through you, we can live through anything.
I encourage you to make a list of your own. Your life’s acknowledgements to growth may show you something. Don’t ask me what it might show you because I really don’t know. There are always going to be new bad things that you have to put on a separate list because you can’t bring yourself to feel thankful. The wounds are too fresh or the hurt is too deep. Give them time to heal, and let yourself grow. And trust that someday you will come to see the truth of your strength, and that in a strange way, some of that bad was a blessing.