I have to tell you guys about something terrible that happened today. I know, today is supposed to be about gratitude and joy...but I have to get out the pain somewhere.
I was at my uncle's house in Lansing, just like every year. All was well. Wine in my hand, chatting with relatives. Made a little comment, something like "all I need are sweet potatoes, and I'm good to go". My aunt says... "I didn't bring them". I swear to you I got tears in my eyes.
No sweet potatoes.
Just about the worst thing someone can tell me on Thanksgiving. Okay, I know much worse things can happen, but this is also a mini tragedy in my life.
Isn't that just horrible? Don't worry, after some deep breathing and more wine, I got over it. Kind of.
Anyhow. Thanksgiving. I had a lot of time to reflect on what I am thankful for yesterday on my 10 mile walk. And I decided the best way to do this is in a list. So, here we go:
-God. I am so thankful that God loves me and protects me, that He does not give up on me and that He helps me through all the hardest times in my life and brings me what I need. So so lucky.
-My family. It's like no matter what happens, I know I will always have a home. We've been through some challenges (what family hasn't) but we are a strong little army of seven. I would do anything for my family members. I am very lucky and grateful that both of my siblings have found a genuine, true love and have shared that love with the rest of us, so I now have two more siblings :) Plus, my parents have just about saved me this year. At the end of my year with MVC, I had no idea what was going to happen next. They could have easily said "well, good luck." but instead, they said "you can stay with us for as long as you need too". I know everyone makes jokes about movin back in with the rents...and yeah, it has been very tough at times. But the good outweighs the bad. 95% of the time, it has been a real joy. They love me, they care about me, and they support me. It's pure, genuine, unconditional, and everlasting.
- An incredible support system. I don't have a lot of people that I can "hang out" with anymore- most are living elsewhere- but I do have a very long list of people that I can count on for support and prayers...and that means the world to me. Just yesterday I was in a little pickle. I had left my ipod at home on my walk. Big mistake. 10 miles without music is incredibly tough. My sister had walked the first three with me, then I was on my own. It was cold, it was dark, and I was needing some motivation. So I sent a quick text to some friends asking for inspiration. Almost immediately I had a ton of responses- song lyrics, quotes, cheers, even a picture of Isaac Hanson (thanks, Sam). That was just one little example of some of the amazing things they do for me. I feel incredibly supported. I may be lonely at times, but I know I am never alone. I am grateful for that.
-The lessons I learned with my year with MVC. I'm STILL trying to process 09-10. Sometimes I feel like it didn't even happen. It was just a really long dream. I don't know how long it will take me to really understand the magic of that year, but I do know that when I think about it, I smile. I wish I could place myself back into any day last year and relive it just for one day, because I miss it so much. I miss the Sisters of Mercy, tje JV's, my coworkers, my students, and my community members. I know that I was incredibly blessed to be able to spend a year volunteering in Detroit with outstanding people to work with. I will never forget it, and I know it made me a better person. <3
-That I was able to find work that is meaningful and rewarding. My new job started off a little rough, and I did not think it was going to work out. But in the past few weeks I have really appreciated it. I know I won't be there forever, but I'm happy there for the time being. I'm still learning and getting the hang out of it, and I definitely did not have the instant connection I did with Cristo Rey. But I enjoy doing it, being able to support a group of teenagers in need. Plus I'm just very glad I was able to find something. Cuz those few months where I was completely jobless were miserable. Also, babysitting John and Claire has been a wonderful experience. They are my little buddies now and I love spending time with them and getting to know them.
-Music and writing. The two things that get me through each and every day. Everyone goes through the bad days. The important thing is to find something or someone that will guide you. Mine have all been listed above, with a side dish of music and writing.
-My health, and the fact that I am able to continue to strengthen my health through daily walking.
I truly hope that all of you had an amazing Thanksgiving, that is was full of all things that are happy. We had a great time, watching the Lions and then playing our annual flag football game. (But tell me why I got tackled...twice?). It's always good to see the extended family :)
Again, hope your days were lovely. But please don't tell me how amazing your sweet potatoes were unless you want me to hit you.