Sunday, July 7, 2013

Lesson 188. Live a life of gratitude.

Oh hello you, you sweet thing, you.

Tremendously kind of you to stop by, I acknowledge that our progress content wise has been notably slower this year but if you bear with me I think you'll find the learning process has overwhelmed me with a wealth of tales to tell.

It's July, how did we get here? I'm not really sure how I find myself on the seventh day of the seventh month already. I remember crawling into bed at 2am just after the new year ticked over having decided that this would be a year of good things. I was so very right and so very wrong in one moment, one thought.

We live and we learn and that's how it seems to go. The last seven months of my life feel as though they have taught me more than the last 18 years. I've made remarkable discoveries such as pina colada tea, learning that it's always necessary to open the door fully clothed, and that leaving the oven on 200 for the whole night will mean that your flatmates aren't altogether chuffed with you when they wake in the morning. I've stumbled across the importance of yelling out I love you before I flip the light switch, and making the effort to get out of your pajamas (because for heaven sakes its 5.30 on a Friday evening) and spend time with people even though all you really feel like doing is ordering in and settling down for a Full House Marathon alone. I've come to know that we have to just accept that many of life's questions will remain unanswered. But those are all stacked up for a rainy day when I can sit down and write you about their intricate details and my encounters learning such things. For now, I want to discuss something I realised today that I'll probably spend my whole life learning.

Today I went to my School's 25th year anniversary Thanksgiving service. I know I wrote on this last year, around thanksgiving actually, but I think the topic of being thankful deserves more than just one touch. I see it in a light like I've never seen it before. Thanksgiving can change the way we see a situation in an instant, thanksgiving could probably take on the world's problems if we let it.

I had a hissy before I left the house for the service. I stomped about the house yelling about how nobody had told me that I'd need to bring nice clothes to wear, nobody had prepared me for the service or even told me we were going to go. However, the mask of the clothing catastrophe came off when the tears started and the only words I could make out to my sister were "She should be here."

Nobody could've prepared me for how I'd feel about returning to the place where the most of my memories with my late best friend had been made, I was quite ready to bury myself under the covers and cry until my eyes were at that ugly puffy stage that forces sleep. However, I found myself sitting in the service just the same, fiddling with the side seams of my jacket and trying to think about anything other than what I was there to do.

And then came a minute of silence for those who couldn't be with us. Then came the moment that reduced my bleary eyes to tears and made me realise that I should be doing nothing but being thankful.

We hurt because we had. I feel deep loss because I knew deep love, and if that isn't something to be thankful for then I don't know what is. We grieve life ultimately because we share it, and in sharing it we stir a sense of happiness and create connections. I'm thankful that I had the time that I did with Caitlin. I'm thankful that the time I spent at school was spent making friends with people that have stood by me through the hardest time I've ever seen. I'm thankful that today I was reminded that being thankful can flip a perspective in an instant. I don't believe in happy-face fronts, but I do believe in a joy that resides in the same soul as a broken heart. I believe in gratitude.

So be thankful for the hurts and the heartache. Be thankful for the awkward blunders and the falls from grace because they make you better.  Be thankful for the ones you love, whether they are still with you or whether they've taken a step heavenwards. Be thankful for the painful processes of growing up and figuring out where things fit for you.

Right now I'm not even asking for you to be thankful for the roof over your head (although that's a definite plus) I'm asking for you to be thankful for growing pains. Seek the beauty in the wreckage and if you don't find it, make it.

Live a life of gratitude.