It’s Thanksgiving in less than a week. And for a lot of people, it’s tricky to think of what to be thankful for this year.
The world has been rife with atrocities – with racism, sexism and fear-mongering swirling through the media, the American nation politically divided and gun violence rapidly becoming the new normal.
2016 hasn’t been the easiest year by any means.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t get to appreciate the tiny things that have gone right in the past three hundred and sixty-five days.
It doesn’t mean we can’t be grateful for the positive experiences we’ve had, the good choices we’ve made, and the people who have stuck by our side through it all. The people who made this year what it was, even on the worst of days. The people who allowed us to love them.
So this year I want to extend a thank you – a genuine, bottom-of-my heart ‘thank you’– to the people who let me into their lives in 2016.
Thank you to the old friends who were there through every road bump, every disappointment, every change and challenge and twist that this past year threw our way. Thank you for being there when the rest of the world seemed to be falling apart. Thank you for being truly irreplaceable.
Thank you to the new friends, who welcomed me into their world. The ones who took the initiative to make plans, to keep in touch, to be honest about who they were and who allowed me to do the same with them. Thank you for bringing new perspectives into my life and the challenging me to grow. Thank you for inspiring me to be a bigger, better, newer version of the person I’ve always been.
Thank you to the love interests, who’ve leant me their time and their hearts over the past three hundred and sixty-five days. The first dates that didn’t go anywhere, but provided a fascinating window into someone else’s world. The flings that brought me out of my head and into a wilder, more exhilarating reality. The one person I still think of every time I listen to ‘The Last Five Years” soundtrack, who turned into an incredible friend.
Thank you to everyone who let the flames of fiery passion burn down into the embers of lasting friendship. Thank you for still being around. Genuinely.
It’s so easy to obsess over the love that changed or got lost, instead of being grateful for the love we had in the first place.
Nobody is obligated to let us into their world. Nobody is obligated to continue loving us in the ways that we want them to. And too often, we forget that.
We forget that having any measure of love in our lives is an incredible thing. We forget that the great part about love isn’t the having of it, but the giving of it – the seizing of the opportunity to explore someone’s world, to shower them with affection, to show them how incredible they are through our eyes.
This year, instead of thanking people for loving us, what if we also took a moment to thank them for letting us love them?
Because at the end of the day, that’s always going to be the most rewarding part of our lives – the way we connected with other people. The ways we intersect with them. The ways we influence and push one another to grow.
No matter the outcome. No matter the repercussions. No matter what madness is ravaging the world around us.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all the people I loved and was loved by in 2016.
That’s something nobody can take away from any of us this Thanksgiving.