I thought with Thanksgiving around the corner, I might give some thanks.
But as I start to write, I realize how little I was thankful this year. I spent half of it just grasping at some previous reality that maybe never was real in the first place, and the other half mourning the things I should have been appreciating. And I don’t think it’s any secret at this point that I’ve had one the best and worst years of my life. I guess that’s probably the greatest thing about writing how you feel for pretty much every one to see, people ask how you are, and I kind of just want to say, you really want to know? Here. Read all about it.
In truth though, although it’s been a year of really growing up, and that means some occasional tears and punching inanimate objects (my preference being pillows over walls as I’m not a dude) and asking some foreign being in the sky why it has be all be so hard sometimes?.. I wouldn’t change it. Nope. It hasn’t been easy, no doubt about that. But I see the Meg who graduated in May, and I look in the mirror now and I see a better and stronger person. And though I’m by no means done in finding one who that person is.. if that’s not something to be thankful for– for a person who survived some kind of internal fire– then I don’t know what is.
I’m thankful for standing up.
I started off this year, just stagnant. I mean I wasn’t unhappy, but I wasn’t moving. And I mean I literally wasn’t moving. So it started with a physical transformation. I got sick of sitting on my ass being one of those girls who complained about how I didn’t look like so and so and having every excuse in the book of how I was going to change that.
I just decided one day that I was going to. I wasn’t going to say I was going to do it, I was actually going to do it. I was going to sacrifice a Saturday night for an early Sunday morning on a treadmill. And I wasn’t going to eat pizza at 2 AM because everyone else was. And that I could run that extra mile. And guess what? I did. I ran and I ran and I ran and I ran. And people noticed. Want to know why? Because I did it. And I’m still doing it. In January of this year, I could barely run a ten minute SINGULAR mile. Today I can run 5 of those. Just because, one day.. I woke up and decided I was going to. And nothing was going to stop me.
I’m thankful for falling down.
I never felt better physically. I was proud of each mile. But you can have the best body in the world, and still get your heart broken.
When I graduated in May, I felt like a curtain fell down and all of a sudden I realized the wizard of Oz was nothing more than a little man behind a bed sheet. I had lived the past four years in some sort of a delusional fairy tale where the future didn’t exist and I could be young and dumb forever. And any job could be my job and my dreams were in reach and I lived on a rainbow made of vodka and sunshine. I loved it there. The last six months of college made everything a little more clear. You appreciate little things so much more when you know it’s almost over. You want to suck the fun out of every situation, get every last drop of every last memory because you all of sudden begin to realize, you’re losing something. It’s almost gone. And maybe we all did that a little, all tried to hold on to anything that felt real and solid, all grasping for eachother, seeing everything in a new light because we finally appreciated what little time we had left. And because of that.. maybe I left my heart a little more open than normal, because I just wanted to feel everything I could.
Maybe, maybe.. I don’t know. You can maybe yourself to death, but I always thought living in Lawrence this past summer would be the best thing for us. But it wasn’t the same. It was a ghost town to the memories. All of a sudden, we were visitors in a place we always thought we could call home. Every single place reminded me of a memory that could never be lived again. Each day was a marathon. I could run all day long, but I couldn’t run from the fact that I was heart broken for something that wasn’t mine anymore. I hated pictures, I hated cards, I went from being so incredibly happy to being sometimes mind-numbingly sad. I listened to Slow-Dancing in a Burning Room on repeat. John Mayer’s voice was a close and personal friend. I desperately needed an intervention that I could only give myself. And I just couldn’t do it. Yet.
I’m thankful for new beginnings.
Move-out day. I wanted out. I wanted to stay. I wanted to leave. I wanted to bury myself in the floor and just exist there forever. I was a walking contradiction. I moved everything out of my room but my bed. I wanted to spend the last night I could possibly stay in Lawrence, in a room that was full of memories even if it wasn’t full of anything else. Long story short, I was pretty much dragged out of 1228 Ohio street. I spent all summer hating I was stuck in a place so incased in the past and when it came time to go, I wasn’t ready to leave.
Moving away didn’t feel like a new beginning at first. It felt like my life was over. When I first came to college, I was so excited to start fresh, to not know anyone, and then just 4 years later, I was terrified to do the thing I was so excited for just a few years ago. I felt emotionally raw. I came into Kansas City kicking and clawing for what used to be.
But anyone can tell you, the past is the past. You can’t live it again. And so little by little, I’ve tested the waters of the present. I got stronger. And I learned a valuable lesson in doing so. Getting stronger in the heart is so much harder than any mile I’ve had to run. It’s about getting up each day and looking the world in the face and saying I’m up. I’m here. Bring it on. And it’s a lot more difficult to actually do some days than it is to say.
I’m thankful for the climb.
And so here I am.. months and months from that girl. Reflecting on a year that has been nothing short of a metaphorical mountain. And I’m thankful. Because life is hard for a reason. It’s not supposed to be easy. You’re supposed to survive. In matters of the body, yes. But more importantly, in matters of the heart.
If it wasn’t for the pain I went through this summer, I never would have started this blog. I never would have remembered how much I love to write. Sometimes I would feel like I would drown in my own sadness, but then I’d sit down to write. And It would be like coming up for air. Because when I finish writing, it’s a better high than I’ve ever gotten in anything else. Because I love doing it. And I’m thankful I have that.
After a year of uncertainty, I’m thankful for the peace I find in my little moments of clarity. That things are never perfect, but things are better. And that memories are good things. They mean you’ve lived.
And to live.. through heart break, through despair, through infinite limitless joy, through each memory whether they be happy or sad—well that’s what giving thanks is all about.
So thank you guys, for standing by me, as I grow as a person. As I survive each internal battle. As I fall down, and stand up and fall down again. As I look forward to the future, find peace with the past and thrive in the present.