As I sit in my kitchen letting my feet thaw in my slippers and allowing my fingers to warm themselves on this keyboard, I suppose I shall share some thoughts upon which I have been ruminating. I just went for a luxurious twenty minute walk around the block. Wearing my brown flats, which are insensible in this weather yet I refuse to retire them for any season, I set off in my bright pink pea coat with my thoughts, my black leather gloves, and my slowly dying cell phone. I find that a walk is often all I need when I'm stressed, anxious, over thinking things, or just battling with boredom. I wasn't really dealing with any of these situations, but I knew that my body could use some fresh air. Walks always seem to have a calming affect on me, letting me unwind and attend to the emotions and thoughts I often neglect during the day.
As I walked, I thought about how all my Facebook friends have been posting things for which they are thankful during this month of giving thanks. I also began to compile a list in my head. It's quite simple actually- family, friends and experiences. I am lucky to have grown up with a family that is so close. I have shared a bond with all of my siblings since I was young and with my parents, which came easier as I grew older. I often take for granted what a rare breed I am. I get to go home to a house full of people for every holiday- no pressure, no stress, no disagreements, just fun with a healthy, wholesome, crazy family. They are my life and always have been. But the point of this post is not for me to rave about how awesome my family is, or how I am blessed to have a boyfriend who is my complete opposite and thus both challenges and supports me, or how I am lucky to have amazing friends who have never stopped loving me, no matter what differences we may have faced at various times. No, the real reason I sat down at the computer this afternoon was because I realized something important. Not only do those people who are close to me affect my life, but so do those who no longer are.
Shuffling down the sidewalk this afternoon, I looked, as I usually do, for the car I know I will see around town at some point, for the face of a guy with whom I used to be infatuated. I know some day I will face him, probably when I am unprepared and flustered, probably not when I am as calm and level-headed as I am now. Even though things didn't work out with this person and me, for good reason, he is still a part of my life, or was. I learned who I was and who I didn't want to ever be from that relationship. So not only are we affected by the ones who surround us; we also are influenced by the ones who are no longer in our lives. As I lingered in the cold air, I was aware that at that particular moment I would be okay if I came across him. I would be able to face him head on, but that's not how life works. When and if I ever see him again, it will probably be at the most inopportune moment, at the most inconvenient time. But that's what life does- it throws us challenges when we are least able to accept or handle them. However, we always manage to survive.
So, I am thankful. I am thankful for all of those people in my life, past and present. I am thankful for those people I have yet to meet and the journeys ahead of me to come. I am thankful for all the experiences that I have had, both good and bad, because they've made me into the person I am today. They've made me into the woman who sits here watching the sun set from her living room window, thawing in the silence of an empty apartment, ruminating on how lucky she is and has been to a world wide web full of both familiar people and strangers alike. And I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.