Give Thanks.

While I was sitting in traffic tonight on my way home from school, my mind continued to wander to all of the work I have to do and the finals I need to study for when I get back.  That’s when it hit me- all of that stuff isn’t what really matters this time of year.  We’re all thankful for this break from the madness, but there is so much more that should be at the forefront of our minds this week.  Thanksgiving is about just that- giving thanks.  It’s not about worrying about school, it’s not about what you’re going to wear at your unplanned and maybe unwanted inevitable high school reunion, and its DEFINITELY not about shopping.  So what are you thankful for? I’ll start.

I am thankful for my health.  I’m thankful for the health of my family and my friends.  I’m thankful for the love I am surrounded by.  I am thankful for all of the supportive people in my life.  I’m thankful for all of the unsupportive and unloving people in my life, as well.  I’m thankful for the roof over my head.  For the food in my stomach.  For the clothes on my back and exploding out of my closet.  I am thankful for my education and all of the opportunities it has brought and will continue to bring me.  I am thankful for the Red Sox winning the world series and for Tom Brady embarrassing Peyton Manning this week.  I am thankful for my ability to see all of the beauty the world has to offer.  I am thankful for buffalo chicken, for pizza, for Dr. Pepper, …and for my metabolism.  I’m thankful for the car that I drive and the job that gives me money to put gas in it (barely).  I am thankful for each and every one of you.

The list could go on and on, and it should.  So please, when you’re thinking about going out shopping this weekend or complaining about having nothing to wear- just take a second to be thankful for the things you already have.  Take a second to think about all of the people who don’t have half as much as you do and are thankful for it every day.  Take a second to think about the brave people serving our country overseas who are missing their loved ones.  Take a second to think about all of the employees in those stores that are forced to work on days that should be spent with family and friends. Be thankful.  Please please please be thankful.

And stuff your faces. Go Pats!

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Stop looking.

As much as I’m happy to help, it truly breaks my heart how many people could relate to my last post. If I could heal all of your pain, I would do it in a heartbeat.  But I didn’t write that post by simply sitting down and typing.  I wrote that post from my own experience, and from your experiences as well.  Now I’m hoping some of you can relate, or at least gain hope, from what else I’ve experienced in the past few years.

They say you find love/happiness/blablabla when you least expect it.  And I think, for the most part, we forget this.  Or maybe we don’t believe it.  It’s not entirely our fault…we were raised on fairytale endings and N’Sync lyrics. Now, a lot of us have come to think that the only ones God must have spent a little more time on are Channing Tatum and Ryan Gosling (not entirely untrue).  We’ve somehow adjusted to the idea that we don’t deserve to be treated like princesses, and we should be happy with just our girlfriends and a romantic comedy on a cold night and our cute outfits on the weekends. If we tweet sassy girl-power lyrics enough we’ll believe them, right? 

I call bullshit.  Do you need the guy who cares more about his friends than you? No.  Do you need the guy who you never quite know if he’s telling the truth? Of course not.  Do you need the guy who has no ambition or the one who doesn’t love you for exactly who you are?  Ab.so.lute.ly not.  But you know as well as I do that you can’t spend the rest of your life running from the entire male species because, eventually, you’re going to run out of romantic comedies.  You also can’t keep putting on the shortest dress with the lowest cut chest because whoever came up with the term ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’ clearly had no self respect and it’s getting friggen cold out.  What you need to do is stop.  Stop everything you’re doing.  Yes, you with the rubinoff bottle, put it down. Just stop.

Don’t get me wrong here- I’m all for romantic comedies and laughing till you cry with your girlfriends.  But when you’re ready to find someone, just stop looking.  It really is so true that you’ll find him in the unlikeliest of places.  Hell, I found him in a disgusting dorm building.  Definitely not what I imagined when it comes to telling people how you met “him”.  I found him in the midst of a downward spiral…literally.  At 19 years old, my grades, my health, and my confidence were going out the window and they weren’t looking back.  And I wasn’t looking forward.  And there he was.  He treats me like a princess.  He makes me laugh.  He has goals.  He’s smart AND he’s athletic (who knew this was possible?).  I didn’t try to find him.  I didn’t even want to find him.  I was just fine with continuing on the destructive path I was on and I finally had stopped looking.

I don’t mean to sound cliche…I really don’t.  But I believe in this one.  So get up, dust yourself off, and take off those heels you know were never worth the blisters.

When you’re ready to find him, just stop looking. 

Beauty in the breakdown

You stare at the phone.  He still hasn’t called.  He has to call, you tell yourself.  This can’t be real, there’s just no way it’s real.  He’s not who you thought he was…and that’s what hurts the most.  It’s your fault, right?  You should have known.  You run to your girl friends, your pillow, and your bottle of wine.  You tear down the pictures, cursing yourself for ever being so blind.  Cursing him for fooling you.  It’s all a dream, right?  It feels like a dream.  But try as you might, you just can’t wake up.  You gave him another chance.  He practically begged, what were you supposed to do?  He said it would be different this time.  It wasn’t different.  Surprise, surprise.  When is this feeling going to go away?  When will you feel like yourself again?  This, you tell yourself, is rock bottom.  

What you don’t tell yourself, what I am telling you, is that this is okay.

Rock bottom is a scary place.  It’s dark, it’s cold, and even though your friends are trying to pull you up you just can’t or won’t feel better.  What you don’t realize, is how much you learn while cradling your head in your hands in the depths of rock bottom.  You think you know yourself when you’re up, but it’s when you’re down that you really begin to see.  But Em- you just said it’s dark, what could I possibly see?  Contradicting myself, as usual.

What you see is the potential of who you could be.  You see what you deserve.  How much you had with him, and how much you didn’t have.  Most importantly, while you’re sitting on rock bottom, you begin to see the light amongst the darkness.  Clarity…maybe clarity is a better word for it.  You realize that you are your own person.  With or without him, you are you.  You’ve always been you.  People love you for you.  And he can’t take that away.  You realize that you have your own needs, when for so long his needs had been consuming your every waking moment- eating away at your energy to do what you need to do for YOU.  By no means does this mean that the pain is gone.  Not even a little bit.  But while you wait for it to fade, there’s no point in sitting in that cold darkness.  You realize that your friends need you as much as you need them.  They need the girl that was comfortable in her own skin.  You realize that you have so much to offer to yourself, and to them as well.  You realize that no matter how long it takes, you need to become the best you you can be for you and for your friends, before you can be you for any man.  You realize that you can be better than this.  That you ARE better than this.  That you will always, always, always be better than anyone who makes you feel this way.

You realize, with your head in your hands, your makeup on your face, and your bottle of wine empty, that the only way out of rock bottom, is up.