30 Day Gratitude Challenge: Challenges and Gratitude, how can they go together?

Happy Thanksgiving guys! Who watched the Macy’s parade?

When I was little, I loved waking up to see the Macy’s parade. As I got older, I have to admit that I sort of stopped watching it and instead chose to sleep in instead. I would however wake up to some yummy broth that’s being cooked for the dinner meal. Yum……just thinking about it right now….

What an appropriate prompt for the actual Thanksgiving Day. Everyone can be thankful when good things happen. However, when bad things happen; when people go through storms — Gratitude & thankfulness are many times, the last thing on many individual’s minds. This obviously includes me.

I’d like to share a challenge that I’m grateful for, and it’s something that happened to me a while ago. I decided after months of contemplation that I’d move from the life and place I had known for over a decade, where I went to school, stayed around even while going to grad school, dated a guy there even…and essentially uprooted my life to close the door on a chapter that I felt was necessary. Things in my life required it and personally, I found that I was loosing my sense of identity of who I am. So essentially I made the call and let’s just say, long story short, I got a lot of back lash for it. You’re all going to think this is strange, but given that others have done this as well, you can guess what I’m goign to say — I knew I was going to get that back lash. What I didn’t expect, was how hard it was emotionally, physical, and mentally.

It’s kinda like starting over. When you’re over 30 and you’ve lived a certain way, it’s kind of hard. The thing was…starting over wasn’t too much of a challenge at all. The challenge,  was what I endured, experienced, and felt the moment I shared the news to the last car round of my things at the place I had called home for a few years. Betrayal doesn’t begin to describe how I felt. It’s no wonder why, during this time, I turned to Rachel Platten’s Fight Song so much. That chorus line: “This is my fight song, prove I’m all right song….” That was me. It was my chance to prove that I’m all right and I didn’t need those people who I thought were mentors and friends in my life.

So, where’s the gratitude in all of this? I learned a few things that I’m grateful for. I learned that we are all broken…we can’t hide behind the identity (for me a Christian). I acknowledged even in this event, I had a hand in this…we’re all flawed, and I know after that, yeah, I wanted to prove I’m all right. The reality was that I wasn’t. Cornerstone by Hillsong became that song for me as well, a staple that even when I don’t have anyone (i.e. Friends and mentors I once relied on), I had God. I had my family. Most of all, my long time friends from high school, they were there. Those who had also moved on, they were there. I was grateful for this, because it was the right choice for me, and did I come all right. Yeah, I did. I came out stumbling and faltering, still do at times…but I came out doing ok.

In fact, when I found out I was going back up north for a year, my fear was that I’d run into these so called friends & family. However, you know what? Even if I did, I’ve been over this…I’ve forgiven them…but, my resolve is that they are people as I am one….we all have our moments when the ugly side comes out….they will most likely not want to be my friends, and I don’t think I would either to be honest. I’m grateful that it happened to me….because now I can be me, mature, and grow and be that example to others.

I don’t think at this point in my life I can say I’m over it. However, I can say that I’ve survived, doing all right for now, and am moving on with life, with new friends, new mentors, and a new life. Hey, wouldn’t you have guessed….this blog actually started because I was accused of being a better writer than a talker of my issues…so if that’s any consolation of gratitude, this blog honestly started because that’s what was said of me when I shared the news of my big move.

The thing is, this probably was one of the darkest moments of my life. It was one that I knew would be difficult, and honestly, it was a decision I was fearful of making. It was a big move that I knew would be taxing in multiple ways. Yet, I’m glad I did it, because I needed to do that for myself and others I cared about. Was it worth it in the end? Yes. Was it hard? Absolutely…tears were shed probably for 3 months….and I lost a guy that was really nice…did I love him? I don’t think so…. Did I learn a lot? Absolutely. Regrets? Should have done it earlier in my life…I had an opening when I could have done this…and I didn’t take that chance….

 

But I’m grateful for it, because I’m able to live. I’m able to be me. I’m able to make choices that I wasn’t able to before (not bad ones either…it’s just hard to explain). I’m not the kind to lay it all out on the table, so I know this must seem odd. For you S’ out there on the Myers Briggs Personality test…I know details are a big deal. However, I just can’t give away all the details for my safety and just…not being the kind of blog that’s about belittling people. The fact is, I’m grateful that chapter of my life is over, I live a new life, and will beginning a new chapter in a couple of months.

So there you have it…at the time, challenges and storms….they seem like that — storms and challenges that never seem to end. However, I want to encourage you, those who are out there, that may be going through a difficult time in your life, that this storm will pass. It will take time, and I will acknowledge that myself that it takes time…but I will say that storms will pass. When it does, you will know that there is at least something to be thankful for…small or large.

Have a happy Thanksgiving! Stay safe! Drive sober (I prefer zero tolerance when it comes to tolerance..not a single drop!) Shop safe if you are shopping on Black Friday.

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