On Giving Thanks.
Once a year I sit and attempt to put together a string of words that I hope can do any justice to the overwhelming feeling of gratitude and love I feel. And every year I type and erase, type and erase, over and over, because I am never easily satisfied with how much my words seem to convey, but sooner or later (usually much later) I finally come to an agreement that, “Yes,” the words I just filtered from my head to my fingertips are good enough; they feel the way I feel.
My life has been so filled-to-the-brim in goodness and love and support and amazing! that there just never seem to be the right words…and this year, oh this year, is proving to be even more difficult than usual. It has been that fulfilling.
I am thankful for a uncountable number of reasons; reasons like…
A best friend that has made me laugh more than anyone or anything ever has for reasons that aren’t always intended to make me laugh; a best friend that I get to fall asleep and wake up next to for the rest of my life; a best friend that has never asked for anything more than love and honesty.
A family that has taught me to spread my wings despite the fact that they wished my wing span wasn’t so long, wasn’t destined to a place so far, and encouraged every step of it anyway; a family whose love I can feel from across an entire continent and ocean; a family that has never condemned me for me being true to myself but nourished it instead.
A circle of friends that I can cry with, laugh with, be a smart ass with, dance the night away with, dedicate shots with, or do nothing at all with; a circle of friends who has supported me through some of the toughest times of my life with love and empathy; a circle of friends who light up my life with the mere fact that they are in my life.
A new family that welcomed me into their house when I was little more than a stranger from across the country; a new family that has welcomed me into their hearts, their lives, their family; a new family that I am so eager to spend as much life with as possible, who are not a replacement family but a beautiful extension.
A past filled with overwhelming love, soul crushing heart-break, mile high successes, lifelong lessons and new discoveries, experiences and ideas; a past that has created a person I am proud to look at in the mirror; a past that doesn’t dictate my future, but silently helps guide my life.
A life in Italy that has opened up my eyes to a culture I may never have gotten to know; a life in Italy that has fed me some of the best food I could have ever imagined; a life in Italy that I get to share with one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met, better than any honeymoon we could have tried to plan.
A future that has no limits; a future that I can design with my own hands; a future that will be graced with all of the people I cherish most in this life.
I am thankful for the sunrise and the sunset, one cat who races me to the bathroom to sit on my lap and another that sometimes sleeps with their eyes open, pizza so good I can’t believe it, laughter that makes my face ache, plane rides that bring me closer to those I love, coffee so strong you do shots of it instead of cups, Arnold Schwarzenegger impressions, old neighbors that brought some of the most beautiful children into my life and trusted me with them, new neighbors that welcomed me into their homes not as a guest but a member of their family even when they hardly knew me, mozzarella di bufala so fresh that I have to stop myself from drinking the milk off the plate, home-made popcorn, music that can bring tears to my eyes, a smile to my face, a flutter to my heart or a wiggle to my step, inside jokes that have bonded friendships for lifetimes, the ability to share myself with people in ways that aren’t limited to the spoken word, being surrounded by a culture so different from my own that is equal parts frustrating and inspiring, freedom, tea that pleases both my nose and my taste buds, the sound of the keyboard clanking underneath my fingertips…
I am thankful for a life that is unlike any others’; a life that is in my power to mold into anything I desire; a life that can’t make promises but still inspires greatness.
I am thankful, as I am every single day, for the fact that you have touched my life. No matter how “small” that touch may seem to you, it has meant the world to me. No matter how far you are or close you are, you are always in my heart.
It is you and the simple fact that you have graced my life with your presence that make me so grateful for every breath, every heart beat and every blink. You, and you alone; your laughter, your smile, your words, your hugs, your everything.
Thank you for being a part of my life. May your heart be as filled with as much overwhelming gratitude as mine.
All of my love and gratitude ❤