Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!!
I truly do have so much to be thankful for, this year, and always. So if you don’t mind, I’m going to list some of those reasons here:
- I’m thankful for my wonderful family, who continue to support me and love me even from so far away. Even when we disagree or argue, we’re always there for each other, and I’m grateful for that.
- I’m grateful for all of the wonderful opportunities I’ve had out here in Hawaii, especially having the chance this year to assist with so many marine mammal necropsies through our stranding program…and getting to look at that shark on Saturday. ;) I’m also grateful for the chance to work in my professor’s fish lab and for all of my amazing classes.
- Of course, I am still incredibly amazed and grateful to have received the NOAA Hollings Scholarship, and that I will have the amazing opportunity this summer to go off to Panama City, FL to work with their sharks.
- I am grateful for all of my amazing friends, who continue to put up with my crazy shark antics and support me through tough times. Both my friends here in Hawaii, but I must say I’m especially grateful for my friends far away, who love me and support me and reach out from 1000s of miles away. True love, and friendship, with no boundaries. <3
- This one probably sounds cheesy, but I’m grateful for my wonderful professors, who are eager to share information with me, offer opportunities, and truly get to know me as a person.
- I am grateful that I am in a good place. I have friends, money, food, a comfortable apartment for once, a wonderful education, an INCREDIBLE family, and so much joy in my life. I’m grateful I’ve been able to come so far in the past 3 years.
This day is a wonderful day. A “National Day of Thanksgiving” as declared. Do, though, try to remember that spirit instead of rushing around tonight and tomorrow to buy gifts. Just…no. Give thanks. For what you have. Do not yearn for that which you don’t.
So this photo is blurry because it was raining and very windy, but the sentiment of love and thanks is still there 1000% from me.
Colorado Springs is my home. I spent a lot of time growing up playing and spending time with friends in the Black Forest area, and it truly is an integral part of our community. Many of my friends live there still. My heart sank when I first saw the news of a fire there last Tuesday, and continues to fall each time I see a new increased number of homes lost. Thankfully, all of my friends homes are safe.
That would not be the case without wonderful men like these. Our firefighters, police, military, etc saved our forest, countless homes, and the wonderful School in the Woods.
I am so proud to call Colorado Springs my hometown. Our community is amazing, and we all have stepped up to volunteer, offer words of support, cheer on our firefighters, and just offer any help we can. This is a terrible tragedy, but I believe our community will come out stronger than ever as we rebuild and look forward.
Community does not burn.
Thank you firefighters. Thank you so much. You are amazing. Thank your for risking your lives and health and taking time away from families to save the people and places I love.
Colorado STRONG. =)
Yesterday I wore the first pair of jeans I’ve worn in over 14 months. I couldn’t bring myself to because of all my body image issues and fears and anxieties. But I finally bought a pair that fit, and wore it with some nice heels and a beautiful shirt.
And you know what? I felt amazing.
I’ve come so far in the last year. It’s hard to admit to myself sometimes, in the midst of sadness and fear and tragedy. But I’ve come so far. And there must be some reason why I’m still here, yes? Yes.
Slowly, slowly, I’m learning to trust. Float on my back in the ocean and let it take me where it will, because I always have the power to fight back and move when I want to.
I’m so thankful for everyone who led me to this place, who held my hand through the darkness, who witnessed me at my darkest points and still loves me today. It is so likely that I wouldn’t still be here today without that.
Life is hard. The truth hurts. I still cry a lot. And I’m still afraid.
But I’m alive.
And God, I am grateful every single day for that.
I. AM. ALIVE.
Death feels so close all of the time. It could’ve been me. And that’s such a weird feeling. Suddenly, my heart feels jumpy, as though it could give out on me at any moment, though I know how strong it is.
Moments like this bring back all of the pain and grief of losing Nick, and I wish so much I could be there up in the stars with him. Except I don’t want to leave this earth yet. I don’t want to leave this beauty behind. I want to be able to live in both worlds, laugh and cry and swim in that deep blue purple painting.
It could’ve been me last night. It so easily could have been. And of course, I still have that small voice in the back of my head saying, “It should have been you.”
But as I grieve and respect and reflect, I remind myself to be grateful I am alive. It is a grand thing today simply to be alive, to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and breath in the fresh air.
Don’t let go. Remember those who have passed. Remember the fragility and wonder of life.
And give thanks.
For you are, for I am, still alive.
It doesn’t much matter when you have just now realized, all the time later, that you are still alive.
-John Green, Looking for Alaska