Friday, November 25, 2011

Wishing Stars and Painful Scars

Thankful for powerful lyrics and perfect harmonies, inside jokes and spontaneous dance parties; Flowers (both real and paper) and the smell of old books; Rocking out to Journey in parking lots in the middle of the night and friends to do it with; Leopard print slippers and other people's jackets to wear; Wishing stars and Shakespearean monologues; Eyes that look at you with sincerity and see you as you are, smiles that are infectious, and faces that can brighten even the darkest of days. All the beautiful people in my life, whether I've known you since birth or just met you a few weeks ago, thank you for being you and being here for me. My life would be a lot less worth it if I didn't have you.

These are the words I penned as my Facebook status this past Turkey Day. It was, in fact, rather difficult to pick just a few things to mention. I'm thankful for very much. I've done a lot of thinking as to what I intended to blog about for this festive holiday, and up until right now, I was going to go into more detail on the previous things and maybe tell a few stories behind them.

But the Muse has something else in mind.

Let me be honest, I'm not exactly sure what I'll be posting about but it'll be fun to see where this goes.

Basically, this holiday is predictable, as are most of them. But Thanksgiving I think takes the cake for tradition and repetition. Most families do the whole go-around-the-table-and-say-what-you're-most-thankful-for thingy, as does mine. And as is expected, every year the same things are mentioned: Family, friends, the house, the job, Jesus, good food, etc. You have all probably witnessed this yourselves. I make an attempt every year to be at least a little bit artistic and creative with my answer (see above). But you know what else I've noticed?

No one ever says that they're thankful for bad things.

This is probably a given, right? Why would anyone be thankful for bad things? The holidays are a time to try to forget the bad and make beautiful memories. But I think that's the problem. It's an excuse. An excuse to block out bad memories and hard times. But life isn't all Jingle Bells and stuffing.

Life is a tear-stained pillow and a massive purple scar too.

And that's what I intend to write about. As much as I too try to forget all the harsh things that have happened to me, I just recently realized that I need to be thankful for them too. Don't get me wrong though, I'm not saying you should be thankful for genocide and cancer. But I definitely believe that if there were no bad times, the good would feel a lot less sweet.

I'm thankful for a lack of money.

Crazy? Yes. But it's true. After I got home from Cambodia this summer, I realized how freaking rich we are in the states, and how freaking selfish we are because of that. Walking around shopping malls and department stores and even Walmart leaves me absolutely disgusted with the wealth-saturated, cushy, oh-ehm-gee-I-broke-a-nail society we live in. The kids in America cry when they can't have more than one soda a day. The kids in Cambodia were dancing with joy when we gave them a handful of bread. Being "poor" not only helps me relate to the beautiful people on the other side of the world, it makes me ready to become one of them. My Designer told me to move to Thailand for a year, and to be completely honest, I am counting down the days until I can abandon this whiny selfishness and be united with a singing thankfulness.

I'm thankful for fights.

I'm not talking war here. I'm talking about the ridiculous little spats you have with your brother because you don't want to take him the the park in the freezing cold, or the fifteen minutes that you don't talk to your best friend because she wants Starbucks and you don't. For one, they are so much fun to look back and laugh at. And for two, they make you realize how much you actually love those people, and how horrible your life is when you aren't getting along.

I'm thankful for embarrassing moments.

Mostly because when you're in them, you realize who your friends really are. They're the ones who will pick you up when you fall off the stage and make sure you're okay before they laugh at you. They send angry text messages asking where your work shoes are because you keep slipping. They're the ones who will sing off-key on purpose because they know you're sick and they don't want you to be alone. Plus, moments of awkwardness and dumb-blondeness are always fun to laugh at.

But mostly, I'm thankful for my scars.

And trust me, I have a lot of them. Most of them are stupid, like the one I have on my pinkie from when I cut myself with a plastic butter knife. But they're all unique and beautiful because each of them resemble an era or moment of my life when I messed up. They remind me of when I got hurt or when I made a fool of myself trying to perform a simple task. They're both emotional and physical. Some of them go really deep, and some still hurt if I touch them. But each one tells a story, and each one helped to mold me into the person I am today. I'm far from finished when it comes to discovering myself, and if there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that I will collect far more scars in the years to come. But, just like my flaws, I've learned to love them, and I hope My Designer will let me keep them when I get to Heaven.

Because Jesus kept His scars too.

So I'm pretty sure that concludes my I'm-thankful-for-things-that-suck-but-can-be-awesome list. I'll close out by penning a new collection of things that I'm thankful for.
I'm thankful for the children in Cambodia, who even though don't speak my language can still indulge with me in worshiping our Designer; For flowers with ripped petals and climbing trees; For rolled ankles and popped jaws and overbites; For people with dimples and people who can't sing, who love you more than you ever thought was possible; For hands: old wise ones that feel like years of trial and victory, and gentle new ones that are ready to seize life by the bowlines and ride it to the end; For poetry and words that roll off the tongue like smooth stones; For moments that even Kodak can't capture. But mostly, for scars that tell the stories no novel ever could, and for the Designer with Whom I cannot wait to share those stories.
Happy holidays, lovelies. I hope your day was deliciously sweet.

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