I just wanted to take a break from the doom to put this out there.
You are an amazing person with so much potential. Yeah, you. You’ve got the world at your fingertips. You’re living a brilliant and amazing life. You’ve done things nobody else could do, written things that only you could come up with, had experiences unique to yourself. And you are so, so, so lucky. Even if it doesn’t seem like it right now, even if you’re struggling to find the silver lining in the storm cloud. You are awesome, and you have so much to be thankful for.
If this sounds cheesy, it’s ’cause I’m in the Thanksgiving mood. And really, I was hoping for more of an inspiring, but cheesy works as well. Hey, I have nothing against dairy.
Me? To quote my English teacher (and my mom) frequently, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Well I don’t agree with that maxim. Here’s what I’m thankful for. (This is an incomplete list.)
–Christ. This should be the first thing on my list, and it is. Because there’s nothing I’m more thankful for than the love and grace of my Lord and Savior Jesus.
–Health. My family is healthy, not only physically but mentally. We’re all doing well and managing to stay up with the pace of life.
–Family. We’ve gone through some hard times, but we’ve always stuck with it together. Right now is a ‘gilded era’, if you will, where things are going really well. It’s not so much our good fortune this year, but the fact that no matter what, we’re capable of loving each other and providing mutual support. I love my sister, brother, mom, and dad. They answer to ‘peasant’, let me rant about doom, allow me to bounce novel ideas off them, and support me in everything I do, from riding to writing to vegetarianism.
–Love. The promise of someone who will look at me and find joy. I know I already have immense and unconditional love in the form of God and my family… But I can’t say I’m not looking forward to the notion of experiencing the amazing love God intended between a man and a woman. I have a couple years. But it’s the hope that fills me with thanks. God promised this to me, and I relish the thought of claiming it.
–Aloha. My horse. My unconditional best friend. She’s what keeps me sane (or somewhat close) during all those crazy times where I’m trying to balance school, homework, chores, writing, riding, friends, and a little thing called sleep. From the moment I put on her halter to the time I lead her back to her stall at night, I’m at peace. I can forget about the rest of life for a bit. You have no idea what a relief this is.
Plus, when we’re jumping, or trail riding, or just cantering around the arena, I feel like I’m accomplishing something. I can tell when I’ve done a good course, and I’ve been riding long enough that I know when I can work on certain things.
–Kingdom Angst. I posted about this probably about a month ago, but I still find myself thinking about it. I get it sometimes, still, but instead of getting mad and frustrated at myself, I embrace it. And I write off the strong feelings, converting the fury to words. Which brings me to
–Writing With Passion. Most of what I write is mediocre. There’s some generally okay material in there, and every once in a while it’s like, “Oh, wow, this is actually kind of good.” But I’m talking those moments when I’m inspired with the Kingdom Angst, when I have this passion building up inside me and I just pour it out onto the page. It’s when I think the least that I write the best. I love that feeling and I treasure those moments.
–Friends. I have some amazing friends. IRL and online. Redwing, you’re my best in-real-life friend, and I have to thank you for all the times we’ve laughed, talked, and spent entire sleepovers constructing new roleplays. (And hey, look what came out of it! That was probably the longest-running Maximum Ride RP of the ’09-’10 Wipe year~ =D) Thank you for the ninja walks, the how’s-your-word-count guilt-sessions, and the trip up to visit our good friend Arty. I don’t think I’ve ever told you how thankful I am for you.
As for the rest of you, same applies. I’ve never told ANY of you how much I enjoy your company (even if it’s only virtual), reading your blogs, posting with you, and being fellow nerdfighters.
Inspirational, or borderline cheese puffs? I dunno.
–Knowing the Truth. I guess what I’m trying to say here is, most kids my age try to fit in, wear makeup and tight pants, get boyfriends, and make themselves as hot as possible in an attempt to join the cool ranks.
I never submitted my entry to the popularity contest. So I have nothing to prove. It takes a bunch of weight off my shoulders (and makeup off my face =P)
–Pain. At first, when I heard the sermon this week on being thankful for pain, my initial response was, “What the llama? Why would you be thankful for THAT??”
Well, here’s why. There’s a quote at my school… “Pain is simply weakness leaving the body.”
And I suppose that could apply to the soul, as well. It’s like melting and refining gold. The flames seperate the pure element to go to jewelry and Artemis Fowl from the chaff, the dust particles, the bits of straw, that can be burned.
I’m not using this as a heaven-and-hell anology, although I could do that too. But I’m talking your personality. Refining your good traits and adding them to the necklace of your existance, while burning away all the greed, anger, unwarranted angst, jealousy, pride, etc.
Necklace of your existance? Now we’ve crossed the border into dairy.
What I’m trying to say is– okay, think of it this way. In a story, you start off with an initial protagonist. He or she has a problem. Something they want. And they usually (unless you have a–blech– Mary-Sue) have some character problem. Like with Artemis Fowl, he’s greedy and uses his mind over his heart. Katniss Everdeen is too independent and doesn’t want to get too attached to anybody. My character Aaliyah has to take charge of everything, and she HATES to let others lead.
Throughout the course of the book, each character faces trials. Artemis has to face off against the entire fairy race to get his gold back. Katniss has to enter and win the Hunger Games (or die trying). Aaliyah has to try and escape from this conspiracy-dripping insane asylum called Clark-Greene.
These are all major conflicts, no? They’re extreme examples, but they work.
And at the end of the novels, the characters have changed. Artemis finds a heart. Katniss falls in love. Aaliyah learns to trust others.
Life is the same way. We all go through trials or conflict (even if it’s NOT depriving the fairy race of their hostage fund through an elaborate scheme involving time stops, trolls, and acorns). And in the end, we’ll be better off for it.
So look at life as a book, and you’ll see why pain and conflict are a good thing.
If not, there’s always the golden necklace anology.
–Holding On. I’m at an insane and crazy, high-speed and full-of-action point of my life. The teenage years (at least so far) have been a real whirlwind. I’m lucky just to stumble through the day and crash into bed at eleven or twelve, waking up again at six to start the whole thing over again. Thanksgiving is a good time to step back and say, Wow. I’ve been doing this for a long time. Life is hectic, but that’s okay, because I’m managing to keep up with everything. For the most part.
And that in itself is more than enough to be thankful for.
You guys, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Be thankful for everything you have, count your blessings (and your novels twice!), and reward yourself with a nap. This November has been crazy, but you’re doing great.
Enjoy your pie and a weekend to catch up on your word count. Above all, just enjoy life.