This is My Thanksgiving

Let’s have a black celebration
Black Celebration
Tonight

To celebrate the fact
That we’ve seen the back
Of another black day

I look to you
How you carry on
When all hope is gone
Can’t you see

Your optimistic eyes
Seem like paradise
To someone like
Me

~ Depeche Mode: Black Celebration

I realize Thanksgiving for most people has come and gone for the year.

I personally am not quite ready for my bout of gratitude to be over, so I am going to keep my “Thanksgiving” going a little bit longer. Indulge me, if you will.

As most people know, I am not someone that looks back often. I am fortunately rarely filled with regret. I have few things that I carry deep remorse for, and I recover from guilt rather easily. I am a “forward” person that is more often than not trying to figure out the next step, stage, desire or plan. I’m not prone to rekindling past transgressions or licking the wounds inflicted by others. That is not to say that there isn’t some harm in this, as I consciously work every day on being more aware of my present and trying to keep my head out a time that is not yet here. And yes, I like all have been left with bruises and scars of mistakes and misguided decisions. And it is here that I give thanks.

For several monumental reasons, I owe thanks and introspection to the Thanksgiving of yore:

  1. Injury: I had fallen hard for CrossFit, and at 39 I was in the best condition of my life.  A week before Thanksgiving 2011, I rotated 2 cervical vertebrae doing multiple repetitions of thrusters and pull-ups. Suddenly I was in constant pain and unable to work out the way I had grown to love. This loss was tragically rougher on my brain, than on my body.
  2. Thanksgiving Day: I ran my first 8k that morning which was the longest I had ever run up to that point. (The fact that I shouldn’t have been running at all per my injury is not a fact lost on me.) I then drove to Wilmington to have dinner with my broken-up ex-boyfriend that I was still madly in love with. Dinner turned into 2 glorious days. 
  3. Realization: I drove home that Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend realizing that I had to start really moving forward. I cried the entire drive knowing in my heart that the person I wanted, couldn’t yet give his all to me. I needed to find myself and recover. I needed to start letting him go. Although we communicated virtually ever day in some small way, the shift was real and the expectations were different. A month later at Christmas something “broke” in me and I truly began to distance. I didn’t know it at the time, but Jason too was about to break.
  4. Fortuitousness: At the right time, I met the wrong person.
  5. Tough Love: Basically I had a few amazing people tell me to knock it off and get it together. The instructions were to “stop trying to control everything and everyone in your life. Don’t make any major decisions and let life ‘happen’ to you for a change.” I did, and wow, did life happen. It’s incredible what the acceptance of permission will do.

cycle

This was one hell of a vicious circle to find myself in. The Pain of losing Jason and my injury led to extreme and unaccustomed Vulnerability to new people and uncalculated personal risk, (I usually risk A LOT, but rarely without calculation). This allowed me to finally be open and accept Permission for how I was acting and feeling, which was amazingly Liberating, which led to delicious Exhilaration…which in turn was addicting and became an unexpected rebirth of Pain…and the cycle continued….and continued…until I stopped. And thereby my last phase of emotional recklessness ended.

And so now I pause, I reflect, and I celebrate! I celebrate and give thanks to the fact that my injury is still a physical and often painful reminder of what is and what can be. I can run, I can lift, I can push my 40-year-old self harder than I have ever before…but I may not always be able to. So while I can? While I can, I shall treat this battered girl as well as she deserves to be.

I celebrate that the love of my life came back around, and that we could reconnect and re-flame and be these two fiercely independent and stubborn people TOGETHER that are on an adventure forward. We will soon be reunited, we shall be married, and we shall go forth and conquer all the great challenges that are before us. Never has someone made me so “alive”. My brain and my body simply hum with anticipation.

I give thanks and appreciation to all my bad decisions. One person does not make a relationship, but only one person can own their end of the choices and the actions. I own all that is mine.

I celebrate the hell out of the people that made me realize how beautiful and fortunate I truly am. 

There is no blame in this celebration. There is no rehashing of old conversations or reopening of old wounds. There is only an appreciation for the gift that guidance brings. And so I smile upon all my many bruises, and I look forward onto today. I give thanks for this moment.

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This is my Black Celebration. This is my Thanksgiving. This is my endless gratitude.