I have a tradition. (And by tradition I mean I started this last year.)
In one of my many journals, I make my own Thanksgiving ABC list. Because of my irritating indecisiveness, I allow myself to put more than one word for each letter just as long as it all fits on one line.
My thankfulness covers a few food items, a couple of TV shows, and one or two locations. But the most common category?
Well, this is awkward.
I don’t really like people. I’m an introvert (not all introverts hate people – please don’t stereotype based on my flaws) and a self-proclaimed hermit. I tend to avoid human interaction/contact and have shied away from my fair share of hugs. I’m definitely NOT one of those people who can walk into a room and instantly make 578 friends.
While I do have a few close friends, my Instagram & Twitter followers are less than impressive. If I’m in a big group, I’m not going to be the loudest one. I don’t love being the center of attention, and parties aren’t exactly my scenes.
The importance of community was one of the most difficult concepts for me to grasp. I’m not trusting – in fact, I walk around with walls so thick and tall I often get lost behind them. Sometimes Many times I dodge plans with a friend because I need to sit in my bed, watch Netflix, pet my dog, and recharge my battery.
Yet, when I look at my lists from last year and this year, most of the blessings are people.
Maybe somewhere between the group texts and coffee dates and bonfires and high fives I made connections. Maybe it was the excessive emojis or the way I actually answered the phone. Maybe it was when I pulled myself out of bed and got in my car.
Maybe I fell in love with the human race. And maybe, just maybe, it fell in love with me.
That’s good stuff. It takes some huntin’ and searchin’, but it’s pretty sweet. Usually, it requires a dash of putting yourself out there and a one-way ticket away from your comfort zone. Throw on a smile, breathe, and you’re off. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But hey, it was worth a shot.
When I look back at all the names on my list, I can’t help but think, you were worth the shot. Even though some names swirling around in my head do more than make me cringe, I know that someday I’ll think of that name and say, you were worth the shot.
People change, feelings change – everything changes. Yes, things can be written in stone, but don’t forget that stones can be broken. (I know, I know…that was painfully cliché. Please accept my apology and accept this fresh batch of words.)
Imagine how drastically different my ABC’s would be if I would’ve indulged in a few more Netflix marathons and a few less human conversations.
Maybe if I’d backed out I wouldn’t have reached out to her …she wouldn’t be on my list. Or, maybe if I had spoken up I would have made a connection …he would be on my list.
He’s worth the shot.
She’s worth the shot.
Who? Who’s worth the shot? Don’t tell me someone didn’t come to mind. There’s always a human being lurking in the shadows behind your rib cage. Whoever it is, that person is worth the freaking shot.
Even though it may not work out exactly the way you want, it will be worth it in the end. I won’t say it can’t hurt, because in all honesty, a couple of heart-shaped bruises and deep scratches are probably included free of charge.
But you can’t deny the friendship or relationship (or whatever it is) the gift of existence. Chances are, it already exists and is just waiting for you to sign off on the whole acceptance part.
Make your own Thanksgiving ABC list.
Start the tradition for yourself. See what category dominates your list. Are you happy with the results? Or did you spend a few too many hours on the couch and not enough in front of a face that you can’t pause? What would you change about your list? What/who would you add?
Text someone. Text another someone. Tell them you’re grateful for their births and survival. Make plans to make eye contact. Make a promise to yourself that you’ll give extra hugs next time you see them. (If you’re an introvert, it’s totally okay to bribe yourself. It works.) Pick a human being or two, and start moving.
Maybe he or she will be on your list next year.