Listening To: Don McLean – American Pie
Word of the Day: Life
So this post is going to be a little different from my other gratitude posts. Instead of numbering them, I’m just going to write.
Tonight got me thinking about what it is I’m truly the most grateful for. What I have that’s worth living for, what really makes me tick etc.
Realistically, I probably shouldn’t have lived much past my 20th year. But through the grace of the Universe and all the powers that be, I did. Some might say it was so that I could be around to take care of mom. Others would say it’s so I could take care of my family. Still others would say it’s so that I can suffer for past sins… Whatever the reason, tonight, I’m really thankful that I did survive.
It also got me thinking about all the people out there that suffer. I’ve got days where I’m so down and miserable that I don’t want to go on, but I do. But there are people out there so much more worse off. I’m one of those people that’s guilty of not making the time to help out. Now granted, 15 hours of my day are usually taken up by work between the commute and work time. So that only leaves 9 hours in a day where I have spare time. Count sleep in there, and my whole day’s shot. But I have at least one day in a week off. Still I don’t make the time.
When I was younger, much younger, before I became the jaded car wreck that my life would become in my late teens and early 20’s, I used to go out to nursing homes with a choir and sing. I’d spend time with my great aunt and her friends and listen to their stories.
Then, unlike what I used to be like, and I see it more and more nowadays, there’s the young generations of now. Who are very “me” oriented. Don’t get me wrong, I was capable of being very “me” oriented as well. But it seems like it’s on a much larger scale. Maybe because there’s a couple billion more people on the planet? Who knows?
What I do know, where I work, I come across a lot of spoiled brats. They bitch about not having phones, computers not working, having their lives ruined because they can’t do what they want to do. Some of them dress like thugs, because hey, that’s the style right? They dress street, without the stains, the obvious wear of living the street life. It’s crap they get at a trendy boutique shop on the weekend shopping with mommy and daddy. If ever faced with the reality of being on the street, they’d never survive more than 3 minutes.
I had it ok when I was young. We weren’t rich, mom scraped stuff together, and let’s face it, food wasn’t as outrageously priced as it is today. My father was an asshat, and he worked too hard, but at least he was working. I didn’t get along with him at all. We fought, he treated me roughly, I silently cursed him. But after all this time, I know somewhere in his head, he loved me, and I had a roof over my head a bed to sleep in.
After he died, I tasted freedom. I turned into the wild child. I partied, did more stupid things than an average group of 6 could claim responsibility for. I hung out with the wrong crowd. I turned into that street kid, that all the “decent” people moved out of the way to avoid. If my mother had ever known what I’d gotten into, she wouldn’t have survived as long as she did.
I think ultimately what saved me, and also what nearly got me killed was my faith. I discovered my path when I was 17 or 18. I kept it mostly to myself. I suppressed it. At that time, there were no internet communities, no one to jump on bandwagons with and exchange spells and rituals with, to share thoughts on High Priestess Watermelon Fairy (sorry folks, inside joke) When you were a practitioner, if you weren’t born into a family that practiced together, you were solitary and kept to yourself. Over time as you became more confident, you’d find like minded individuals, and you’d share notes, but not necessarily everything.
Around the time I turned 20, I was at a party with a bunch of friends. Ok, a bunch of the people I hung out with for a good time. I took one of them aside, and he shall remain nameless but was someone I actually considered as a friend. I needed to share my path. I needed to proclaim it to someone not of the “faith” It felt like the right thing to do.
I shared it, and had a gun pulled on me, and put in my face. Any normal person would have blanched in fear, screamed, pissed themself. Me? I took strength from that faith. I stood by it. I stood up for what I believed and everyone be damned that tried to tell me I was wrong, or evil.
Obviously I survived that, or I wouldn’t be writing about it. I’m not even sure what made me think about it today. Mind you, lately, I’ve felt lost. Like maybe my faith wasn’t good enough, or, maybe the past 20 years have all been in my head. I’ve been asking for signs. I’ve been reaching out to the universe, to let me know I’m on the right path. That I’m doing the right thing. Tonight, I think maybe I got my answer.
I’ve survived the gun incident. I survived an attempted abduction (not the alien kind). I survived an attempted strangling. Alcohol and drug abuse…survived that. 4 car accidents, that should have been much worse, survived those.
The point is I survived. And I can look at my life, and say it sucks huge, and let it swallow me whole and drag me into deep despair. Or, I can continue fighting, pushing myself, and…Survive. My life isn’t perfect, it’s not always happy and idyllic, but it’s my life. I am surrounded by people that love me, and I love them. I can’t picture anywhere else I need to be, as long as I have them in my life.
Today, I am most grateful…for life.