It’s ‘thankful’ season. I’m always a little extra reflective this time of year. I think it’s based on my past and the fact that the holidays always seem to illuminate social class disparities. Being someone who was once homeless, the holidays remind me of what that time was like for me when I had nowhere to go and no one to call.
This year though, things are a bit different. I have a new job, I’m single (by choice), I’m losing weight and improving my health overall. My family all seem to be doing well in their new positions and circumstances. I couldn’t be more thankful for how well everyone is doing, myself included.
Something isn’t quite right though: My uncle died this past Monday and I was very sad; it was the first thing I saw when I woke up this morning. I was sad for my brother and sister–their dad to! I was sad for my cousins.b But mostly, I was sad for my uncle.
He’d had such a hard life and he was so young when he died…it just seemed unfair. Like, he didn’t have a chance to reach his potential.
Except he did.
He’d gone as far as he was going to. So, I find myself grateful for my own potential. Thankful for the very clear signs that I have so much more ahead of me: improved health, a new job, new friends. I’m thankful for the fear I feel at work: the discomfort reminding me that I am trying something new and that I am choosing the hard, unknown thing.
I’m thankful for the chance to explore life further. I’m thankful I get to write. I’m thankful my bills are paid and I have a roof over my head. But more than anything, I’m thankful that I know life is bigger than myself. I know that my worth far exceeds the sum total of my mistakes. I know that I’m not done growing and I’m thankful for the opportunity to do more…to be more. I’m grateful the time ahead of me is so promising. I’m literally thankful for the opportunity to be grateful…and the potential to be great.