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ruthless compassion
Today, on Thanksgiving proper, I am thankful for (and to) you. You -- my friends, my family, my loves, my acquaintances, my only-met-on-ljs, my haven't-talked-in-months-but-still-think-of-each-others, my we'll-get-together-somedays, my crushes, my I-hope-I-know-you-forevers -- the people in my life are so valuable to me. So today I want to give you my appreciation.

I can be a prickly, independent person sometimes, and often the people who are closest to me (hi, mom & dad!) bear the brunt of my clumsy negotiation between intimacy and independence, so I appreciate the patience that people close to me show me, which models, too, how I can do the same for others.

My life only has the shape it does because of you -- you who are reading this -- and the texture you bring to my days. Your faith in me has given me faith in myself. Your laughter has brightened my dark times, and your thoughtful advice has helped me navigate unknown territories. When neither you nor I have known the way, we've helped each other find the path, or you've called encouragement when I strike out on my own.

If you are in my life, I value you and what you bring to the table of our friendship. I value the friendships I've had and lost. I value the potential of what we may share with each other in the future. I value our growing together and apart, as the currents of our lives move us along. I value your kindness, your pushiness, your humor, your snarky commentary, your beauty, your curiosity, your stability, your strength and weakness, your wonder and surety, and so much more.

Thank you for being who you are.