These Shoes

These shoes have taken me to the place where I would get the diagnoses that would change my life. They have taken me to the place where I have met people that didn’t want the best for me; they wanted to take advantage of me, to see me fail.

These shoes have taken me to places I never want to go again. They have taken me to places where I’ve felt pain, where I’ve felt anxiety, where I’ve felt stuck.

These shoes have taken me to places where I would have to share my feelings with complete strangers and hope that they didn’t judge me. They have taken me to places where I’ve waited and waited to feel whole again, to feel something, anything at all.

But…

These shoes have taken me to places that I recover and try my best to feel significant. They have taken me to the place where I can speak my soul and help it to heal. They have taken me to the place where I can feel free, where I can feel whole, where I can feel human.

People can judge us. They can slander our name. They can look down on us because we’re different than them… but they can’t take our soul. They can’t take our voice. They don’t know our lives or how we live, why we do the things we do. What we have fought for up until this very moment.

These shoes are dirty, beat down, worn out… but nobody can take away what they’ve been through. What I have been through.

Keep fighting for you and I’ll keep fighting for me.

Being Thankful

Today is Thanksgiving.

We cook a bunch of food, dress up, eat a mountain of food and desserts, watch football and the Macy’s parade, play backyard football, and then take a long nap. But what most of us forget to do is to be thankful, which is what today is all about. Why do we forget the reason for any holiday we celebrate? Is there a scientific reasoning?

Every day in November, I log into Facebook and say one thing I am thankful for. I admit, it actually gets more difficult as the days pass. I’m not sure why, because I am thankful for so much because I have so much. Why don’t I ever remember to remind my family on Thanksgiving to go around the table and say what we are thankful for?

It’s the material things that literally take over our minds and we forget that we are a spoiled people. Take “Black Friday” for example. We gather around the table and eat a mountain of food, and some of us get on Facebook and say what we’re thankful for, but then turn around and fight crowds for material things. I completely understand why people do it; material things just make people happy. I don’t have a problem with people being happy. What I’m confused about is why we make this a priority over everything else.

I want to challenge everyone reading this to stop what you’re doing and make a list of what you’re thankful for. It’s important. Why? Because every single one of us needs to stay grounded. We get too caught up in things that simply don’t matter or what won’t matter in the next 20 years.

Today, let’s be thankful for what we have. In your list, stay positive. Everyone has something positive to be thankful for. Make a list of 10 positive things you are thankful for. You don’t have to show me or anyone else. Keep it to yourself, or share it. It doesn’t matter. Just be thankful.

Here is my list of 10 positive things I am thankful for.

  1. I am thankful for God’s grace and love, even when I’m in doubt.
  2. I am thankful for my parents and all their love and help this year and every year.
  3. I am thankful for my sisters and brothers and their love and support.
  4. I am thankful for my nieces and my nephews for loving me through the depression. They are all young but show so much understanding when I am depressed.
  5. I am thankful for my pets – my cat, my 3 dogs, and 6 chickens – for all the love and entertainment they provide for me. Chickens running is the most hilarious thing to me!
  6. I am more specifically thankful for my service dog, Finn. His unconditional love and help this past year has been out of this world.
  7. I am thankful for shelter from the heat and the cold.
  8. I am thankful for food and water to keep me alive.
  9. I am thankful for the internet to keep in contact with friends and family not close to me.
  10. I am thankful for friends that support me and love me.
  11. Bonus: I am thankful for doctors – for me and for Finn – because they saved my life this year and they saved Finn’s life this year.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.