23 November 2012

this is what i'm thankful for.

It’s Friday night and we’re all tired and I’m jittery from too much caffeine and I am thankful. 

I think thankfulness should be year round. In the months before I went to Jordan when I was fifteen, I would write down five or six things that I was thankful for. It was an every day sort of thing. I miss that. I miss the way it forced me to look at everything, the way it forced me to be thankful.

And even though I think thankfulness shouldn’t just be focused on for a Thursday in November, there’s something beautiful about the flood of blog posts and Facebook statuses, all proclaiming thankfulness. I love the thought of so many individuals sitting down and actively thinking about what they’re thankful for. So here are a few of the things that are standing out to me, the things that I’m intensely thankful for. 

I’m thankful that for the past five and a half years, I’ve lived in the town where my dad grew up. It's taught me what home is, and I love that rush of contentment I feel now when I go back to visit. I’m thankful that now, I live in the town where my mom grew up. There’s something strange and wonderful about putting together the pieces from the stories she’s told dozens of times, and consolidating the stories with real places. And I’m thankful that my parents, who both grew up in tiny little towns, grew up to be the kind of people who travel the world, and I’m thankful that they instilled that love of travel in me eleven years ago. 

I’m thankful for these mountains. See, when I moved to Indiana, there were nights when I would fall asleep listening to John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High and crying... “And the Colorado rocky mountain high, I’ve seen it raining fire from the sky,” and I would look outside my window and see flat cornfields stretching out to the horizon and more than anything, I would miss the mountains. Now I’m back in the mountains. I don’t miss the cornfields themselves, but I miss everything they represent about home. And at the same time- I am so grateful for these mountains. I’m thankful for the sunset sinking behind them every night, the way they gradually change colors as I drive up into them, the way it smells like sunshine on pine needles. 

I am so incredibly thankful for Joseph. (I’m thankful for my sisters too, but this is different. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and everything.) I’m thankful that Joseph picked up the phone two months ago when I called him, sobbing because the boy who I thought was my best friend had just broken my heart. I’m thankful that he stayed on the phone talking me through it until I finally calmed down, and then, an hour after we hung up, texted me to see how I was doing. I’m thankful for all the memories we have, and always fighting, always getting so angry that I would end up in tears, all the wrestling on the couch, him tickling me until I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe. He was my very first best friend, and I love him more than I could ever say. 

I’m thankful for Steve Chbosky. Thankful that he wrote a book, made a movie, took the time to talk to me. I’m thankful for when he told me, “write, girl, write,” and my sister & I couldn’t stop laughing about it.

I’m thankful for music. I’m thankful for the way it gets all tangled up in memories. I’m thankful for the music that feels true and honest. (I’m thankful for the people who tell me new music to listen to, and I love the way that those songs are always connected to them from that point on.) 

I’m thankful for the kind of friends I have- the ones who are just as much my friends now as before I left, and that when I visit, nothing has changed. These are the people who laugh with me until our sides and stomachs ache. These are the friends who go with me to Starbucks three times a day, who make me eat a granola bar when the caffeine high has me tapping my fingers on the table and shifting around in my seat. These are the people who will drive around for an hour at night, talking about nothing and everything and listening to One Direction and driving and driving until we realize we’ve looped around the same neighborhood five times. I’m thankful for impromptu movie Sunday and playing True American (Mountain Dew style) until we all threw up, and the times we've jokes about that night. I’m thankful for the five years of history we have, all the church retreats and Wednesday nights spent at youth group, all the sleepovers, all the hours spent together. I’m so overwhelming thankful for these friends.  

I’m thankful that my parents don’t make me eat mashed potatoes anymore. And that pie is acceptable as a meal for the entire weekend after Thanksgiving. 

I’m thankful that Seattle is a place that exists. And that Markus Zusak writes books. And that The Avett Brothers make music. And that I have enough frequent flyer miles for a plane ticket anywhere. 

And most of all, I’m thankful that my entire family is together this weekend. 


  1. Girl done made me cry. you are undeniably beautiful, inside and out.

  2. Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! I, too, love reading about what people are thankful for, because it just makes me appreciate everything more. I'm thankful not just for all the things I own, but for all the experiences I've had, all the people in my life, everything leading up to today.

    P.S. I totally don't get your thing with mashed potatoes. That was practically my entire Thanksgiving meal.

  3. Mashed potatoes are disgusting and Kendall is bizarre. Why would you like mashed potatoes? They have the weirdest consistency and it clogs up my throat and feels like I am trying to chew down thick Victorian London smog whilst also on the verge of tears.

    And I'm thankful for being able to call you a friend, and send you emotional emails when I am crying on Sunday nights, and reading your writing.

    1. Hey, I saw that! Mashed potatoes are delicious because potatoes in all forms are inherently delicious and perfect. They are the most versatile food: you can make baked potatoes, French fries, hash browns, tater tots, herb-roasted potatoes, scalloped potatoes, chopped potatoes in breakfast tacos, latkes, potato salad, like that delicious Indian food dish with potatoes, and yes, mashed potatoes. And they are all perfect. Don't hate. :)

    2. Any non-mashed potato potato is perfect. I could live on gnocchi and nothing beats my mum's roast potatoes and everyone knows that curry is infinitely better with potatoes in it. I fully support the rights of potatoes to be eaten in as many different ways of possible, and I am an advocate of 'baked potatoes, French fries, hash browns, tater tots, herb-roasted potatoes, scalloped potatoes, chopped potatoes in breakfast tacos, latkes, potato salad, like that delicious Indian food dish with potatoes'...
      But mashed potatoes? They're just the horrible second wife of the potato's uncle. No one really likes them or knows them that well, and it's just awkwardly sitting there at all the family dinners and then begrudgingly eaten. It's nasty.

  4. I love the way music is connected to different things, people, and places. The sounds have such a way of holding memories. :)

  5. THIS.

    can I just say I was serious when I said you've inspired me to write? seriously. you're fantastic and I'm always inspired after reading something you've written.

    I'm with Kendall on this one. Mashed potatoes are just amazingness. I could eat them all day. And I've had almost nothing but pumpkin pie every single day since Thanksgiving now. Yum.

  6. I'm happy that you have lived in your parents small towns and they have instill a love of the world as a whole. I'm happy you aren't coerced into eating mashed potatoes and that your friends have the decency to get you to eat when you've overdosed on caffeine (I have the sort who urge me to consume more caffeine, but it's not any less love ;) I am happy that markus Zusak and Steve write books and I am happy mountains exist. And I am happy to be your friend. Thankfulness equals happiness.


go ahead. make my day.