As I sit here on Thanksgiving Eve thinking of all the things I’m grateful for, and I can’t help but feel like the luckiest girl in the world. So much has changed over the years, but I am still the same little girl, believing in magic and wishing on stars, only now I have someone that believes in me, too. And not just someone. I have the best people in the world around me. These amazing kids who know me inside and out, these friends that stand by me, and this family around me, and this incredible human that I get to spend my time with. It’s something else, really. Something entirely different for me, in all the best ways and I am forever grateful. Thank you.

This is all new. All of it. I’ve always been able to see pieces of the future, glimpses of what’s to come based on where I am – or we all are – right now. But like the book, “A Wrinkle in Time,” every little thing in life has a ripple effect and when you get caught up looking ahead in only one direction based on all the pieces of your past, you eventually (hopefully) start to realize that life will always keep changing.

I usually like to drive. I tend to plan things too much. I tend to build this schedule of what things look like in my mind and then when life changes or things get in the way, I let my anxiety cripple me and tell me over and over again that I was wrong, I was not enough, I’d never be enough, and crumble. Then I get back up, start over, and do it all over again. It’s like I could only see my future based on all of my past(s), and the one thing I never saw before is that I am so much more than that. We all are. We can’t live life stuck in the past and while sure, we can (and should) learn from it, that isn’t exactly what the future is all about.

You see, I’ve spent most of my pasts alone. All of them that I can really remember anyway. Sure, I had friends, and people I’d meet, some I’ve been lucky enough to meet over and over again life after life and that’s amazing in and of itself. But there’s more to it than that. For the first time, I can’t see a clear future but I know that whatever it holds, we’re building it together. That’s better than seeing what’s next or (thinking of) knowing what’s around the next corner. There’s a power and a beauty in that which I’ve never experienced before. For a change it’s nice to not always be driving. For a change I am actually enjoying being a passenger, because I get to share this ride with these amazing people. With people who want me to be there with them. With people – and especially one person – who understands when I’ve had a hard day, how much it means to me to just say hey, it’s amazing to see you. I don’t care where we go or what we do, I just want to spend time with you – and to simply be happy handing over all of the decisions to someone who can say in return – we’re good – and just let me go along for the ride as we figure things out. Together. Laughing and smiling. Venting and bitching. Laughing some more. And smiling. I don’t think I’ve smiled this much my whole life. It’s incredible.

So I am here writing this that I hope I’ll actually finish tonight and publish and share because I came here to say thank you. I have a few things I’ve started and saved in drafts from these past weeks that I haven’t shared. Partially because I don’t know what to say, or I reread what I’ve started and add to it but it feels disjointed and nonsensical to me. Writing about the first snow, the magic of the world blanketed in the first soft carpet of white as if the entire world was brushed with fairy dust and a little bit of dreams falling from the sky. But how crazy does that sound? Very. It is crazy. I am crazy. Crazy about you. Crazy about life. Crazy about sharing all of these experiences from here until whenever forever with the people I love.

Life is all about sharing experiences. It’s how we truly open up to people. Driving down the road pointing out this house where you used to live. This road the deer ran into my truck on. This memory down this lane from ages ago. These places I’ve been that bring back memories. Not because we’re stuck in the past, but because I want you to know all of me, and you want to share all of you with me, too. Now that’s what’s truly crazy, right? The part where somehow in very little time I went from being the cynical standoffish overly independent individual to opening up and letting someone see that hey, I really DO believe in magic but not just for others. For me, too. I am finally starting to believe that sharing that magic with someone may not be quite so terrifying after all. It is terrifying. But only because I trust you, yet somehow I am not afraid of you hurting me, or of being too much or not enough. Because somehow I am comfortable just being me. And somehow I am starting to believe that me is, somehow, enough for you. How did I get so lucky? Thank you.

Thank you, too. I wouldn’t be here without your wraparound hugs and shoulder to cry on when I spent the entire summer looking for reasons to run away. You gave me a reason to stay. You (and there’s more than one of you) reminded me and convinced me that my friends are worth staying for even after these kids grow up and move away. That when you finally remember how to breathe and just stand still, the best things in life will come to you (and they did, thank you).

Life isn’t always easy, nor is it going to be, but I’m okay with that because I know you’ll be here with me. I have so much to give thanks for, and this Thanksgiving and all weekend long I look forward to a lot more smiles, a lot more laughs, and even more to love with so much more still to come. Thank you. I love you all.

find your tribe love them hard cjmillar82 life without a paddle