Sunday, June 1, 2014

How to Be Thankful or Step Two to Being a Better Person

As I stated in part one, I have had the desire to become a better, a more human and caring person. While the first part dealt with apologies and the proper ways to do them, the second part will be gratitude. I need to  let my peers, friends, and family know that I appreciate them. There have been times when I was down, broke or broken, and these people have lifted me up. I need to thank them.

Some I have already thanked privately like Lauren and Junette. Others I will thank in person or in detailed letter, and still others I will thank with the words in this post. Unlike an apology, these deeds can and need to be expressed to the public. There is no humiliation, no necessity to hide what they and I have done.

While everyone should should be given thanks, there isn't the time or space in this post to do so. Instead, I will point out a few (of the many) people that have helped me at key moments in my life.
Ken - Thank you for being the older brother I never had in Colorado, for sitting on the bench outside of our dormitory while I moaned about lost loves, for being the first fellow writer/artist on my level that I could talk to about the trade, and for always having my back.

Nate - Thank you for teaching me how to open my heart again and to emotionally love without being physical. Never before. Thank you for living a few doors down and carrying my backpack so I could hike with you even after I dislocated my shoulder.

My Siblings - Thank you for still being close despite my living thousands of miles away and despite our parents' divorce. They were right about one thing: When we have no one else, we will always have each other.
Tabitha - Thank you for being the first real friend I had in Hawaii, for giving me a bicycle, and a person to call as an emergency contact.
Snoopy Group - Thank you for giving me a place to belong in middle school and high school, and in a book especially! When I could've been all alone, when I could've succumbed to peer pressure and depression, you all took me in and gave me friendships that have lasted through the years.
Nikki - Thank you for being my first real grown-up girlfriend, for telling me stories about men, and kissing me in the bar after I did that handstand that one time. 

Ms. Rader - Thank you for talking to me in school about the real issues, for writing me a letter of recommendation, for being hard on me, for taking our small class to Italy, for giving me a role model for maybe the first time in my life.

Aunt Diana - Thank you for being the only one to sign on my student loans even though you were barely over your stroke and able to sign your name anyway. With your help, I went to the college of my choice and I was the first in my family to graduate.

Nikko - Thank you for being the first one to approach me at Lime Kiln, to joke with me, to get me dancing at my first high school dance (Hawaii themed), and help me blend in when I was the new kid. You did this for everyone, no matter who they were or how they dressed or what group they belonged to.

Thank you to all my fans and those that have supported my book.

Thank you to everyone that has critiqued and criticized my book. It has made me a better writer.
And to everyone else, my elementary school friends, my extended family, my parents, my middle school redistricted buddies, my high school classmates, and my college peers. To the people on my student newspapers and literary magazines. To my gymnastics teammates, my track teammates, my cheerleader friends and enemies. To my teachers, old and young. To the geniuses I met in Wyoming and Colorado, to the children I have worked with and their parents. To the neighbors that talked to my family and to the neighbors that avoided us. To my coworkers from my first part-time job as a grocery store cashier, to my coworkers at my full-time job as a library assistant. To my former lovers and to my current one. 

You've molded me in your own way, changed me for the better. You opened my mind to new points, new information, new paths in my life. You've given me music to appreciate, letters to cherish, letters to burn. You've taken photos with m, ugly and beautiful, deleted and saved. You pushed me to excel, you challenged me to win. You gave me writing material, encouraged me when I was depressed, supported me when I had nothing. Some of you gave me friendship while others gave me competition, and fewer still provided both.

You have been my turning points, made me who I am, and will continue to make me into the woman I will be. Sometimes I have gone willingly and sometimes I've needed pushing.

But thank you for being you because it has made me, me.

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