Thoughts a Year Later: Thankfulness
A year ago, I was celebrating Thanksgiving and my birthday in the hospital. I didn’t know I’d be in the hospital til Christmas let alone through the Fourth of July. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t give me anxiety bringing all of these memories back to reflect on this past year. I turn 27 tomorrow, a year ago I was just thankful a nurse made me a glove balloon and ordered a piece of cake from the hospital cafeteria. Looking back on the last four months of being home (I can’t even believe it’s been four months of freedom) I’m thankful for EVERYTHING. I’m thankful for being able to do the smallest things. I”m thankful for things that frustrate me – because it means I survived and still have independence.
A year ago, I got leftover turkey two days after Thanksgiving. This year I got fresh turkey and leftover turkey in my freezer. I got to hang out with my little brother, play games with my cousins, uncle and grandparents, and actually ENJOY Thanksgiving. A year of mine is missing, and everything seems only one year past when it’s actually TWO years past. It all feels so close, even though I just missed out on the last year. It doesn’t upset me. Life is so unpredictable, and I gained a new respect for myself and others.
A year ago, my 27th birthday was something I couldn’t see. It didn’t exist. But it’s tomorrow and now I’m surprised it’s already here. It feels like I just had one of these, but then again, it feels like it’s been forever since I last had a birthday. I just can’t make up my mind. I either lost a year or it feels like it’s been forever. It’s a mind-blowing feeling, and it’s an emotional rollercoaster. But it’s no use to look back and wonder what would’ve been different if none of this had happened. If the last year hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have made a trip to Florida, and my trip to Florida was my favorite thing I’ve ever done in my life.
In October, two of my best friends and I went on a “celebrate life” vacation to Florida, and I couldn’t think of a better way I could’ve celebrated finding myself again. I’ll follow up with more vacation posts because there is A LOT to say about what happened. It was 10 days of constant events and I can’t explain how happy it made me that I was able to chase lizards on the sidewalk or lay by the pool reading a book with a margarita. Just being able to be independent, call an uber and go get some groceries at Target made me realize how much I had missed life.
Keep It Golden
This year is my golden birthday – I turn 27 on the 27th for those of you who have no clue what a golden birthday is – and we’re going to do the same thing I’ve done since I was a child, go to a movie. Disney movies always come out Thanksgiving weekend. We’ve always gone – from Lion King to Frozen.
Thursday, I’m celebrating life with my best friend since 8th grade doing the thing we haven’t done together since right after high school graduation – go to a concert. It’s not my first concert since the hospital, but I believe it’s the one I’ve been most anxiously anticipating for a year. It’s essentially a repeat of my first show at the Ryman Auditorium – except it’s in Milwaukee. Regardless, that concert has a very special place in my heart and I’m sure this one will too.
It’s been four months and I honestly can’t remember 90% of the last year. It has taken me three weeks to write 500 words because I don’t remember most of what happened. I know it happened. It’s probably better I suppressed most of these memories. I still don’t remember calling my best friend right after surgery crying to her that I love her for an hour. But apparently, I did. I do, however, remember that I thought I was fine when I wasn’t. I was telling myself I was fine when I definitely was having a week-long panic attack. But – I survived it. I’m still here for a reason I haven’t found yet, but I’m thankful for every opportunity I’ve been given in 26 years. So, here’s to year 27. It’s brand new.