My friend Ashley is kicking off a new blog carnival/blog series dedicated to self-discovery and building a healthy life — appropriately titled Self-Discovery, Word by Word. The inaugural theme is Gratitude, and I thought I’d use that as a springboard to talk about a few things that have been on my mind lately.
I am in the perfect position to pursue and fulfill my dreams. I have the support of my parents, boyfriend, friends, and even workplace. I’ve had to make some small personal sacrifices (sleep, free time, and frivolous spending) but all the big picture things that are important to me (writing, loved ones, world travel) are present and thriving.
In general, people express gratitude for things pretty freely. “I don’t know what I’d do without my computer.” “Grey’s Anatomy is amazing.” “I love mac and cheese!”
So why aren’t we just as vocal when it comes to appreciating people? “You look lovely today.” “Thanks for listening.” “You’re the best mom ever.”
It’s obvious who benefits from the kind words more.
I used to be a lot better about this sort of thing. I would write people random notes, hand out compliments like they were going out of style, and constantly tell my friends and family how much I love them. For whatever reason — insert lame excuse here, probably tiredness/lack of time — I’ve slacked on this quite a bit. Well, I’m trying to get back into my old good habit. Because it’s a nice, easy thing to do, and it feels good to make other people feel good. Everybody wins.
What on earth am I going to write for my first book dedication?! There are so many people to thank, so many people who have helped me. Do I choose one per book? But then how would I pick the order? Will people take offense?
Well, it’s definitely better to have this problem, of too many choices, than the opposite.
(In the shower the other night, I drafted what I think my first ever dedication will be… but I still have to write the book it goes in, hahaha.)
Last but not least, I’d like to say how grateful I am that this city councilman in Fort Worth, TX spoke out to gay teens with a personal, heartfelt message: It gets better.
The recent spate of teen “bullicides” has really hurt my heart. I wish I could find every kid who doubts their self-worth and get to know them, so I could point out what makes them special and wonderful and worthwhile. But I can’t. So I’ll do my best to watch out for the kids in my life; will you please watch out for the ones in yours?