This one is for you. Thank you for everything you have ever done.
I have been going through old photos and thinking a lot this morning. Thinking a lot about how so many people in my life are so incredible and I don’t give them enough credit for putting up with me and dealing with all that I am. I have decided to put these thoughts down for you to read and hopefully to remember along with me.
I am sitting on my couch looking through old photographs of some of my dearest friends, even if those friends only lasted a short time, giving me farewell hugs as I had to move on due to personal health circumstances. When I had to leave Ferris State University for my own mental health, my friends were there to support me the whole way through. We went out to eat as a final “goodbye” and gathered around for pictures and hugs in front of Vandercook Hall where we all first met. These wonderful people helped my mom and I load up our cars with all of my belongings and these friends were as sweet as could be. I remember on the drive back home I began to cry; I cried because I was sad of course, but also because I was overwhelmed by all the love these people had given me. We all went through breakups together and building and breaking down of friendships, we did all of this side by side. Drinking cheap beers while watching cartoons on Wednesday nights may be seemingly pointless memories, but those are the ones that will not be forgotten.
I sit and scroll through my phone some more and find pictures from graduation. The year was 2015 and I was lucky enough to have family in my life who loved me enough to come spend some time celebrating my graduation with me, even when that meant coming from across the country. These are family members I rarely got to see, but they put the extra effort in just to come to Michigan to celebrate my achievement, even when they didn’t need to. I am forever thankful for them and that one large act of kindness that they made just for me.
Just earlier this week, work was slow and we had nothing better to do than crack some jokes with each other and talk about how much we despised our job. We drew up a picture of how we view the world and I took a photograph of it for both of us to remember. A small, yet memorable moment I had at 9am in the backroom of a retail sporting goods store. Sometimes it can be much too simple for me to forget how difficult it can be for others to put up with me. To my coworkers, I don’t think you all get enough credit for dealing with my 1pm weirdness that happens at the end of a 6am shift. So thank you for that. Also, thank you for letting me vent out to you everything that I find wrong in my life, even when I am sure you don’t want to hear any of it. You listen to me complain about pointless nonsense and you still want to be my friend. Now that, that is something to cherish.
The year was 2015, we are both in our favorite Red Wings gear, repping Henrick Zetterberg’s jersey and his famous #40. We are on our way to a playoff game. This is the year we graduated and the year we were way too excited to grow up. For sure graduating from high school was pretty cool, but I think we can both agree that wanting to grow up was a huge mistake. To my best friend who has been there with me from my brightest, happiest, most joyous moments all the way down to my darkest, lowest moments, I say thank you. Thank you so, SO much. I know I say this all the time, but Skylar you are my number one and I would not have made it as far as I have if I didn’t have you by my side. With all the inside jokes we have, and all the secrets only we know, I know we are bound to stick around with each other even when we are old and decrepit.
The last picture I find is one of my mom, dad, brother, and I all together. We are at my grandmothers funeral. We are smiling and we are happy. We have celebrated the wonderful life that my grandma had, and even though such a sad time is what brought us together, I think we look pretty great. Dressed up just as grandma liked. This last thank you is to my wonderful mom, dad, and both brothers. You are all a little crazy but I love you, and I am so happy somehow I was chosen to be your obnoxious daughter and annoying little sister. You have given me all I’ve ever needed in my life so far, even when you didn’t need to. Special side-note to my mom for being by my side when I was in the hospital and holding my hand when I needed it the most. I may not say it enough, but I love you so much and I know that with everything I will ever go through, I will not be alone. You will always have my back and be by my side.
I find it funny how even just a small picture on a cell phone can bring back such beautiful memories. I personally feel that going back on these good times is something that we as a people do not seem to do enough. Coming from someone who is usually quite down on herself, I even try to look on the brighter side of things when life seems like it’s being a little too unfair. When the world seems dark and scary, take a closer look at your life; you may not have it all, but you can make good things out of what you do have.
When we become used to our past being a horrid tragedy, sometimes trying to move forward and enjoying life can be difficult. We can even think this action is impossible.
Sometimes I can’t help but want everything to go to shit again. I want everything to go back to a bad place where I am hurting myself: drinking too much, letting unknown pills enter my body, adding new scars to my skin. Everything has been too good to be true. I’ve let my anxiety come back, but it doesn’t seem to ever be “bad enough.” Nothing is ever enough.
Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy the good moments in life. Laughing with my best friend until our stomachs can’t take it anymore. I enjoy driving my car for hours listing to my favorite pop songs that are much more popular than they should be. Sitting in coffee shops listening to women above the age of fifty talk about how horrible their experience was at the last coffee shop they went to. Critiquing each drink made as if they were to write a review on it. These are the little things I don’t mind experiencing in life, though I know this won’t last forever.
The unknown of happiness frightens the hell out of me. How long it will last? Expecting the worst is easier. Expecting the worst makes it simpler to get through the hard times. When presuming nothing good to come out of life, I will be less likely to get my heart torn to pieces. When suspecting that no one loves me, it’s easier to handle a bad breakup; I see it coming. I don’t fall in love. I know it will let me down anyway. Though I suppose I contradict myself, being afraid of love, but expecting to get my heart broken. Maybe this is why I find myself stuck in life. I never know where to go from here. I’m at a stop sign in the middle of a highway. I should be moving forward but I am at a standstill.
Everyone else zips around me, honking car horns and throwing middle fingers left and right. I don’t react. I am staring into a black hole afraid to move forward. Life has me stumped. Why does everyone else seem to know how to push the gas pedal down, but I’m stuck on the brake?