I’ve been stunned for weeks.
I hadn’t kept track of time (as one doesn’t, when life is ticking on okay and there’s no need to count the days or weeks any more) and it was an out-of-the-blue message from Kristi at Thankful Me, which alerted me to the shocking news that the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop is turning SIX YEARS OLD this weekend.
So many thoughts exploded through my mind simultaneously:
Gratitude to Kristi at the new Ten Things of Thankful for keeping my dear little hop going after life moved on and no longer became conducive to my leading it, or even participating. Yes, I’ve grown slack at writing. I’ve been lazy and focussed on the Now. Yes, I handed over the reins and to all intents and purposes jumped ship BUT so many of the wonderful writers who have been part of the hop since the very beginning, have carried on faithfully week by week, and I daresay their lives have been the richer for it. I fondly remember the uplift of reading posts and posts of positivity and silver linings; the gladness of connection with others so like-minded, the miles between us melting away thanks to the wires which held us all together.
I felt shame at letting it all slide so far from my world, so far from my priorities, and so far from my heart.
Then overwhelming thankfulness for all the life I’ve lived in between the start and this day; the changes in my life, and the fact I no longer need the hop the way I once did.
If you delve deep into its past, this blog hop grew from a place of desperate pain and isolation. It began in all-encompassing darkness within which I was utterly lost, and needed the hope and promise of ten things each day to be thankful for, beyond which I felt I had no point in proceeding with life.
I found them, as you do, when you look. And I persisted.
My practice garnered interest from some of those I hung out in the blogosphere with, and before long, my tiny, determined effort to hang onto the shreds of goodness left in life had blossomed into a glorious, gluttonous sharing of thankfulness. A core group of people joined in, expanding week by week to include the itinerant thankful, and passers-by from the Finish the Sentence Friday hop. It was beautiful.
More importantly, it (and the core people who took part) sustained and held me across the wires, when those immediately around me were unwilling or unable to. I hardwired my heart and received sufficient energy and support to keep me going. It probably saved my life.
Time and life moved on from that nightmare beginning, and the wrongs in my life were gradually writ, and righted, and the darkness receded. I was still thankful, but in a manner which garnished life, rather than administering life-giving breath. And believe me, I was thankful for that, too!
The blogosphere evolved. My life evolved. Other people’s lives evolved. The wires holding us together seemed to stretch, became more flexible. I climbed from the arena I had created, and forayed out into the sunshine of real life (still held and supported, but with the miles more present, and the need less insistent than before). Meeting some of the core group of the TToT in real life when I made an epic trip across the USA in 2015, was an amazing, also life-changing time…but in so many ways it seemed to provide a closure I had never sought.
With the encouragement of my TToT peers, I focussed on the Here and Now. Worked on myself. Challenged myself to do things alone that I’d never before had the courage to do. Moved on from the darkness and through other challenges into the light.
Life now is so different, so far removed from before, I can but thank my lucky stars and all the twists and turns that brought me to it.
My career trajectory has totally changed, and is now firmly rooted in the pursuit of a role in nursing (though between you, me, and the bedpost, I’m still planning on working in a little massage therapy if I can). I am undertaking a four year apprenticeship, which means my job and my finances are secure for that time. And I enjoy it, which is wonderful.
My home life has totally changed, and I now live with my beautiful fiancée in a whirlwind of love and contentment, in a gorgeous flat we both chose, with our dog (Bonnie) and our tortoise (George). We are happy. And I am a million billion forever and ever and ever amen overjoyed and thankful to be able to say it.
I am happy. I am rooted. I am content. I am acknowledged, affirmed, and appreciated. I have someone very special to share my life with, in all its ups and downs, and we delight in being together, in being so much to each other. We revel in the absurdity and the beauty of it all, and for the first time in my life, I feel like I am the right person in the right place at the right time.
I am lucky/fortunate/blessed beyond all imagining, to be in this position.
Whatever I have gone through, and whatever is to come, I feel is utterly worth it, because of who and how I am at this point.
I am unimaginably thankful.