Where to begin?
Thank you to all of my family, friends, teachers, professors, colleagues, coworkers, neighbors, pets…for everything up to this moment.
Thank you to everyone in the service industry…for putting up with my crap and everyone else’s.
Thank you science….for being super cool and helping our world become better.
Thank you God….for listening to my prayers, even if you don’t answer.
Thank you to my parents…for allowing me to grow up in a home with electricity, food, water, warmth, and my siblings. We’ve never been wealthy, but I lived a rich life. Rich with pets, toys, TV, extra curricular activities, good food, vacations, and a trampoline! Thank you for choosing to live in a state that is clean and safe and that is full of friendly people. Thank you for not letting me have a cell phone until I was 15…and thank you for making me do chores. Having basic skills so that I can now take care of myself, will be with me for forever.
Thank you Dad…for being my rock. I wouldn’t be here alive, here in NM, here at college, without you. You taught me how to be tough as nails…and how to care for others. You and your side of the family taught me to be creative and to pursue that creative dream. Thank you for teaching me to enjoy the little things in life and for letting me smoke cigars with you. Thank you for always making me laugh and taking me to cool places. Thank you so much for getting me into horses and horseback riding…and thank you for buying me my first horse AND my first car (aka my second horse). Thank you for every penny you’ve ever given me….especially now that I live across the country. This only scrapes the top of the thank you that you deserve….but thank you for being you…and I love you more than anything.
Thank you Mom…for not abandoning us. You haven’t always been there…and I speak for all of us siblings when I say that. Despite our messed up childhood….we are here today and so are you, more than ever. You’ve been more of a mom in the last four years than ever, to me. I know there are two sides to every story, and I’ve only gotten glimpses of yours…but this is mine. Frankly, I don’t care anymore about what happened in the past…what matters is now: that everything that has happened has shaped me to be me and I couldn’t be more thankful for it. Thank you for teaching me how to life practically and realistically. Thank you for teaching me how to handle money and what having money can look/be like. Thank you for teaching me basic “mom” things…like chores, or laundry, or what kind of vitamins to take. Thank you for you and Dad getting divorced…I feel that you have been happier and better as a whole since then..and that teaches me to be true to myself. You helped teach me independence and that I definitely don’t need to depend on a man or anyone, if I don’t want to. Thank you for everything you’ve done to put me through college (and to Dave). Thank you for helping me (and Matt) move out here. Despite everything…I wouldn’t have it any other way and I hope that my siblings will come to this realization as well in their lives. I know that “feelings” aren’t our family’s thing…but thank you…and I love you.
I express my gratitude by not only saying thank you, but usually doing something in return. Sometimes I will just give a gift. I do things like, cook them a meal or clean their dishes, sweep the floor, give them a ride, pick them up…little things. If I see something that reminds me of them…I’ll send them a picture or tell them about it, or buy it for them if I can. I like showing gratitude with physical affection as well..hugging, shoulder hug, hand squeeze, a kiss on the cheek or head…although I also know how to read the atmosphere. I try to make an honest effort every day to say ‘thank you’ to those who do nice things for me, like people who hold the door open, or the person who makes my coffee. Even if it’s their job, it is still nice to be appreciated for what you do. Kindness is an incredible power.
I feel that love and kindness will be what saves us in this crazy world. Not only do we need to be kind and love others…but we need to be kind and love ourselves. When I see others being kind to others…it warms my heart. Being raised in VT, kindness is second nature to most people there. It’s a strong belief there to help others always and to be kind and respect others. I carry those beliefs with me and coming to this school, I am so happy to see that most everyone supports each other and is kind to one another. This school has such a loving community to it. I am thankful and glad to be here.
The quote that I chose is by Walt Whitman: Keep your face always toward the sunshine — and shadows will fall behind you.
I went surfing for quotes because there wasn’t one that I just knew already. In my psychology class, we were learning about Joseph Campbell, a philosopher who spoke about being your true self. I went off from that to find a quote that would help inspire the classmates and to help them look forward. The sun is a powerful symbol to me…part of the reason I moved out here is because of the large amount of sunshine this state gets. The simplicity of the idea of looking towards the sun and your shadow being behind you — inspires me because it’s quite literal but also figurative. Sometimes, well most of the time, I am over thinking everything. Hearing something as simple as that quote, makes me realize that I just need to look up at what it is I really want…and the rest will fall behind. Hopefully this quote will help keep others inspired when they’re feeling overwhelmed or doubtful.