When I was, 25

So I’m awake.

There’s not all that much to say about that. The Melatonin pills may or may not be working, the only difference I can tell is that I’m waking up at 2 AM instead of 3. Other than that, it’s business as usual at the insomnia factory.

So much so that I’ve not written a word in several days. Not even a selection of words about not writing, although this technically qualifies. It’s clearly time to start editing, and I’m ready to begin.

Today is Thanksgiving, the United States’ second favorite made-up holiday, and the one that means the most to me.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. Many, many things have gone right for me. Though I’m still not working, my basic needs are taken care of by the figurative sweat of my own simulated brow, bills are being paid, and I’m still making inroads on my debts both personal and public.

I’m thankful to have started writing again, moreso that I have generated some short peices which could aid with both the instances above, and with recognition of my skill and “voice” to help sell the longer stuff.

I’m thankful I have the experience to know when something is just not working, and the ability to deconstruct and isolate the parts of it that do.

I’m thankful for my protagonists, who help me pull it all together. I’m thankful for vivid and lasting dreams that enable me to keep the feel of my stories intact. I’m thankful also for when they are not all that nice to one another, so that there’s something to write about in the first place.

I am thankful for those that love me, and who I love in return. For friends and family both distant and immediate. For four walls and a roof. For the gifts I recieve every day, and those I am fortunate to give in return.

I am no longer 25 years old. When I was that age, very little of the above was true. I was mean-spirited, angry, afraid, arrogant, spiteful, inconsiderate, and more than a little drunk.

The things I am thankful for today were present then, and every bit as important as they are now. But I did not see them for what they were, or at least did not value them as highly. I was a different man then, and today of all days I am very thankful for those people who opened their homes and hearts to him.

One thing I do remember about those days was that I was for the most part happy and content. I had a life that made sense to me, and if it was not particularly ambitious, it was “enough.”

Typing this, I am reminded of being 18 as well as being 25, when a similar group of friends opened their lives to me. Despite the large family dinners I enjoyed when I was a child, the first thanksgiving I spent as a “grown man” truly taught me the meaning of the day.

I quite truthfully had nothing to my name at the time. I arrived in Phoenix the month before with nothing but the clothes on my back and 500 dollars. 2 days in a motel waiting for the school office to open so that I might get a roommate whose name I can’t remember and an apartment I’ll never forget cut that total in half. I borrowed a shirt from him the next day to go to a job interview.

Someone I barely knew from home began spreading lies about me within days, and the community of students and strangers I found myself in got that much more lonely. I knew one other person in the entire state, a friend of my mother’s who also opened his home to me, and gave respite to a weary traveler.

Three days later on his borrowed bicycle, I rode up to the door of a place I came to know as Sanctuary, where my first true instruction in friendship was to take place. Here was the home I had been looking for among strangers, people like myself who had decided to unite, rather than divide.

Today I can remember every stupid thing I did or said in their presence over the next few years, and am so very thankful they saw something in him worth liking. Something of the man I eventually became, and the one I strive to be.

Today, give thanks for the things in your life that make you happy. For the memories that make you sad, and for the lessons they taught you. Give thanks for the promise of tomorrow’s triumphs, today’s moments, and yesterday’s smiles.

Be excellent to each other. Party on, dudes. Those words were put into Abraham Lincoln’s mouth during an excellent adventure, and I believe in both them and him.

After all, in addition to other notable words adressed to our nation over 150 years ago, he also invented Thanksgiving.

Looks like it wasn’t a half bad idea, Abe.

%d bloggers like this: