The holidays can be a fraught time for many, but for me, personally, outside of my birthday, it’s my favorite time of year. It’s a time for traditions and a lot of food and for me, those check most of the boxes. Every year since I was seven, my parents and I have ventured to Mexico for an annual getaway for Thanksgiving. When it got too difficult to decide which side of the family to go to, and the family dynamics just got a wee bit too complicated, my parents decided that instead of suffering they would just pick the three of us up and remove us from the equation. It was time to create new traditions and ever since I was seven, we have.
So, nothing much has changed, except for that now there are four of us that go to Mexico instead of three and that Domi has inspired us to get off of our lounge chairs once in a while and do an actual activity. Today we went sailing. Being out on the water is something my entire family loves. The wind in our hair, the sparkling waters all around. It’s peaceful and special. We wandered back from our rooms in a daze. Thinking about the time we had and already dreaming of the next time we could be back out on the water. The air was so thick with humidity it wasn’t hard to imagine the cool water splashing and offering some afternoon relief. Instinctively on our way back to our rooms, we pulled out our phones which we hadn’t taken a peek at in hours. As soon as the lock screen lit up on my phone I found a plethora of missed calls, frustrated clients and people going insane over silly stuff and I felt a little bit jarred. Okay, a lot bit jarred. How dare these people interrupt my Mexican reverie! I got so pissed off. I really felt this internal stirring that had me wanting to throw my computer across the room. I was really, really angry. Well, this is just f*&^!#, I thought. An hour ago I was standing on a paddleboard, propelling myself around a bird sanctuary and now I am sitting in a hotel room with my phone in my hand and my arm twitching to hurl it at the nearest wall. What the heck? How did everything change so quickly? But slowly, I took a breath, I sat down and started handling the emails one by one. I returned each call one at a time. I took another breath and then another. My heart rate started to return to normal. I no longer felt the need to fling electronics at other inanimate objects. And miraculously, in less than an hour, I was done and sitting back at the pool, almond chai in hand. (Rough life, I know…)
As I sat on the lounge chair, thoughts were swirling around in my mind of every sort. All of a sudden, I remembered that this week is Thanksgiving. Duh, Chelsea…A time to remember what we’re grateful for. A time to give thanks to those that have loved and supported us. Again, I inhaled and exhaled. I put the work behind me and started to really dig into this giving thanks corner of my mind. What am I grateful for this year? As the first cobwebs cleared, I thought, well, duh, I am grateful for my family and my friends. (They’re the best!) Behind a few boxes in my mind, I found, I am beyond grateful for those that have come into my life and taught me lessons. These are things I am grateful for every day and remind myself of as often as possible. But when I really sat in the quiet and pushed back curtains of my mind and corners I didn’t even know existed and I felt the warm sun on my skin, my mind started to get a little bit deep. I started to feel really grateful for myself. Something I don’t think I’ve ever said out loud before. I started to be very thankful that I decided to go out on a limb this year, to try something new that I have utterly no experience in and see how it goes. And that the more I have worked on my new dreams and passions I have started speaking them with periods and not question marks. What I mean by this is that when people ask me what I am doing I have started saying confidently, “I am a writer. I am a blogger.” I don’t ask for anyone’s approval. I don’t ask for anyone to like it. I just say it point-blank, you asked, I’m telling. In the first half of this year, I questioned it a lot. I would tell people these newfound things about myself and my intonation at the end of my sentences would creep up as if asking whether or not I had permission to do these things, but the more I said it, the more it became fact. The more it became a fact the more I believed in it. And in believing more in it, I started believing more in myself.
I don’t know that I have ever reflected on Thanksgiving and thought, man, I am grateful that I am me. I have always looked outward for the things and people around me that I am grateful for, but this year in addition to all of these things I would like to also proclaim my self-gratitude. That I am proud of who I am becoming and I am thankful that I get to be me.
I wish everyone loved being themselves. I wish it was more fun for more people to just be who they are. If I could make the world a safer place for people who feel they don’t have permission to be who they are I would like to. I am not sure how to do this, but I am working on it. I promise. I am open to suggestions. Consider this blog my personal suggestion box on how to help people feel safe being themselves. If you have ideas throw them at me. I am ready.
So, I know it’s a few days away, but happy thanksgiving my friends. Gratitude is on my mind. I would also like to say how grateful I am for you. For those of you that are supporting me and loving me on my path of self-discovery. For those of you that subscribe to my blog and listen to me go on and on. (Even if you delete the email without ever having read it…you won’t see this, but I’m grateful for you, too.)
Part of what makes it easier to be yourself is when the people around you are supportive. I have so much support and if as a Thanksgiving gift I could offer you mine, please know I would and I am. Be grateful for yourself. For your body, for the time you take to feed and nourish your dreams, even if it’s only for five minutes at a time, in the middle of the night, once a week. I support that and I love that and I love you. Thank you for being you. I am grateful you chose to just let go and be yourself for a little while. Have the happiest Thanksgiving week…don’t forget to remove yourself from un-fun situations and that you are a-okay just as you are. Xoxoxo, CAMDW