The holiday season places so much emphasis on gratitude and, though the past month has been incredibly fast-paced, those messages have consistently reminded me to get to writing this post. However, time kept passing and it kept getting pushed to the bottom of the list.
Last week, though, a girl I had a class with last year approached me on campus. She told me she read my blog, that she’d gone through a lot of what I write about, and that reading my posts helped her stay present at BC. Her gratitude was that extra push I needed to show mine. All of the reminders to express our care to those we care about in combination with this incident led me to thinking I’ve never truly written about my gratitude to my readers.
I started My Shiny Reflections almost two years ago now as a personal outlet and sort of assignment. My mission was to find happiness and I needed a way to hold myself accountable. Time passed and both the website and myself evolved. Today, My Shiny Reflections feels like a part of me. It was my starting ground at a time when I was immersed in darkness and it’s both helped me find more light and held that light for me in moments when I’ve dimmed. I felt less alone and developed more of a purpose.
Though it started in such a personal manner, the people who read these posts have been so vital to its success. The encouragement I got, at first from friends and family, and then from others kept me writing, kept me exploring, and kept me in my recovery- fighting for it and sticking with it. When I doubted myself, I leaned on my words and my people. My Shiny Reflections gave me a tribe of my own and a way to build and strengthen who I am.
I frequently get messages from people who read my blog with their experiences and appreciation- whether by email or in person, from people I know and people I’ve never met and that is really cool. When that girl approached me on campus, I was again reminded of the gratitude I have for the person I am and the people who help me remain in touch with that side of myself. So, in light of this time of year and all of the kindness I receive throughout the entire year, thank you to everyone who will ever read this and to everyone who has supported me these past few years. Even if I’ve never spoken with you, I am so grateful to have a place to land and a space that reflects my own desire to be my best self on this planet.
This past month has been crazy, but I have so much for which to be grateful. In part as a result of this site, I became News Editor for my college newspaper, I finished another semester of college, I survived some enormous challenges (including, but not limited to the infamous BC Norovirus), and I am now able to rest and recuperate after a truly chaotic few weeks.
Though I’m always working on myself and my recovery, I am so proud of how far I have come and the strides I’ve made in my process. I have the most life I have had in most of my life. I have more responsibilities and though they’re sometimes overwhelming, I feel meaningful and whole. So much is new and I’m still learning to manage that, but I feel human, alive, hopeful, and so, so grateful. Thank you for any part you play in that, because all of you do.
Cheers (and happy holidays)!