On giving thanks

I’m thankful for the challenges of the past year, from the academic to the personal. I’m thankful for my health, without which I would be nothing. I’m thankful for endings, for they help define beginnings.

I’m thankful for Course Six, a beast with which I’ve been locked in mortal combat. The latest exam did not go well and so finals week will be do-or-die. I’ve faced worse odds. I wish that I could pass without breaking a sweat, but perhaps this struggle will help me define a period in my life.

I’m thankful for my partner. Our relationship has been tested and redefined, again and again, over the past year. Our first kiss landed almost eleven months ago (or twelve moons) and while it hasn’t always been easy, it has been worth it. I’m excited to find our way together forward, over the next year and the following dozens.

I’m thankful for my health. I’ve griped about my tweaked neck and the limits of my meat-suit over the past year. I’ve changed from a weightlifter to a CrossFit coach to a slackliner to a grappler, and I take these switches for granted. I have options for my physical practice. I have room to grow and opportunities to leave alone. One day, I won’t. I will try to revel in the experience, rather than wistfully remember.

I’m thankful for endings. Life rarely presents us with a clean new chapter or a satisfying conclusion. It’s the fundamental problem with traveling to escape your woes: you can be the heaviest piece of luggage. The surroundings might shift, but how you interact with the world doesn’t. Change that and you change the story.

Endings are hard. Beginnings are scary. The middle is a grind. And I’m thankful for all of it.

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