Expressing Gratitude

i’ve never been good at expressing my thoughts and emotions aloud. if anything, i’ve gotten worse at it over the past few years. brett, on the other hand, is completely comfortable saying whatever is on his mind. he wears his heart on his sleeve, and befriends everyone he meets. he could talk to anyone for hours, and has never met a stranger.

i used to be able to do that in some capacity, and for whatever reason i’ve slowly just shut it all away. in every social or family situation we attend, i’ve basically defaulted to letting him do the talking for both of us.

i used to hug people all the time. write letters to everyone i knew. tell people how i felt, to their face. express thanks. my thank you cards as an 8 year old were written better than half of the face-to-face conversations i have on a day to day basis. i used to call people just to talk.

you know how often i call people to talk? i probably call my dad once a month (we text and email and facebook, for the most part), and the last time i called my best friend, it was to tell her i was pregnant and to ask if she would be in my wedding. and even then (3 years ago!), the phone call came as a shock to her.

my ability to be a normal human being has gone to shit.

my thoughts stay locked away, unless i’ve had an absurd amount to drink and the stars align and i feel like i’ve got a sentence or 2 formed well enough to start a more-than-skin-deep conversation.

otherwise, i just try to laugh it off or respond with smartassery and sarcasm. avoid any potential awkward (using that as a noun here) or uncomfortableness. avoid any scenario in which i find myself completely vulnerable. god forbid.

part of me wonders if this has something to do with the fact that i’ve completely immersed myself in technology. i basically only ever write and talk online. have i become muted? is this what happens? for a while, i thought only my handwriting would go to shit. but it seems my personality, and my ability to socially interact at an adequate level has suffered even more. even with my husband and my own family.

i started writing this because i wanted to put down in words how grateful i am for the people in my life, how lucky i am to have them, even if i am in most ways incapable of expressing it to the degree that they deserve. i guess it’s kind of ironic that i’m trying to convey these things though the one medium that’s kept me from actually saying them the way they should be said.

my mom and i were talking the other morning, and she was telling me about something that had upset her. i was listening, and all these thoughts were in my head. how i felt bad about what she was upset about. how i wished i could help. how i wished i could make things easier, and let her know i was here for her. i couldn’t say one word of it. not one. there was a lump in my throat, and the thought of actually saying these things aloud had me in a panic, knowing i’d fuck up trying to get them out. by the end of the conversation, i was so stuck in my own thoughts trying to figure out how to say them, that i missed the last minute or so completely, and we had moved on.

an hour later, i wrote her an email. i said what i wanted to say, finally. and she was thrilled. but it shouldn’t be like that. i should be able to say more than just “i love you” in person, comfortably, to the people i care about.

it’s christmas time. this should be one of those “gotchas” at this time of year.

i will not be in the office for the rest of the week. i’ve wrapped up most of my side work (at least for this week). my dad and stepmom and mom and grandparents will be here for christmas with me and brett and caylin.

my goal is to put my phone and my laptop AWAY. not just on the coffee table. away.

my goal is to thoroughly enjoy the people who have allowed me to live this ridiculously blessed life i live. the people who have done so much for me, when i can hardly say i’ve done anything to repay in ANY form or fashion, just 1% of that back to them.

even if i can’t get it all out in words, at least i can say i gave it every bit of effort i had. that i didn’t miss a second of it due to a tweet or a text message. that i gave them my undivided attention and respect and thanks.

i don’t think everyone is meant to be a parent, because it’s clearly not for everyone. but if there’s one thing it’s taught me (that i know it would’ve taken me decades longer to realize or more), it’s how much of a selfish piece of shit i’ve been for years.

my goal is to be a better human, this christmas. and going forward.