Of course there’s the usual: friends, family, health, the lack of traumatic events in my life, goat cheese. I’m thankful for Massachusetts Health Care (I’m telling you guys – it’s amazing!) I’m thankful that I live in a time and place where I can make a lot of my own decisions and take a shower every day – i.e. not the middle ages.
But I’m not going to bore you guys with a list of things I’m thankful for.
Instead I’m just going to expound on one: Nikki.
On one of my first days of high school, a girl bounded up to me outside of Penn Hall. Her hair was in pigtails and a manic smile over-took her face. “Hi! I’m Nikki!” she yelled. I had no idea why she had come to talk to me, but her smile and her energy was infectious.
We exchanged phone numbers, and that night we talked on the phone for hours. We’ve been friends ever since. In high school, we balanced each other. I gave Nikki a place to sleep and doses of practicality. She gave me her spirit and her unconditional love. Hanging out with Nikki was never boring – we could entertain each other for hours.
We had a falling out around the age of nineteen and didn’t speak for a few years. But when we started talking again, we realized how strong our bond still was. I went to visit her in Vermont, and then on the Cape. She came to visit me twice in New Orleans.
Nikki has made it possible for me to take this year off, and for that I will always, always be grateful. I thought this year was going to be about writing – and it has been. But it’s also been about self-reflection, and for that I have to thank Nikki. Without her prompting me with deep questions, without our discussions and the books we’ve read together, I don’t think I would be exploring as much as I have.
This morning Nikki and I went for a walk to see if we could find the turkeys that sometimes hang out near the bike trail. We didn’t see them – they must have gone into hiding. But we did see a heron, a cardinal, a woodpecker, and a bunch of surly crows (my favorite!) Most importantly, we had a good talk. Nikki and I can talk to each other about most anything, it seems. She is always trying to stay open-minded and open with her thoughts and feelings. She is someone who encourages me with my writing just as much as she encourages me to explore myself.
I really couldn’t ask for a better friend. I couldn’t ask for a better situation right now for writing and exploring my life. I really couldn’t ask for a better life.
Thank you to everyone and everything involved.
I think you guys already know what the assignment is for today. Duh.