I am a person who is inclined towards depression. And by that, I mean chronically and clinically, for the entirety of my life. I’m not going to share too much of the gory details, lest I have “sharing regret” (my parents coined that phrase, btw) but I will say that when people talk about how special life is or awesome their day was or how life is filled with little treasures, I literally have almost no reference frame. I just kind of stare at them blankly, thinking, “What are they talking about?” And then, because social convention demands it, I smile and nod knowingly. Yes, of course! I can relate to you! We are relating! Isn’t it wonderful! I’m relatable! Please find me personable and charming even though I’m dead on the inside! Or, because sometimes I get annoyed with social convention, I roll my eyes. Or scoff. Or I don’t respond at all. Or I change the subject.
Mornings are like this : I wake up and I think of a particular line of my favourite book, which is – “But there are always the hours, aren’t there? One and then another, and you get through that one and then, my god, there’s another.” At the end of the day, I don’t reflect on the kind of day that I may or may not have had. I just feel relieved. Or accomplished, like I’ve taken care of a tedious chore.
But there is a thing I can do. I can make a hyper-specific list of things I’m thankful for. No matter how seemingly innocuous, it holds a certain fascination for me. Little gifts exist. I’m alone, but I’m not alone. Here is my list for today.
- I was thankful for going over to Jim and Margaret Blair’s. They are my grandma’s cousins. They were super old and super nice and made me laugh a lot. Going to their house and being surrounded by people who know my people felt like going home. Everyone told me that I was “definitely a Biggs” but Margaret told me I had a bit of Burdge in me too. It was comforting and warm and there was delicious cake. I could tell by the way they looked at me and laughed at my dumb jokes that they liked me.
- I’m thankful for my roommates. I’m thankful that we prayed together tonight. I’m thankful that they’re positive of how much God loves me even though sometimes I think He doesn’t care about me. I’m thankful for their acceptance and love.
- I’m thankful for Nicole Jackson. I was looking through her photos like a huge creep and just thinking about how much I like her and how weird it is that I didn’t know her until a year ago. She’s like a common staple.
- I’m thankful for bathroom encounters. Today I knocked on the bathroom when Amanda was in there to get my toothbrush. She swung open the door, wrapped in a bathrobe and towel, just beaming at me ridiculously. She looked like strawberries and sunshine. Then we brushed our teeth together and it was like we were in a commercial and we laughed a lot.
- I’m thankful for delicious macaroons at Purdy’s. I ate five in less than ninety seconds, I’m pretty sure. Two strawberry, one apricot-almond, one lemon-orange, and one pistachio. And now I want more.
- I’m thankful for Lee’s arrival back home. I’m thankful that he’s safe and I’m thankful for his stories. And I’m thankful that he cooked me a pancake.
- I went to a movie called Gravity in IMAX 3D and it was the craziest shit I have seen, ever. Why I’m thankful for this, I don’t know. Because it was stunning visually. Because the acting was awesome. Because I didn’t think that movies could be THAT good anymore.
- Sarah and I watched tv shows on my bed and it was cozy.
- I like my sweatpants.
- I like my mom.
- I like this song.