That’s something I said to one of my family members recently, when discussing my upcoming birthday. I’m a gal who struggles with a results-oriented outlook on life, something that often leaves me disappointed with myself. I’ve been working on changing that this summer, but with few results (irony). I’ve been reading a book about gratitude, and in the book, the author makes a list of blessings. Her original goal for the number of items on the list is 1000, but I’m not that ambitious. I’ll settle for 20 things I have learned or am grateful for about this summer. 20 seems to be a good number.
1. Being a part of the crazy, controversial, Chick-Fil-A summer, and the friends that came with it. I may not have wanted to ever work at CFA ever again, but God knows best, and while I have still not figured out why I needed to be there, I have come to accept it and enjoy it and count it as a blessing. I met a lot of really sweet people and even got to bowl with some of them. (Side note: apparently my college-educated bowling skills aren’t worth what I payed for the class)
2. Parallel parking: I have practiced this skill, and while I still have a long ways to go, I am pretty proud of my level of accomplishment, given the fact that I only had youtube for a resource. In hindsight, I should have taken a class in parallel parking instead of bowling.
3. Late night drives with Maris and/or Cooper. While we don’t get along all the time, I am really grateful for the chances I have had to hang out with them this summer. It’s cool to see how they have developed into their own unique little adult selves—also weird that they are now seniors in High School.
4. The YMCA: I have really enjoyed working out with my mom this summer. Yeah, okay, I’m no twiggy, but I feel healthy and I love using my new purple and blue athletic shoes. (They were on sale) (I’m grateful for sales)
5. This website: http://tall-girl-problems.tumblr.com/ It’s pretty self-explanatory.
6. The fact that Ventura is basically Eden. I don’t think there is a mosquito in the whole county. In fact, I was recently at a baking party where a mosquito eater got into the house. It caused a commotion, because one girl thought it was a mosquito, one man thought it was a daddy long legs, and everyone else didn’t know what it was. What a sheltered land I live in, where the mosquito is a mythical creature.
7. The beach. It is such a wonderful blessing. On the west coast especially, the beach is loud. the tide is a constant swell of noise. It is powerful, and a little scary. It reminds me of God, and it will be a very close reminder all year, because I’m blessed to be living at…
8. Pepperdine. I’m sad to have left FC, but that’s what my life had in store. I’m grateful for the years I had with my wonderful FC friends, but I must now be grateful for the blessings that I know God has in store for me at Pepperdine. He has already given me a wonderful roommate. I leave for Malibu tomorrow morning.
9. Airplanes, Internet, Cars, Phones: basically, I am glad that I live in an age where moving across the country doesn’t mean I am permanently separated from those I love.
10. PenPals: My occasional letters in the mail have been one of my favorite parts of this summer. My favorite PenPal is probably Adam Smelser, but, c’mon, who can compete with his stories? It seems like a lot of this life is so immediate, hasty, and rushed. I like letters because they force me to take time, contemplate, and communicate.
11. I got my first pedicure with my mom yesterday. It was pretty rad. The asian man asked me if I was in high school. I don’t get that question much anymore.
12. My mom, who, despite all of her own trials, cares about me and keeps me focused more than anyone I know.
Well, Cooper forgot his wallet, and needs me to bring it to him so that he can eat before work. If you have ever interacted with Cooper after he has missed a meal, you know that the safety of the entire tri-state area is at stake if I do not hurry. So, I guess my list will have to wait. It’s like a lot of stuff that I have done this summer: incomplete. Here’s an excerpt from my summer scrapbook to tie things up:
“This summer was not, by any means, the most fun, most productive, or the most uplifting. But, sometimes, the sun sets. and sometimes it rises. I started blogging, parallel parking, tie dying, & forgiving. I’m no where near good at any of it, but sometimes you have to crawl before you can walk. Here’s to counting blessings, one bonfire at a time. Here’s to late night drives with Maris. Here’s to new beginnings. #CarpeDiem #Yolo”
I’m sorry, I would post you some pictures, but I have a boy who needs some food, so I’ll save those for a post-move in post.
*Emma Frost is a nickname I got at Chick-Fil-A. I do not advise googling the name, as it is the name of a scantily-clad X-men character. You’ve been warned.