Today’s Thanks A Lot comes from my dear friend, Emma. Whether I need to be deeply motivated with stunning words or need to laugh at hilarious Joe Biden memes, she is the friend I text. I love her unapologetic passion, I love her quick wit, I love her acceptance of herself and others, and most of all, I love her resilience. She is true gem in the universe, and a great part of mine. We have grown and changed over the years, and I value so much that we have grown together. I love her words about the gratitude we should each feel for our passions – the things that keep our hearts beating faster and make us excited to continue forward. READ:
“When I was doing theater in high school, my drama teacher told me that my best quality was how passionate I was. How no matter what I was doing, it was impossible for me to be lackadaisical about anything; I give 100% to everything that I love. And after an incredibly hard year that tried at every turn to take my passion and life from me, I am so thankful for the strength of my passion and the strength of my fight.
The first thing that starts to slip away when times get hard is your sense of self. Earlier this year, I was cheated on and it was ROUGH. It was a rough situation in and of itself but it also woke up all of the bad memories of my past. I was slipping away so quickly. I didn’t feel like me anymore. Until I picked up a book. Each time the world felt too heavy, I made myself read a chapter of a book until my breathing evened out and I didn’t hear the whispering, doubtful voices in the back of my head.
After that horrible and lost weekend, it was Memorial Day. WIthout telling anyone where I was going, I drove to my favorite tattoo parlor and walked out an hour later with a tattoo perched on my shoulder. It was a line from one of my absolute favorite poems and with each prick of the needle that day, I felt myself waking up again. When I got home, I wrote and edited my novel. I kept reading until my eyes blurred. I ordered food from my favorite restaurant, I danced my heart out to Lady Gaga until I couldn’t even remember why I was sad in the first place. I watched the sunset from my porch and researched how to volunteer in my community. My passions saved my life. I saved myself.
I believe in expressing every feeling you have at 100%. I will never hide my passions and I will always defend them because they have saved me more times than I can count. I will never be ashamed about any of the things I am passionate about and I will fight with every single bone in my body to defend the passions of others. Never be ashamed of what you enjoy and never let anyone tell you not to enjoy life. Stop letting people call things you like “basic” or tell you that when you show unironic excitement about the world that you are a nerd or “too much.” The world is tough and scary and hard and how dare anyone tell you not to love what you love. Love with your full heart and do not apologize.
The day I got that tattoo was the best day of the year and it came after the worst few months I have had in such a long time. I put trust and gratitude into what I am passionate about just like I always will. I love writing. I love books. I love reading. I love Lady Gaga (SO MUCH. LISTEN TO JOANNE.) I love dogs. I love charity. I love my friends. I love my family. I love my nephew. I love poetry. I love Tibetan food. I love being known for my passion and I am so thankful that I am.
I am grateful for your passions, too. Don’t take them for granted and hold them close.”