Friday, November 4, 2011

Gratitude and 25 Years of Blissful Life!!

Hello Kitties! (See what I did there? Huh? HUH?!)

So, today's post is all about gratitude. I've decided to try to be more consistent in my blogging now that I am in a new city doing new stuff. But, today, all I can think about is how lucky I am to have the life that I have, to be loved so well and by so many, and to be able to share that love right back. One of the most wonderful things about the advent of social networking and blogs is that there is no end of ways for me to express my love, joy and gratitude! It's a beautiful thang.

Yesterday, I turned 25 and threw myself (I know, right?) a birthday party and invited basically everyone I knew and loved in Chattanooga. What happened is that people from all walks of my life showed up and sort of mingled among their respective "crowds" and it sort of did not turn out the way I had planned in my head. BUT, what was amazing about it was that so many people showed up to share in my joy and to be with me on my birthday, regardless of who they knew or how awkward it might have been. For that, I am truly, truly grateful. It's actually difficult for me to come up with an accurate description of how I'm feeling right now. It's some mixture of intense love, gratitude, flattery, and longing for moments like that to last forever.

When I moved to Chattanooga in 2006, I never could have imagined what my life there would become. I have met some of the most incredible people in the world here. I've gotten to act in plays. I've gotten to sing with all manor of talented musicians. I've made lifelong friends who feel like family. I've become attached to this town and it takes up a lot of space in my heart. Today, I'm struggling with saying goodbye and having to let it go. I sort of teeter between joy and sorrow and am right on the verge of tears every few minutes. Letting go is not something I'm great at; in this case especially. Mostly, because I don't want to let go of Chattanooga.

Which is not to say I'm not excited about recreating a life in Nashville, because I love Nashville and there is a great big part of me that is thrilled to be at home with my family. I just wish I could wrap all of the things and people I love in Chattanooga in a big suitcase and take them with me. Oh, that life were more like that!

But, returning to gratitude. I am so grateful for the effect this town has had on me. Had I hated living here, it would have been so easy to leave and I wouldn't have felt this heaviness on my heart, but I also wouldn't have gotten the joy of Sunday Fundays and Tuesdays at Tremont with the Misfits, acting and singing at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre with the most talented and loving people in the world, learning how to love and stretch my heart to fit it all in with the amazing yogis at North Shore Yoga, Paddleboarding with Michael and Jess, dance parties at Club Carmichael, Wednesday Night Pickin's with some of the coolest people you will ever meet, Adventures at Daisy with Jenn and Nick and all the associated hooligans, and even more fun things than I can even fit on this page. I have been so blessed to be here and I am eternally grateful.

"Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is as strong as death." Song of Solomon 8:6

You all, Chattanoogans, Nashvillians and all the other "ans" in my life have left a permanent seal on my heart and my love for you is eternal.

Lots of love