Quickly pacing. Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot. Anxious. I found myself on the platform next to the train tracks. I memorized each crevice in the ground as I tried to work through my panic. The music in my headphones would not drown out my torturous thoughts. I trapped myself in my mind, determined to make myself feel awful in the process.
I have to stop, I told myself. My feet kept moving.
Just talk to someone, you’ll feel better. I was not very convincing.
The platform came to life as the scheduled train began to approach. I calmed down for the sake of my own embarrassment and took a seat on an empty bench. A deep breath in and a deep breath out. I had to do something. The incessant pacing was not helping and I was not about to spend my entire day anxiously walking in circles. I went back inside and cleared a space on my desk in my room. I unearthed a journal given to me and stared at the blank pages. I had used the journal a handful of times prior for half-baked thoughts and nonsensical ideas. I tore out the used pages and told myself I was starting fresh. I began to write.
At first, I was unsure who to address. Was I writing to myself in the future if I decided to read the entry again? Was I writing to the people I needed help from? My writing became a stream of consciousness. It became a brain dump onto the empty white pages that sat and stared back at me. I tried to write as quickly as the thoughts would enter my head. I journaled out of need. I wrote down the words that would acknowledge my feelings and I felt better.
Writing didn’t become a habit right away for me and it is still something I have to make time for. Writing in my journal and writing about gratitude bring me clarity. A daily journal and a daily blog to remind me of the treasures worth remembering. Not every day has been a miracle, far from it. The fact of the matter is, we must continue. We can stop at any time, breathe, and do what we must to go on living.
Today I’m Grateful For…
- Mornings with my cat, Ned
- Peanut butter
- Time at the gym to clear my head
- Clean water and texts from Cambodia
- A weekend to relax
- Cooking classes and learning new things
- Comfy pillows and warm blankets
- Shared anything
- When I can support and encourage my friends
- My Bridgewater blanket
- Teachers, Mentors, and Coaches
- Walks around Horn Pond with my Grandma
- The sound of birds outside my window
- Nights spent watching the stars
- The warmth of the summer sun
- The sound of rain and the impenetrable fog
- Patient reminders from the Universe
- Days I get to teach
- My Peer Mentors here at UMass
- My family
- The power of gratitude and a few deep breaths
- Late night ice cream
- Safe travels and good health
- Warm delicious tea
- The here and now
As always, check out my first blog 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.
If you’re interested in Guest Blogging for the Gratitude Journal, click (here)!
Featured image of Anfield, a place of dreams