Originally published Tuesday, 03 September 2013.
"The odd thing about this form of communication is that you're more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings."
-You've Got Mail
What do I have to write about? I asked my mentor one day. We were sipping iced coffees with bright green straws. She was helping me focus my time.
I'm not a mother. I'm not crafty. And I'm certainly not cooking my way through Julia Child's dictionary of French cuisine, either. Isn't that what people want to read about?
What do I really have to offer? I asked.
My mentor sat, soundly.
I think what it is that you have to offer is your stories, she said.
We're close to the season where iced coffees are swapped for pumpkin spiced lattes. And I'm just now beginning to realize that she's right.
Today, I wanted to take some time to thank you all for allowing me the chance to write.
Not that I'm sitting around waiting for permission from anyone, of course. I've missed out on a lot of opportunities for joy by waiting for others to affirm something I should just simply begin.
I just mean, thank you for reading. For encouraging me. And for sharing with others.
This blog began as a way to encourage other unmarried, 20-something Christian women. Girls just trying to wade through the mess and insecurity of being a new adult. Girls just like me.
But most of the time, I think I'm the one who got the better end of the deal. Because I get to write, for one. And then as a result, I'm usually the one encouraged by the stories you share with me.
For those of you who are my dear, clever family and friends: thank you for giving me fodder to write. Thank you for trusting me with your secrets and heartbreaks.
For those of you (men and women) who have broken my heart: the abusers, the users, you get a thank you, too. By the grace of God, I've learned to overcome your foolishness/carelessness. So, I feel indebted to you all the same.
For those of you who I don't know, but reach out to me in emails and comments: I love listening. I love reflecting and absorbing the creativity rooted in this life. You don't know how much it breaks my heart that I can't fix your problems. But, for reaching out and telling your tragedies to a total stranger, that makes you brave. And that counts for something.
Today, I ran into an old friend.
Well, an old restaurant customer.
He may actually still be going to the restaurant, I have no clue, but he's an old customer to me because I don't work at the restaurant any more.
This is important because he asked me about what I was "up to these days." And I told him "these days" I was working in a local public relations office.
Of course you are, he said, it makes perfect sense with your personality.
We barely know each other. But at the same time, I've been present for some pretty big moments in his life. I served him the night he was on a first date with the woman he's married to. And they went from getting-to-know-you-jitters to engaged in a few months.
Now they're married and his wife works a little ways up the street from my office. I saw her coming down a flight of stairs across the room of a local dining hall. Her face lit up when she saw me, and she pointed to her stomach.
I'm pregnant! she mouthed to me and gave a grin that could have lit up the sky.
I yelped, and left my lunch date in the lurch for a few minutes to hug her.
When her daughter is born, she'll be named Margaret.
These little moments fill me to the brim with happy. These sort of stories are what I have to offer. And I'm thankful.
It may seem like nothing that you're here. But I assure you, this nothing means so much more to me than so many somethings...
What about you, sistahs? What makes you most thankful? What do you love offering to others? Leave some love below!