Well, this is going to be an interesting post.

When I was thinking about what to write this month, the theme being “Thankful,” I started to think about all of the things I was thankful for. My family, my amazing array of friends, coffee, my co-workers, my job, sweet potato fries, books, when I get a good parking spot, my memory foam, etc. etc. It would take me hours to list all of the things that I am grateful for, and I don’t want anyone to think I am taking those things for granted. But when I started brainstorming for this piece, the first thing I wrote was “I’m thankful I’m not an idiot, I’m thankful I am an idiot.”

Um, what? You don’t get it. I know, I didn’t get it either.

I feel like I know myself well enough to let you all know that I am a smart girl. I can take care of myself. I pay my rent, I cook my dinners, I do the dishes, I make it to work on time, I do my Charity Miles, I’m nice to animals…. you get the picture. But about 30% of the time I make very bad decisions. But I’m thankful for them, and here’s why –

I’m thankful that at a Halloween Party, while dressed as Honey Boo Boo, I pulled one of my guy friends into the garage and told him that he broke my heart. At the time (and the morning after) I was absolutely mortified that I had done this. Imagine with me the scenario – A Honey Boo Boo that had too many jello shots and a Cat in the Hat standing in the garage of a Halloween party attempting to have a very serious conversation about our relationship (or lack of real one). We must have been a sight to see, am I right? I told him how I felt, how the past year had affected me, and how it had changed me. Usually I would keep those things to myself, act cool and like it didn’t even phase me. But what kind of life is that? One where you’re not passionate about anything unless it’s good? I wallowed in my feelings for him and I took a break from the “hide your true feelings” seminar and had a real talk luncheon. Later, when he called me, I didn’t apologize for what I said because I meant it and he needed to know. And now we can move past it. (I mean, I’m hoping it’s not too awkward.)

I’m thankful that I write my life (even if it is in stupid little tweets). I read an article somewhere that our United States President in 2032 is probably tweeting something really dumb right now. Like, somewhere in the vast spaces of the Internet, our future leader of the free world is reblogging Caturday, or voting up a picture of a leprechaun on Reddit. And we’ll have records of that, of all that. I had my first website when I was in junior high. I also didn’t have a lot of friends. But I  have been “blogging,” whether it be through Geocities, LiveJournal, Xanga, Blogger and now WordPress for 14 years. And that information is just floating around the Internet for all to see. Take this tweet for example:

LIKE NO ONE NEEDS TO KNOW THAT. But I sent it out to the world anyway. Even though not everything I write is a total gem (I know, I was surprised too), I am thankful that it’s there. Sometimes I go back to what I wrote in 2004 and just shake my head. But I’m glad that I can see where I was in my life and what I was feeling and how I’ve changed. About three years ago, my childhood home was destroyed in a fire. All of my diaries, my journals, the desktop computer that had a lot of stuff that I had written was gone. But in the midst of it all, I still had my little Xanga with posts detailing my first car, my first date, my first job, my first kiss. And I wouldn’t trade that for anything (P.S. Don’t try to find my Xanga. I password-protected that sucker a long time ago.)

I’m thankful I jumped over a fence into a pool behind an abandoned house with my closest friends. It was getting back over the fence that was the hard part. Even though that was one of the craziest things I’ve ever done, I have to admit it was pretty stupid. I’m always the first one to go along with a dumb plan (except for going to The Purple Church because I WOULD NEVER), even if it includes stripping down and jumping into a freezing cold pool with my best friends. Because I’ll always have that memory.

My birthday was this month. And I’ve been thinking about the past year and how I’ve changed and grown, and I’ve been looking at the seasons of my life and how completely complicated and simple it is that I’m just becoming me. And one thing that I’ve noticed is that this year I’ve just been living. This was the year I took chances on relationships, and even though they didn’t pan out the way I imagined them, I wouldn’t trade those experiences for the world. I wasn’t afraid to just love and I wasn’t afraid to have my heart broken either, because that’s part of life. I loved those moments hard and then I let them go. I was my own person and I stood up for what I believed in. I read my poetry for strangers in a dingy little pizza parlor. I practiced yoga at 5:30 in the morning in a warm wooden studio. I stayed out with my friends. I drank coffee. I sang in my car. I made lists. I cooked. I stayed in bed all day. I stayed in bars all night. I went to Disney World. I made friends.  I ran in the rain. I wrote. I slept very well.

So, what I’m trying to say is, even though my decisions might seem really awful at the time (like, I sent a picture of myself as Honey Boo Boo to this guy I was chatting with on OKCupid and I never heard from him again?), there is and always will be a master plan in the end (he probably wasn’t “the one”). There is a true and faithful God (or Buddha or Allah or Universe or Goddess, whichever you prefer) knowing every single twist and turn and step of my journey. Maybe I don’t take the safe path, or easy path, and sometimes I make really bad choices, but it damn sure makes for some good writing. I’m thankful I’m an idiot because that’s how I’m taught.

Mal xoxo

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3 Responses to I’m Thankful I’m An Idiot

  1. Miranda says:

    This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing this. Very inspiring.

  2. Christine says:

    I whole resoundingly agree. at forty something I’ve realized that some of my better days occurred after doing things that felt like jumping off a cliff or maybe acting like an idiot…

  3. Penney says:

    Hold on to that “just living” thing – you’ll need it for the harder years, and (I imagine) for the rest of your life (I’m not THAT much older…am I?) But it’s something that is easy to forget about when you start getting older and having children and becoming too responsible…

    Thank you for reminding me that I need to remember too! =)

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