Why I'm Thankful For My Mind This Year

Why I'm Thankful For My Mind This Year


Why I’m Thankful for my Mind This Year

Thanksgiving 2011:

The day I had been avoiding for as long as I could remember finally came. A day filled with family, laughter, football, alcohol, and most notably, food. Sounds fantastic, right? To most people, this holiday brings smiles, distant family, and memorable stories together. For me, it brought anxiety, a fake smile, and, common amongst everyone else, a hungry belly.

As soon as the day started I counted down the hours, actually the minutes, until it came to an end. Food consumed my mind. What to eat, what not eat, how much of what to eat, how I could avoid certain foods, and what foods were completely “off limits.” As family arrived my anxiety got worse and my heartbeat grew faster. I explained the shaking and coldness occurring throughout my entire body to others as “I’m just excited,” and “it’s unbearably cold outside.” Realistically, my body was in the process of shutting down to enter survival mode because I hadn’t eaten in about two days. Pictures were taken, hugs and kisses were exchanged, a toast was said, and food was served. My mind ran wild. Placing food like potatoes and stuffing on my plate made me nauseas. Everything going on surrounding me was blocked out and the only thing that mattered in my mind was how I was about to handle throwing away my food without anyone noticing. I had been doing this for a while, I had a method, but with so many people around it was a little harder to accomplish. Of course, not a single person had any idea that I was uncomfortable and nervous; I was beyond skilled at hiding my emotions. I ate small pieces of veggies here and there as I filtered in an out of conversations around the table, waiting for the perfect time to get up and dispose of my, basically full, plate of food.

As soon as I had the chance, I got up, threw my food away, and didn’t think about it again. Later in the evening we all discussed things we were thankful for in life. Instantly, I thought, “I’m thankful for being skinny.” Family left, leftovers were taken, and I went to bed, as always, with a growling stomach.

Thanksgiving 2015:

The day had finally arrived I had been waiting for all week, Thanksgiving! I woke up and went to my high school football game, where I was reunited with all my past friends, second families, and coaches. The weather was beautiful, absolutely gorgeous. The game came to an end and it was time to start helping mom prepare for dinner later in the evening. I came home to a kitchen that smelled like turkey and gravy heaven that was filled with family I hadn’t seen in months.
Seeing everyone, especially my grandparents, brought a true smile to my face, no more of that fake-smile nonsense. Once the food was done and ready to be eaten I flocked to grab my plate, filling it a mile high with mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and, of course, turkey. Each and every bite was delicious. We all laughed and told stories about childhood times, and made fun of each other for the things we did over the past year. It was then, in that moment, I realized what I was most thankful for this year. My mind. I was actually taking in and participating in what was going on around me at the dinner table…something I didn’t have the privilege of doing just three years prior. I was purely cheerful.

There is a mix of amazement and concern regarding the extent to how beyond powerful our minds can be. For Thanksgiving 2011, the only thing that made me happy was that I was thin. Looking back, not only does that disgust me, but also has me in complete and utter disbelief because of the mindset I have today, and how much more things in life, actually important things, mean to me. I am grateful for the sun rising and setting each morning. I am grateful for the friends and family I have that have done nothing but support me to get me to the point in life I am at today. I am grateful for my house, the food served to me, and the clothes I wear that help me survive each and every day. I am thankful for my health…. it isn’t something that everyone has, and I know that from just three years ago. Above all, I am thankful for my mind. For realizing there is far more to be thankful for in life then the size of my body. For allowing me to take in and appreciate all that is going on around me. To let me wake up each morning and think to myself how wonderful it is to be alive.

Cover Image Credit: http://signaturextra.com/balance-nutrition-best-of-the-best-brain-food-before-a-test

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.


1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten

Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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Why I've Never Not Had A Valentine

It's the day of love. It does not mean it has to be romantic.


If my memory serves me correctly, I have always had a valentine. By that, I don't mean that I have had a boyfriend every single year since I was five.

In Spanish, Valentine's Day is also referred to as "Dia del Amor y la Amistad", which translates to the day of love and friendship. I'm not a big fan of the holiday, because to me someone should show me love every single day, not only one specific day because "everybody else is doing it".

On that note, however, I have always had a valentine. In elementary school, we celebrated the holiday and everyone was each other's valentines. Even that girl (the one who stole your game that you won on Friday because you accumulated enough points to pick it from the prize box) would be your valentine.

In middle school, my grandpa or dad would get me those little chocolate hearts, which are about a dollar at Walmart. I don't recall ever going without one. Then, the next day they'd take me to stock up on candy because of price drops!

In high school, once my friends got their driver's licenses and part-time jobs, we'd finish classes and go to Highway 55 and celebrate Galentine's Day or stock up on cheat day food and go to the park. This year we've all gone our separate ways. We've gone to different schools and maybe communication was just lost, but I'm so thankful for the memories I have with everyone.

This year I'm my own valentine, (which no, it is not shameful) because I learned to love myself enough to celebrate it with myself. Love doesn't always have to be romantic, it does not always mean dinner dates and engagement proposals. Love means calling your mom, your dad, or grandma and wishing them a happy Valentine's Day. It means telling your friends that you're proud of them.

Love means recognizing yeah, it's been a hell of a week, but you got through it. Valentine's Day sometimes means going to your nearest Target, grabbing a bottle of cocktail juice, and putting on a face-mask while catching up on your favorite TV show. Valentine's Day is so generalized to be about romantic love that some people feel alone. You really shouldn't.

If you feel alone, just remember someone loves you for you and maybe it's not your time for romance. If that doesn't help, then I count as your valentine.

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