Do I Have to be Grateful?
The Karens on Instagram would have you believe that prayers and pop-up gratitude parties will make a difference or change your life. But I call bullshit. I mean, come on! I’ve done the 30-Days of Gratitude and every morning “meditated” on something lovely. That was nice, but when the asshole across the street moved his garbage can in front of my car, again, it didn’t stop me from thinking about murdering his cat. I have just as many little wooden plaques with positive quotes around my house as the next yoga pants wearing, bun having, water carrying, Starbucks addicted, white girl; but my life won’t be the basis for the next Gilmore Girls sequel.
So, what’s the deal anyway? How do we get past all this toxic positivity, and what the heck is the goal anyway? I mean do I want to truly be grateful? Grateful for what? How do I know I’m grateful? Does it matter if others know I am, or can I just BE somewhere inside me?
Whoo Boy! That’s a lot of questions for a Wednesday night after I packed for my trip, popped a gummy, and sat down to write with a White Claw at my side. But really, I broke up with my partner of 8 months last night… I suppose the Karens want me to already be making the list of “50 Reasons I’m glad He’s Gone” or maybe “30 Little Things I am Thankful for Having Known Him”? Dear God.
The thing is, I AM grateful for having known him. I am grateful for both having loved him and the chance to have been loved by him, but those feelings aren’t plaque-worthy. They’re still not even fully formed. What is formed is a deep lethargy. I could barely function today. I had to schedule a COVID test, register on the Iceland health services website, fill my car with gas, make a nail appointment, pack my bags (mostly) prepare 2 months’ worth of vitamins without looking like a drug mule… and somehow, I managed it- through the fog of sadness and the fatigue of spent emotions draining out with every step.
I didn’t wake up to my usual “Good Morning Babe” text, which started the day off with the sharp pain of remembering our discussion last night. It did NOT prompt me to think… “Oh but I am so grateful for…” Fuck that. I cried and laid in bed with the blankets over my head wishing the day did not have to begin. Midway through the day, my mom texted, to see how it went. I didn’t want to discuss it, but you can’t be mean to your mom. Our communication was brief, but it did not include, “I am so thankful we broke up.”
I need a new battery for my travel scale, my first thought was, “Oh, I bet he has this kind of battery, I’ll ask him.” Even though I know he would still be happy to help, I cannot rely on him for those things anymore. I promise you my first reaction was not “Oh what an opportunity to give thanks for the times I COULD rely on him for those things.” Shit.
It’s just been one day.
It will pass.
I know all those beautiful memories are in there and I AM grateful we didn’t break up because of some awful drama or serious issue that would put a black mark on the memories. Someday, and probably soon I will be able to say… “I am so grateful he was in my life because….”
But just now, I can’t get past how sad I am that he is gone.
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