Thankfulness Thursday: To be here.

The past few weeks have been strange. School has consumed me. Writing has taken a back seat, too mentally drained to do anything after work other than walk the dogs, eat, read, sleep. Life feels slow and fast at once, wonderful and exhausting, tragic and beautiful, meaningful but at moments empty, too.

Today I woke up happy. I went to school happy. I kept calm through hissing, cursing, an impossible phone wait time for mandatory reporters. I laughed as the school gate refused to open, all I wanted was to be home, escape the heavy cloud that sometimes tries to settle over my classroom. Ignore the cloud and it evaporates, I remind myself with a smile.

Last night I finished Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, which cemented her place on my author crush list. Tiny Beautiful Things moved me to tears. Wild made me want to sleep under the stars, left me in awe of her courage, honesty, heart. Tonight, there is an emptiness where the book existed in my evenings. Those last words stuck to me, pushing me to imagine my past, present, and future selves all sitting on this couch, connected but strangers.

Ever since I was a little girl, one question has permeated my thoughts.

What’s the point of all this?

Yesterday and today, three words have rung through my being more strongly than anything before.

To be here.

That’s enough. I feel it, I know it, I just need to always remember it. Goes pretty nicely with the three words my husband just taped to our refrigerator.

No more someday.

I am grateful, I am alive. Nothing is perfect but everything is still somehow beautiful. I leave you with a clip I enjoyed tonight (that coincidentally features one of my favorite songs) and a picture that reminds me to be here, because even as I type, I am overwhelmed with love.

I'm surprised the Photo Booth flash doesn't wake him...

Not even the Photo Booth flash or my typing will disturb him… He’s present and a constant source of love.

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15 thoughts on “Thankfulness Thursday: To be here.

  1. kingmidget says:

    I wish I could figure out a way to be happy with just “being here.” The never ending struggle.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      I am learning to be in awe of what is around me. The clouds, the trees, my family, my students… Even when nothing seems to make sense, it is so miraculous that we exist at all and with such profound beauty. I am able to stop questioning it when I reason that okay, we’re here, and that is enough– I will do my very best to be here while I am here. I’m not sure I would describe it as happiness but more of a heightened awareness that I don’t have to try and make sense of every little thing… 🙂

    • oliviaobryon says:

      PS. I’m sure that doesn’t help any… Just oddly how I feel.

      • kingmidget says:

        It helps in the sense of what you’re seeing and appreciating. I see all of those things as well but there is a very large counter weight, or more than one, in my life that makes it hard to focus on all of the incredible. I wish it were otherwise.

      • oliviaobryon says:

        Hopefully someday it will shift. I fear losing this awareness, because it comes and goes for me, but this is the first time my inner dialogue has answered that nagging question about why we’re here. So, tonight at least, I’m grateful 🙂

      • kingmidget says:

        Hold on to it. There’s something to be said for appreciating and valuing what you have and what is around you. And the reality is you have some things that are pretty damn incredible. Your “job” now is to make sure you continue to surround yourself with those things and the new things that will carry you through the decades to come.

  2. elizabeth rastatter says:

    Hi Olivia:
    Just tonight I attended my book club and we decided to read “Wild” next! Funny coincidence!?

  3. thetravelingsauls says:

    How lovely, and very true. I’ve been having similar thoughts on being present, just being, and how simply it sounds but difficult it is to practice.

    Thank you for the book suggestion!

  4. Tanya says:

    Ahh your words. Just what I needed when I woke up after a particularly emotional and defeating week (for no real reason except probably hormones conspiring against me). That purpose question was plaguing me last night. I think I have too much fear and too little hope for things to come, I must reverse that. Thanks for the uplifting message, Liv. So grateful for you!

    • oliviaobryon says:

      Anytime my lovely lovely friend. Let’s talk soon. I want to hear what’s going on in your life. And, I know it’s such a simple answer, but I feel deep down that it’s enough to be here… Because, after all, we’re here and that’s all that really matters. So grateful for you too 🙂

  5. JOB says:

    Damn. That was awesome. Reminded me of somebody I know.

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