It always amazes me how the littlest thing can really set you off, emotionally.
I don’t know if it was because the election has emotions running high, or because I was overly tired after a weekend of perhaps a little too much fun, but I found myself watching the American Music Awards (AMAs) last night, and just…crying.
And not because of a particularly moving Justin Bieber performance. Or because Drake made a Degrassi reference in his acceptance speech.
I was crying for a reason that I am embarrassed to admit. Because, it’s rather…well…not the most attractive. Let’s call it what it is…
I was crying for me.
I was watching these performances and singers and presenters and just feeling sad that, frankly, I’m a struggling actor/singer in NYC.
It was a bit of a harsh dose of reality that these “kids” who were always a year or two younger than I, are now adults, with seasoned careers, and even – dare I say it – beginning to show their age.
My life has not been the smooth sail I thought it would be. It has taken several life altering detours that, the fire-cracker child actor in me would have never imagined.
Right when I was on the precipice of perhaps a career launching college decision, I developed ulcerative colitis, and shortly after, a life threatening case of anorexia. The former, incurable, the latter, might as well have been for a good, oh, 2 years.
But my life was never the same. After becoming “well” and finishing college and moving to NYC, thinking I was back on track and on my way to achieving my dreams, my ulcerative colitis decided to roar back, and I was left, debilitated on bed rest for a full 11 months.
And writing this right now, the tears are just streaming down my face, stuck in a headspace of self pity and just what could my life have been?
Watching the performers – all of whom are my age – and the energy and allure of it all, I couldn’t help but imagine…I’ll let you finish that thought because the sheer absurdity of it, I just can’t.
Opening up my laptop tonight, I had fully thought I was going to be writing a Thanksgiving post. But interrupted by the onslaught of waterworks, I veered from the plan. But I’m reeling it in.
After I was done crying and having a mini pity party, I took a step back and finally began to see the lesson that God was trying to teach me, by allowing this tearful moment.
I remembered my purpose for writing tonight in the first place: Thanksgiving.
I have a lot to be thankful for:
Namely: my life.
Sure, maybe the plans for my life were interrupted, but I’m here.
And to have been also able to heal from my ulcerative colitis and keep it in remission, God has come through time and time again for me.
And that’s what I need to remember. That’s what I need to think about the next time I get a lump in my throat, thinking about the dreams that I may feel have died.
Because I didn’t.
I didn’t die.
And that’s a damn big thing to be grateful for.
Sitting here on the cusp of 2017, am I thankful for having gone through such a severe case of anorexia and my autoimmune disease?
But I am thankful for the lessons I’ve learned along the way. For the way it annihilated my pride, and made me truly have to learn to put my trust, my faith, my body, my plans, my schedule, my everything in God’s hands. For the way it has strengthened the relationships in my family. For the way it has changed me for the better.
And as if God hadn’t shown me enough tonight, right as I was finishing this, I received this text message from my father
The person I have become.
What a father. Thanks, dad.
So this Thanksgiving, I’m going to look around the table, and be grateful. Grateful that I’m no longer ridden with anxiety at the food on my plate. That I’m healthy and able to live my life without the crippling ravages of ulcerative colitis. That I’m surrounded by a family that loves me unconditionally. And delighted in by a Father in Heaven that has shown me again and again that He will rescue me.
My life may not be the flashy Hollywood performance I once dreamed of, but God’s been flashy in His mercy and grace. And I’m okay with that.
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