Monday, July 8, 2013

40 Days of Gratefulness - Day 49

Do you remember your first? Don't worry I'm keeping it holy ;-) Firsts are almost always significant. Your first steps, your first words ... your first love ... your first job. And it's been almost a year to the day since ... since I recognized the first change. Let me share with you. Within the last 12 months, I've changed so profoundly and significantly, I'm not sure I'll be able to explain.

My First Blog!
Initially, I would have attributed it to Whitney passing. But I was no die-hard-got-every-album fan but I, too like a lot of other folks felt like we grew up with Whitney and wanted her to win. I remember being surprised when the funeral was televised, that was a first for a lil' black girl from Jersey. And after watching, I got it. While, the world may have tuned in simply to pay their respects, they ended up attending a Holy-Ghost filled home-going service. I'd like to think her momma knew it would changes lives. Ms Cissy Houston, you would be correct!

I decided then. No longer would I tarry ... no longer would I wait to do all these things I had planned ... like biking (Day 18) or remodeling my kitchen. No longer would I waste time thinking about all the things I was thinking about - dreaming about all the things I was dreaming about. Yup, things were definitely changing. The 3rd grader (Day 9) in me affectionately likes to call these last 12 months, the year of the firsts.

Now, July holds some real significance for me as it's my birthday month and I'm pretty introspective but I'm certain that's when it really started, last July. It may have begun with a simple post. A random chick from bible study posted about 2 job offers she was considering ... nothing exceptional about that. But within a week or two of her post, I had asked this random chick to move in. Or could it have been that I gave away my first car? Or perhaps it was when a team member from work suddenly passed?

Whatever is was, this season of growth, maturity, shift in perspective or as I like to call it ... this season of firstness all kicked off last year this time. Had I lost my mind? Was I in the midst of a mid-life crisis? Or was I finally starting to listen more, see better and understand this here life experience with a clarity that made no sense using conventional wisdom.

You see, as it turns out --  this random chick from bible study would become my roomie (Day 23). She was only supposed to stay for 3 months - at least that's what we thought, last July and we're just a few days shy of a year. And right now this very second, I know that the moment she moves outta here, we're going to act like a couple of 3rd graders on the last day of school. You must appreciate that if you had asked anyone who knows me, they would have never believed I would have casually asked some random chick from bible study to move in. And they would have been right because I'm not the sort of chick who makes rash decisions ... ha, but I did, last July. Yup, another first.

And as for my car, I had that car for some 18 years and I loved it ;-) - it was my first, there it is again, real purchase that I made by myself with money from my first job. I gave it away last July on a whim and a family member is still pushing that puppy.

And as for the gentleman at work who passed almost a year ago, where do I begin? When I received the call he had passed, I was with my Roomdog (Day 2) and she knew immediately something was wrong. I was shocked, not that I was particularly close to the gentleman but I had just seen him in a meeting the day before. That was the first time I had lost anyone I worked with. I shared with my roomdog that I wanted to say a few words at his funeral. And as life would have it, his family requested that someone from work speak on his behalf and I volunteered. Something happened back then last July, maybe it happened on that very day I spoke at the funeral? For it was crystal clear to me that speaking at his funeral, getting rid of that car and asking some random chick to move in were things I simply was supposed to do. I didn't give it a second thought - It just felt right and I simply ran with it.

It's exactly a year later and I'm feeling good too but I'm still a little tentative in my new self. A little unsure about how I'll behave ... it feels strangely unfamiliar. In fact, I feel a little like an X-men. LOL I know it's a movie but it's like when the mutants realize they have new powers and they don't know how to use them. I'm more patient ... just the other day the Wal-mart clerk was giving me the business. And no one was more surprised than me when I didn't give her the business back. Another first.  Who was this strange little, relaxed person with curly hair? I walked to the car shaking my head trying to figure out what happened. I sure was changing. What happened?

Da' Finish Line
This firstness was stretching (Day 44) a sista' out and opening the door for a number of other firsts. A few weeks back, I participated in my first 5k, look at me crossing that finishing line. I'll work on improving that time later. ;-) Yup, I even gave the opening prayer and sang in the church choir (Day 47), a dream come true I had to put down on these pages. It was fabulous. But wait, there were more firsts. I started blogging and ... I prayed with a friend. My friend had been asking me to pray for some time but I stalled. I had never prayed with anyone who wasn't clergy. This joker was crazy, prayer is personal and private, right? It is, but the idea that some one would invite me to intentionally spend time in the Lord's presence together, blew my mind. I must tell you, a few days ago, I finally stopped stalling. Praying with my friend was indescribably amazing. SMH ... Me, with no words, another first.

Ah, I could tell that the new me, with all these new firsts, was going some place new and exciting. For my birthday just yesterday, my roomie made me a scrapbook ... of this here, blog. Another, first for this gift made me cry. It was such a beautiful presentation and it's got love all over it. No, really! You can feel it when you turn the pages. It honored me like she'll never understand. It was proof that whatever this change, this shift in perspective, this firstness that started last year this time was absolutely exactly what I was supposed to do ... pen this here, blog for it feels right, like something I was simply born to do. I can't even believe I wrote that down but that's exactly how I feel.

We choose gratefulness!
I'm still wrapping my head around this firstness and am looking forward to learning more about the new me but I'd like to share a few things I've learned along the way. We choose to be happy, healthy and whole and it requires work. We choose gratefulness. We have influence over others and should pray continually that we choose to contribute and not contaminate them. The best gift we can give to ourselves and others, is to be our best grateful, joy-filled self. We should relish in it; basking in its glow. We should pray it's contagious, infectious and so authentic that folks recognize it the moment we enter a room.

So on this Day 49 of 40 Days of Gratefulness, I'm grateful for firsts. #beblessed #40daysofgratefulness