This past Wednesday, things between my fiance and me ended. Part of me had expected it, and to be brutally honest, it wasn’t the first time this year when I had thought our relationship would end, but it still pierced my heart when it finally did.
I moved quickly from injury to recovery, having already prepared a path in my mind for where I would go next, what I would begin to do as a truly single man. One friend called me to ask how I was doing, and he told me I had already grieved the loss of our engagement, that the end of our relationship was not the start of my grief, but its conclusion. And in many, many ways, he was right.
Heading into the subway at the start of our day, I was pickpocketed and we lost all the money we had on us, with barely enough to get back home.
All our plans were ruined, and I had to worry about ID theft the day before Christmas.
We were angry, frustrated, stressed, and pissed off. But we were together. So we allowed ourselves time to vent, to let it out of us, and then we walked around the city, stopping at places where we could explore without paying–like walking through an antique bookstore, a Judaica shop, and an art gallery.
Shitty things happened, and they always will, but we made it through.
Giving is one thing, but getting is another. I enjoy getting presents (who doesn’t?), but sometimes I feel a little heavy when I get stuff… Maybe it felt like a compulsory gift, like it was given without heart? A mandatory procedure, purely bureaucratic. Is a cabinet gift a meaningful moment?
Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.
Anyways, there’s another kind of gift that’s not just meaningful for the one who gave it (or the one who received it), but for many others, a gift that keeps on giving. And that, which you should see coming, is what leads me to being thankful for what I’m thankful for today: Charity.
After washing my face and turning to my towel, I glimpsed the light switch and thought how clumsy it would be to grasp it with my wet hands, yet how simply with a simple touch it could make the whole room go dark. While at the College Transfer Club this afternoon, our president saw the clock and remarked how none of them are ever right on time around our campus, how awesome a project it’d be if we could get them all in sync; she asked for a slogan, and I said, “The time is right: If not now, when?” The obvious allusion apparently unapparent. And all the while, in my head, tumbling music–specifically that of Regina Spektor, my obsession of late, whose newest album Far one of my kindest and closest friends gave me a copy of the other day.
It brings to mind a myriad of things to be thankful for–I’ll choose just one.