praise and gratitude

let’s start with the boy i knew in high school freshman year. one of the girls in my art class, which was right before lunch, had noticed that if i ate in the cafeteria, i was always by myself, and if i wasn’t in the cafeteria, i was hiding in the band hall. so she invited me to sit at her table. she was a senior, a very popular girl, and of course all the others girls at the table were seniors and very popular, too. and of course, of course, the table next to theirs was where some of the most popular senior boys sat. sometimes i liked sitting with them. i loved their conversations. i loved that they included me. sometimes i hated it because it felt more like pity than friendship.

one of those boys owns a business in which he makes signs and trophies for the community. i’d gone by his shop the other day because i was in need businesses to feature, and i knew that he knew lots of people.

the shrink i’m seeing had recommended a while back that i have an object at my desk, something of sentimental value, something i could hold on to when i was troubled to help center me. for some reason, i thought to ask this man if he could make me something.

the next day, i went by his shop again because i was in need of a business sooner than i’d anticipated. and he had just boxed up the thing he’d made for me, was just about to send me an email.

it’s a trophy. on the plaque at the base, there’s my name, orhs alum, aggie lover… and writer of the year.

it was perfect. it made me so happy to have it. makes me so happy to have it.

tonight i hosted the bible study group. the closer it got to seven, the more i thought they’re not coming–they all live west of conroe, and i am south of it. takes too long to get to my house… and it’s my house. it’s been ages since i’ve had friends over. but they came. i’d worried for nothing and am a little ashamed that i had thought so little of myself, of them. they showed up, and we had some pretty good discussion. i’m grateful for that. i’m grateful for their friendship. i wish i didn’t have to doubt it so much. but i very much loved having them in my house. mostly, i loved knowing that some of the struggles i have are the same as theirs.

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