Being Thankful: What Do You Want Wednesday?


Hello and Happy Wednesday!

This Wednesday, I’m reassessing my wants.

As many of you may know, there’s been breaking news regarding the rescue of 3 women who were kidnapped 10 years ago and living in captivity on the west side of Cleveland.  I’m not going into the details of the events and findings as I’m not actively following them– if you’d like more information, turn on the television or search the web– it’s everywhere. It’s a remarkable story that these women were found alive. Certainly, it must be wonderful for the families of the girls to welcome them back. But in the midst of the supposed “joy” that is buzzing through the media, I can’t help but think of the pain and horror of the situation.These women were all abducted while they were in their teens and they have been prisoners for 10 years. How scary and hard must it have been to be kept indoors for all that time? So much has happened in our world in the past 10 years… what would it be like to have missed all of that? To rejoin society after so much time and so much change?

I’ve been thinking about how much has happened in my life in the past 10 years– from age 15 to 25 (well, almost). Graduating high school, going to college, meeting the love of my life, experiencing different jobs and career choices, unforgettable nights with friends, road trips, great movies, cozy nights with my pup and a glass of wine, learning to cook, happy hours, grad school, buying a house, family gatherings, running outside, going to school dances, playing lacrosse… the list goes on and on. I have spent the past 10 years growing up, living life, free.

Typically on my Wednesday Wants, I write about mainly selfish wants– things that will make my life easier and more enjoyable. I don’t think that’s wrong, but the rescue of these 3 young women has caused me to really think about what I want and how I want to live my life and how I want to handle stress. Lately, I’ve been massively stressed with school, student loans, and our new house (with good reason). But now I’m thinking about that stress and how lucky I am that those are the thorns in my side. Those are all beautiful, wonderful, exciting things– my boyfriend owns a house and we’re making it into our home! My exams and the preparation for them are going to be hard, but I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity to pursue higher education in a field that I am passionate about.

And here I am, and here I’ve been, feeling frazzled, tired, cranky and sorry for myself all of this time… all of this time when 3 girls grew into women trapped in a basement with no friends, no family, no choices, no freedom, and no escape. I don’t mean to undermine the victory in their situation— I’m certain that as they recover, they will make every effort to be present in their lives and they will relish in the simple pleasures in life, and that is the beautiful side to their story.  But I think something like this requires deeper thought that considers and reflects on the reality of the situation.

Although it’s wonderful that these women will have a chance to start over and live their lives out with loved ones and a form of freedom, they will never be free of their memories of the past 10 years. They will never have the chance to relive those years, to be teenagers, to see the world change over that span of time. And I will always have those years from my adolescence. And the stress I’m feeling now and the stress I’ve felt in my life thus far seems pretty mild when I compare it to the other types and levels of stress and struggle that exist out there in the world.

So this Wednesday, and tomorrow, and each day after that, I want to examine my life more closely—I want to think about what’s going on in my life and how I can manage my stress and my woes and in such a way that I can learn to appreciate them in some way. To keep things in perspective and realize that much of my stress arises out of situations and  experiences that I choose and that I’m lucky to have the freedom and the ability to choose.

Until next time, what do you want?


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