Unseen Gifts

March 26, 2018

Life isn't meant to be a burden. It's a beautiful, complicated, and at times, annoyingly difficult gift, but a gift nonetheless. We have the opportunity to learn endlessly. We get to continuously grow mentally and physically (sidebar, if my muffin top would stop growing, that would be great). We get to meet people and even more amazingly, we are given stewardship for our fellow men and women. We get the beautiful gift of showing endless love to every. single. soul. that we meet. We get to help people learn to love themselves. We get to show people their infinite worth and value, contingent on nothing other than just being who they are.
We get to discover our own worth and value. And yeah, it would be nice if I could love myself wholly and perfectly, but I love myself now more than ever. And because I didn't always feel this way about myself, I am more grateful for the love that has grown inside, because I've felt the darkness when there was none. I cherish the little moments when I look into the mirror and I don't cringe. I get the warm fuzzies inside when I like a picture of myself (and I shamelessly Instagram it, regardless of your annoyance toward how often it happens). I am grateful because at one time, this contentment was rarely seen, and I had lost hope that I could ever be happy like this.
I never thought that I'd be here today, telling the world publicly that yes, I have to set four alarms to get out of bed each morning (Jamison is in for a treat). Sometimes I eat two dinners, and if I say I'm taking a nap, plan on me being out for at least three hours. But I am grateful for my body, for my mind, and for my priceless experiences. I am grateful for friends that have picked me up when I couldn't do it myself. I am grateful to have selfless parents who have shown me more encouragement and kindness than I deserve. I am grateful to call so many people family, even if we aren't biologically related. I am grateful for Swig and taco salad and the breaks of sunshine in between a seemingly endless winter.
I have been given so many gentle, unseen gifts. And the most important gift that I've been given is this life. I get to wake up each morning, cuddle my cat, take a warm bath, and drive to work. I have been given this acne-ridden body that hates working out, but it helps me to accomplish what gives me joy above all else: being full of love (and being full of tamales). I am endlessly flawed, and I couldn't do it without the phenomenal people in my life, but I am trying to be more grateful for the simple, soft whispers of happiness. The small victories of getting out of bed each morning, and being able to chuckle at a stupid meme someone shared on Facebook. I can be (and have been) the first one to admit that life is hard. It's unfair, it's lonely, and there's never enough time.
If the past few years have taught me anything, it's been this: mortal life is fleeting. It could end in a literal heartbeat. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I don't want to sit here, wishing that I had a better job, twelve puppies, or Cafe Rio for lunch. I need to be happy for what I've been given, because every single moment is a gift. I want to do things that show my mom that I love her. I want to scratch Jamison's back in sacrament meeting (typical) and buy those dang cute pair of shoes. I want to feel true, lasting joy.
And I'm going to. Just watch.

Yours truly,
McKay

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