Grateful.

It’s that time of year when we get all sappy and thankful and get filled with emotions right and left. I (probably) won’t do a recap of what I liked about the year at the end of December, mostly because it’ll be going into my end-of-the-year newsletter that for the past two years I’ve sent out. I’m not sure why I send them, because they used to drive me crazy growing up because it’s basically one big brag fest about “Jimmy and the football team and Janey in the marching band and the big trip to the Caymans and guess who got into Haarvaaaard?!” Mine usually turn into rambling, oversimplified examples of how I fill my free time to explain to the great aunts and uncles how I’m a contributing member of society.

But it kind of amuses me to put my life on paper, to sum up in one page everything that makes my heart beat a little faster. I don’t do it to brag (at least, I try really, really hard not to make it sound like I am), but let’s be honest, I do have a pretty fantabulous life. And it’s nice to remember that.

Today while at work I had the exciting opportunity to talk with a former coworker from the university library about library school prospects. Let me tell you, nothing fires me up more than sitting at a table with librarians and future librarians, geeking out over Boolean operators and metadata. My heart was surging with joy.

And, of course, tonight was “senior” prom night at the senior center. Last Wednesday, my dear 73-year-old friend Len kindly asked me if I would accompany him, and of course I said yes. I realize that it is incredibly strange that I spend my free time with people 50 years older than I am, but I really don’t care. On Saturday night, I went to Judy’s 70th birthday party at the VFW and danced all night long, even on stage. For (almost) six hours straight, I danced. I stopped only when necessary, when I needed water or I had absolutely no idea what was going on. I still don’t know every dance yet, and I never will. And that’s ok because I danced with my friends and had a great time anyway.

I think that’s the best lesson I’ve taught myself this year. For years and years, I’ve convinced myself that my goal in life should be to be the person people want me to be. I have the somewhat unfortunate behavior that causes me to act like the people around me (which isn’t always positive) because I want to fit in. Realizing that I don’t need to do that to have a good life has been beautifully helpful.

So what if my two favorite activities in my life right now are shelving books at the local library and line dancing with seniors? Clearly it doesn’t put me very high on the “cool” spectrum, but I’m ok with that! I laugh a lot more these days, more so than I can ever remember. One of my best line dancing friends told me today that I have a perma-smile that lights up the room.

These are the kind of people I choose to surround me. It’s edifying to be around people that like me for who I am, not who I pretend to be. I’m grateful for the people in my life that love me not in spite of, but BECAUSE OF my quirkiness. So if you fall into that category, thank you.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Elisabeth on November 20, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I love you and I love this post. You are an awesome person, Ms. Pierson.

    Reply

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