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Subject: Thank-a-thon | 10 November, 2009
I can never seem to update this on a daily basis, can I?
It's been two years since my last entry, and I'm no longer a Junior in Highschool (If I still was after that time span, I think I'd cry.)

After a year and a half of confusion and desperation to truly find myself, I decided to hold on the dreams of acting and singing and save them for later. I've found myself sitting in massage therapy classes, learning about epicondyles and superficial fascia- and deep kneading of the back. I LOOOOOOVE deep kneading of the back! =]

So before I even started this entry, I looked back on the last year and a half of my life and reviewed it in my head. Truthfully, I completely forgot I even had this blog until I saw the "Thank-a-thon" contest on, and at first I was tempted by the thought of a $100 gift card and was thinking about doing the contest. Then after I thought about it, and thought about what I was truly thankful for; it turned into something different.

Sure, the $100 would be great. But really, should I have waited until someone offered me a sweat deal to actually stop the hustle and bustle and think about what I'm thankful for?

Every thanksgiving I look foreword to two things; green bean casserole and funny stories of madre and I trying to cook. But it should be about more than that. THANKSgiving: giving thanks to everything we've been blessed with in our life.

I, for one, am thankful for Chocolate Mousse and chiweenies. (Chihuahua/Doxin mix puppies.)
(<- my sisters Chiweenie, Emma Bella.)
JUST KIDDING! (Well, actually, no I'm not. Chocolate Mousse is heaven scent, and Emma is the coolest dog ever, but that's not what I'm writing about.)

I haven't been very nice to God lately. I'll be honest; His voice has been drowned out the chants of all the muscles of the body running through my head. But even when I'm ignoring Him; He still finds me when I need him most. Like when I'm breaking down in my car wondering why I even thought I could do this anatomy stuff in the first place. He plays my favorite song to cheer me up. He gives me green lights when I'm running late to work. He lets me out of work early so I can go home and write up a research paper. And He gives me amazing people in my life.

Yes, I'm thankful for God; that's a given. He knows that, so now I'm going to thank him for the two best sisters anyone could ever ask for.

You should know, I only have one biological sister. And I can't thank her enough for everything she's done for me.
( My sister and my mommy- we call her madre)
(My graduation day with Amanda =])
(My beautiful sister and a bird in Hawaii!)

When my mother was coping with childhood issues that surfaced in her, she was put in the hospital so she could just deal with it all. She was misdiagnosed with so many things; the doctors didn't know what was wrong. She had a lot of trauma in her childhood- I still don't even know all the details to this very day. She always seemed so normal to me. But because of what had happened to her, because she couldn't handle it herself; her brain created another two personalities that COULD deal with those issues.
So while she was in therapy and hospitals for years, my father was working late to pay the bills, then rushing us to the hospital to see my mother. I didn't understand what was going on then, all I knew was she was really sick. My sister understood though, and she understood what my Dad was going through.

So when he worked late, she would take care of me. Just a middle schooler; she was thrust into the "mom" role for a few years. She fed me, helped me with homework, took care of me when I was sick (and pretending to be sick), she counseled me when I didn't understand why the other kids made fun of me and wiped away my tears and running nose when it was too much for my elementary mind to handle.

My mother is perfectly fine now. She's dealt with her issues and has been my best friend my whole life. But even though I have still have madre, Amanda never stopped taking care of me.
She loans me money when I can't take my cat to the vet after he gets a bad infection. She drives to my work to buy something from me so I get more commission, and she's been counseling and helping me through my abusive relationship with my boyfriend.
"I know what it's like to be emotionally abused." She told me, as she went through the same thing when she was in highschool. "It's hard, and it sucks. You feel like you can't get out, but I promise you, you can. I'll be here with you every step of the way, and if you need a place to just get away from it all after you get away from him, you will always have a place at my house." I saved the voicemail she left me while I was at work.

I've been such a brat to her over the years; picking on her, reading her diary, taping over her shows, eating her food, and wearing her clothes to school, but she still loves me and puts up with me.
I'm still in that abusive relationship.... but I know I can get out of it now. She's empowered me so much and showed me that I can survive on my own without his help. She's showed me that all the crap he makes me feel; is just that- crap. She's showed me I'm worth more. I can stand on my own, I'm not useless, and I don't have to waste my life trying to make him happy. She's the one who opened my eyes to what my relationship was like when no one else other than Via wanted to tell me.

She's my flesh and blood and I'm so thankful for that.

Speaking of Via; she's my sister as well, but we're not related.
I have known Via Smith ever since 8th grade, and if I could put a voice to what an angelic choir sounds like; it would be her voice.
Ha ha ha.... wow.... now that I think about it, everyone near me has put up with my crap and grinned and took it.
(Via being silly ha ha)
(Via and I at the pool with my nerd glasses from Forever 21 ha ha ha)

When I met Via, I had no faith. I was cutting myself to make the pain of everyday life calm down and I was in emotional turmoil. I wanted to be popular, to be liked by everyone, and in the midst of trying to be someone else, I lost myself.
I met her in the school musical, and she immediately changed my life.
The first time we hung out, she came to my house and we ended up making our own "radio show" on my karaoke machine. It was called OLSDDM radio- our initials. In the very first episode, she sang a song she wrote, we played songs from Moulin Rouge, and the world blew up. We've been inseparable ever since.
With help from God, she showed me there was more to life than pain. She counseled me and took my razors from me when I couldn't take it anymore. She's helping me deal with my relationship as well, giving me encouragement and reinforcing the idea that I'm actually worth something and I'm here on this earth for a reason. She held me tight when I found out my mom had cancer (Wow, her life has been crap. Don't worry though; she got surgery and is cancer free now! We caught it in time.), she drove to my house at 2 in the morning when I needed someone to show they cared. She's been a constant in my life. We both have other best friends, but as we grow distant from them as we go to college, Via and I have actually gotten even closer (If that's possible).

I can always trust her to tell me what's up. If I'm being a brat, she'll tell me. When Joseph started being controlling and emotionally abusive, she told me. Even if she's at work, if I call her crying she finds a way to talk to me (even if she's hiding in the clothing rack she's sorting for the store.) We have so many traditions we need a separate calendar to fit them all on (For your birthday, you get a can of silly string, knee high socks, a purse, and something totally random! One year she got me Thumbelina on DVD because she knew it was my favorite kids movie when I was young- I've only mentioned that to her once.) And I have a box filled with every single note, movie ticket, concert ticket, receipt- everything that holds a memory of a day we've spent together. Right down to the streamers she decorated my locker with for my birthday.

I've tried countless times to tell her how much she means to me; but I never feel like I can truely truely tell her how much. I call and leave her songs I write about our friendship, I'm driving to another state with her to see The Cranberries at the end of the month (Her biggest musical influence next to David Bowie, Muse, and european poetry), I drove to her house at 1 in the morning and wrote all over her car windows to make her smile when she woke up. I bought her shirts I saw at Goodwill I knew she'd love. I hooked her up with her high school crush when he got a job at my work. I don't feel like it's enough, though.

So here's my thanks to Via;
Via. DAH-LING. Baby. Sweetie Pie. Oh, how I love ya! Thanks for the countless tears of joy, the hundreds of photographs, the silly texts, and the countless hours of random conversations! I will never forget all of our silly adventures; like exploring the corn field and finding giant craters in the ground (But we were too chicken to look inside incase a rabid raccoon was hiding in there!), or sneaking into an apartment complex to go swimming for free, or getting hopelessly lost for 3 hours on Grief Parkway on our way to see Panic! At the disco! Or the three episodes of OLSDDM radio where we narrated a Teddy Bear Graham Cracker soap opera! ("Shondra, NOOOOOOO!!!! Why did you get PLASTIC SURGERY!?! Wwwhhhyyyy!" *Jumps off cliff*")
Seriously, though.
Thank you for being my unofficial sister.
Thank you for wiping away my tears, and creating smiles when I had nothing left. Thank you for understanding me, and never giving up on me when everyone else had. Thank you for the encouragement, the hugs, and the strength.
We always said we'd be best friends forever, and I truly believe that. We'll be the crazy old ladies throwing cats at the neighbors who step on our lawns ;) Our kids will be playing together and wreaking havoc on the town!
We've been best friends for almost 6 years now, and we've never had a single fight. I think that says something. We've been so honest with each other, and we know when to give each other space.
You're my unofficial sister, and I will always love you!

And to my blood sister, Amanda.
Thanks for giving me the power and encouragement I need. You've never let me down, and you've never let me give up even when I wanted to. You've been so much more than just a sister to me; you've been a mentor, tutor, trainer, best friend, and even my enemy when I needed it. You taught me how to respect our parents and drilled me when it came to doing my chores.
You've listened to my problems, no matter how small, and you've cuddled me when I was too scared to sleep. You always took my feelings seriously, and I could always tell you were never really mad when I wore your clothes to school. Could you tell it was because I wanted to be like you? I've always looked up to your confidence and drive to succeed. Your brains and your looks, and your style. I wanted to be just like you; but you taught me to be an individual, even when I wanted so bad to fit in.
Thanks for taking away those CDs I bought of mainstream rap. I never liked them anyways.
Thanks for setting me straight when I was overreacting over what someone said.
Thanks for trying to teach me how to cook; even though we both knew it was hopeless :)
Thanks for not making fun of me when I cut my bangs myself.
And thanks for then fixing them when I realized I looked like a little dutch boy.
Thanks for teaching me how to love myself.

Thanks for never letting me down.

Forever your loving sister,

I'm sorry my entry was so long. It might be the longest entry- SORRY!
I actually was going to write a poem, or lyrics to thank them. And it was originally only going to be about Via.
This contest inspired me to show my appreciation more towards those I love and care about; which I hope was the point of it. If not; that's what I'm taking out of it anyways.

Thanks for taking the time to read about my life, even if I don't win, I appreciate that fact.

I think I'm going to call my sister now and tell her I love her :)
And then jump on my parents bed until they wake up so I can tell them how much I love them and how thankful I am for my mother being alive. That's a little TOO personal to write about in public here.... so I'll tell her in person =]



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