Matthew Chacey

In true Thanksgiving tradition, I spent the majority of last week not paying attention in the few classes I attended then furiously packing my bags and beginning my three-hour journey back home. All in the hopes of celebrating this wonderful holiday where we shamelessly eat copious amounts of food and wear sweatpants for several days afterward because the jeans are just a little too tight.   

However, one very big tradition for me is before I break the glorious bread (or turkey in this case), I actually sit down and think about what I am truly most thankful for in my life. Truth be told, when I was a child it would be something simple, like my really cool Power Rangers action figure or my collection of baseball cards, but as time went on my feelings began to focus on more sensible things.  Now that I sit back and begin to think about it, what I am now truly and undeniably most thankful for in my life are the people in it.

I think as a society we do not realize the impact that people have in our lives until it is too late. It is the people in our lives who make us, well … us. In my experience each person we meet or encounter teaches us something. The most important people in our lives, the ones we will never forget, are the ones who teach us something about ourselves. I will be honest, I have three great friends without whom I couldn’t imagine my life. You know those days that just seem to be getting worse with every passing minute? We all have had those days, but at their end it is nice to come back to my room and have my roommate ask me how my day was and talk about all the problems. He helps me out in more ways than one and I truly value how much he cares.

My other two friends I don’t get to see on a daily basis like Sam, but still we talk almost every day, if not more. Kelsie is one of the bravest people I have ever met in my life, and I find myself in awe of her most days and slightly afraid of her on the others. Aside from the fact she could make you smile even if you are in the foulest mood, she is also a passionate person. If she finds something that means something to her, she will not let anything stop her from achieving her goals.

Lena was pretty much my first best friend, and the way she did it was by refusing to stop being there when I blocked her out. I could tell you without a moment of hesitation that if it weren’t for her I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I would be a lot less trusting of people and far more closed and anti-social. She taught me wearing your heart on your sleeve is a sign of strength, rather than weakness or naivete. It is not easy to believe the best in people when you find yourself constantly disappointed, but it is better to believe and be disappointed than to have lost all ability to hope in others.

To be honest, if it weren’t for my family and my three best friends I would not be any where close to the person I am today. While they had a significant impact on my life, the biggest thing they did for me, the thing I will never be able to repay them for, is they gave me faith in people so I could believe in others and try to be friends with other people.

What we fail to realize sometimes is that the people in our lives are the most important part of our lives. I will not lie, when I am 90 years old and my great-grandchildren ask me about my teenage years I will not remember the courses I took or the grades I received (not that those aren’t important), but I will remember the Twilight tradition with my sisters, the five-hour conversations with my best friend and the “family time” in the basement of Wells Hall. So to those who have walked into my life and refused to leave, thanks does not cover all you have done, but it is a start. To those who are new to my life and we are beginning to become good friends, thanks for sticking with me. I know it is tough at times, but I appreciate it so much. So for this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for … YOU! I am thankful for the people who dared to believe in Matt Chacey and know that I believe in you just as much as you believe in me. So what is it that you are thankful for? I told you mine, maybe you should tell me yours!

Matthew Chaceychaceyme@muohio.edu

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