Dear November,

I feel a bit odd. I’ll start off with that. For obvious reasons, my city, St. Louis, is scattered across the news. I don’t have the energy to discuss it. I’ve cried. I’ve fought. I’ve debated. The only thing to do now is to keep the conversation going and that’s all I can hope for.

It’s been an odd year, November. When I got back from London, I hated being back home. I wanted to be shipped right back to Europe. I wanted to walk from place to place. I wanted my tube station and my Topshop and my friends. Instead, I was back home, in a city that never quite felt like mine, with all my friends scattered across the globe. I wasn’t going to school since everything got a bit muddled in the Spring and I was working full time with a not-so-nice manager and could feel myself being more and more introverted with each passing day.

And then, I applied for an internship at ALIVE. And, I made new friends. And, I started to see new places in the city that I’ve lived in my whole life and started to realize how cool this city is. I started seeing the fashion that I never knew existed and the hipster food trucks that sat at every corner.

I started actually living in the city that I thought I knew, but never knew at all.

In these darker times, when the mood lighting is set, and the shadows of the night are out, it’s time to look at things that I’m grateful for. Because that’s the only thing I can think of doing right now.

November, I’m grateful for the connections and friends I have made. I’m grateful to Brooke and her sarcasm and her lovely face. I’m grateful to Katlyn and her welcoming presence at ALIVE. I’m grateful to Jennifer for giving me an opportunity that I didn’t expect to get. I’m grateful to Scoot and our varied text messages since we always forget to respond to one another. I’m grateful to Key for letting me vent. I’m grateful to Emma for flying to St. Louis and being the best friend a girl could ask for. I’m grateful to Paige and our continued obsession with all things cats, bitching, and make-up. I’m grateful to have met Juliana and finding a friend who will sit and gossip and make me laugh harder than a lot of people. I’m grateful to Lacey, even though she always blows me off. I’m grateful to Krissa and her liver. I’m grateful to Hope, Natalie, Caitlin, and Alex, even though our chats are few and far between, who continue to inspire me to travel and see the different viewpoints of the world. I’m grateful to John for opening my eyes to some of the harshest injustices and still having one of the biggest hearts. I’m grateful to my grandmother who is still struggling with the loss of my grandfather, but making it one day at a time. I’m most especially grateful to my mother. Even though we have many opposing viewpoints and get on each others’ nerves, she is the best mom I could have ever asked for. She is the strongest person I know and the most annoyingly stubborn one, as well.

Lastly November, I’m grateful to my city. It’s been a tough few months and we’ve been knocked down. But there is so much good in this city. So many beautiful individuals if only people would open up their eyes and see. We will rebuild. We will get through this. One step at a time.

I just needed to take a step back and see.

Until next year, November. I hope we see a change.

Love,

Mackenzie

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