Chalk Body Outlines

Many years ago one semester in undergrad I wanted to do something to celebrate my last year at the college. I didn’t have malicious intent, but just wanted to do something fun and playful.

So I got together with two of my friends and we decided to draw chalk body outlines outside the campus buildings. We took turns outlining each other’s bodies and wrote funny sayings like, “Death by math,” next to the chalk bodies. Then when a glorious layout of chalk bodies was put in front of some of the buildings, we went to waffle house and cackled over what we had done.

This is a great fun memory. Over the years many more memories where made with friends and family, some outright funny while others less fun.

This continued in 2020, but in a different way. I caught up with people more by social media and had less meet ups. Conversing with students and colleagues was done with email and virtual meetings.  

I’ve connected more with friends and family that wanted to stay in touch; I’ve done really well at work; and I’ve been digging working from home and being able to dive straight into my writing stuff as soon as work was over.

Around me people suffered and I helped out where I could. Also around me some flourished and I celebrated their happiness. This year for me has been about connection and growth, building on the failures to comes out okay in the end.

When I say all those positive things about my year, I didn’t have anything major happen like winning the lottery. It was all the small wins and things I had been building towards for years—some things are still building. There were dark moments as well, and I wondered what would happen next, what twist would happen.

For me, it came down to being grateful for what I had, and what I was able to do.

You might be struggling looking for a job or dealing with family or something else that needs your attention. You may have experienced loss. Just know that there have been tiny miracles and positive things happening around you too, whether you see them or not. Survived another day? Awesome. Got some much needed supplies from the store? Excellent. Made your kid laugh? Coolness. Liked a post that brightened your day? Score.

My holidays look a little different than they used too—some good changes, some not so good. I’ve worked through some of those changes and am grateful for what I do have to celebrate. So whether you celebrate the holidays this year with family, friends, cats, dogs, guinea pigs, or all of the above, I wish you the warmest happy holidays and a great respite from everything that has taken shape around us.

Because you are worth it—trust me.

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