This week started with a great night out in NYC with my brother and brother-in-law.
It peaked Wednesday in a gorgeous cabana in Las Vegas celebrating the birthday of a dear friend, and in the presence of my favorite people in the universe.
On Thursday morning enjoying a delicious breakfast and cocktails, I laughed so hard I cried.
Tonight, this week concluded with the Dixie Chicks masterfully, brilliantly performing their inspiring music just feet from me in Hartford.
Happy. Exhausted. Thankful -- All vastly underestimate the joy and love I feel. Understanding the privilege I've enjoyed my entire life, and even more so this week, make me all the more thankful.
All of the fun, laughter, happiness and love I've experienced this week does not erase, but rather magnifies the sadness and anger I feel about last weekend's murders in Orlando, where a self-loathing, angry closet case sprayed bullets from an automatic weapon into a crowd of people and killing 49 of them.
That evil man, with his hatred and killing instruments -- or anyone like him, armed to the teeth with anger and weapons -- could've ended this beautiful week for my family and friends before it ever even happened.
With the sound of my brother's perfect laugh, the feeling of overwhelming emotion during the Dixie Chicks' performance of "Landslide," the image of my best friends' heads tossed back in laughter, the sweetness of my partner's kiss and the warmth of this week seared into my memory, I thank my friends, family and the Chicks.
I thank you for the depth, breadth and love you've added to my life. I thank you for your passion, your talent, your conviction and your compassion.
But, more than anything, I thank you for being alive.
It's so simple, but it's so damn true.
2019 FIFA Women's World Cup: Media, Fandom, and Soccer's Biggest Stage is available online from Palgrave Macmillan. (Hardback available in September 2021.)
Molly Yanity, Ph.D.