Thanks, Days 10-13

I’m apparently really bad at this.

Day 10, Today I am grateful for my friends. We got to go out to celebrate my birthday, and I was honestly blown away by just how incredible they all are. They made me feel so very loved, and DAMN do they all clean up well. It was a really great night.

Day 11, Today I am grateful for my vets, GCB, quite a few cousins, my grandfather, and all the rest of them out there. I’m grateful that we live in a country where there are those willing to stand up and protect the freedoms we all take for granted daily. We are all pretty damn lucky.

Day 12, Today I am grateful for a job that allows me to take sick time whenever I am not feeling so hot.

Day 13, Today I am grateful for Josey. There are a whole lot of reasons why, but right now all you need to know is that I am.

I know this post is short and lacking in details, and for that I apologize. More detailed posts are forthcoming. Eventually. Just not feeling very wordy today.

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Thanks, Day 9

Today I am thankful for the passage of time.

This may seem either really obvious or really silly. Let me try to explain.

I recognize that sometimes the passage of time occurs in ways that are less than desirable. There are hints that can show up in the extra lines arount your eyes and mouth when you smile. Perhaps you don’t recover from a night of debauchery as quickly as you used to. Maybe your joints pop and creak far more often than they used to.

But the passage of time can also be really good. It gives you a way to grow out of those awkward teenage years. It lets you gain perspective and an appreciation for things that might otherwise be taken for granted.

The thing that I think I’m most grateful for is moving past the emotional pain that some times in my life have brought.

In the thick of the rough times, it’s incredibly difficult to see that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. It’s even more difficult to stand there and listen to someone spout, “Time heals all wounds,” without smacking their face off of their face.

And then miraculously, time trudges on, as it always has, and somehow it’s better. Somehow the days are a little brighter, there are fewer reasons to just stay in bed, and things seem positive.

I think about where I am now compared to where I was two years ago, to where I was four years ago, and now is so much better than then.

Another favorite thing about time passing? It can give you the perspective to laugh out loud at the irony of your ex using the same song you used to get over him in order to get over his recent ex.

Thanks, Days 6-8

Day 6, I am thankful for the 19th amendment. I am grateful that so many women before me fought (and in some cases were arrested) for the right to vote. This is not something I take lightly, and I am so happy that I am able to stand up with millions of other women and have our voices HEARD. I am happy that in this election a message was sent, that we don’t want to go back in time to have to fight for our rights again, that we DESERVE bodily autonomy and the right to decide if/when/how many children to have, that we are deserving of equal pay for equal work, and that our voices are here to stay.

Day 7, I am thankful for the ability to talk to friends candidly about certain things that worry me, and get honest feedback that makes me feel way better about my own neuroses.

Day 8, I am thankful that work provides coffee in a seemingly endless supply. Especially today as I didn’t actually sleep throughout the night and am somewhat zombie-ish today. I’m also glad they provide sugar and cream (“Who wants cream…..anybody? Ok, no cream”) since it’s not the best coffee, but hey, free coffee >>>>no coffee.

Thanks, Days 4 and 5

Day 4, I am thankful for my friends Stephanie and Sarah, the other two in my three amigos. Saturday morning I was starting to make waffles (after GCB had thrown a silly fit about having them RIGHTTHISVERYSECOND instead of later). I turned around at a noise to find my friend Stephanie, who lives in Denver, standing in my kitchen. There was much collusion and subterfuge (up to and including the aforementioned hissy fit) to get her here without me realizing it. She signed up for and ran the half marathon yesterday with me, and I got to spend all day with all three of these incredible people. It makes me feel beyond loved that this has been in the works since JUNE. I’m thrilled that I had a race buddy, and we were able to have probably one of the best (if one of the slower) races in recent memory. It was great to relive the night I actually met GCB (Steph was actually there that night), and it was all-in-all pretty phenomenal. Plus there was this picture, which makes me pretty happy.

Where we met

Day 5, I am thankful to have made it to 28 years old. Granted, being 28 doesn’t feel any different than being 27 yesterday feels, but it’s been a pretty remarkable day. I took a day off work and have been able to lounge around my apartment with GCB just watching movies and spending time with one another. I’ve gotten tons of facebook and twitter comments, texts, emails, and it honestly makes me feel pretty fucking special to have such a remarkable group of people to call my friends. On top of that? I got new sparklies from GCB. See?

No, this is not an engagement ring, nor is it on my finger, as it is currently being re-sized, but I’m pretty pumped about it. I can’t wait to have it back.

Today has been a really, really good day. I have a feeling 28 is going to be the best age ever.

Thanks, Days 2 and 3

This is going to be a sporadicly posted Thankfulness set of posts, methinks.

Day 2: I am thankful for my job. I’m grateful to have stability and a place that challenges my knowledge and creativity. I am grateful that the company I work for is willing to do so much to take care of its employees whether it be through some pretty awesome benefits or bonuses.

Day 3: I am thankful for my old college buddies, the ones I can talk to on the phone after a(n unintentional) nine month silence and pick up right where we left off. Sometimes I get that unexpected opportunity, and though our lives are drastically different now than they were in college (as they should be), it’s amazing to be reminded that through it all, there are still some pretty incredible reasons we were friends in the first place. It also reminds me that there are other friends from that same group (hi Jamie) that I should probably take some time to call.

Thanks, Day 1

The last time I set a goal to write blog posts for 30 days, I burnt myself the fuck out.

Let’s do it again, shall we? Well, kind of.

It’s November now. Crazy, right? I know. But that means that THANKSGIVING is coming. Oh man do I love Thanksgiving. Favorite holiday, right there. I love the food, I love the football, I love the family, and I love tons of facebook posts that remind me that other people are thankful for stuff, so I should be too.

Except I’m not posting this on facebook. You guys get it instead! And instead of 30 days, there are 22. That’s doable, right? Right.

Today I am thankful for my ability to work out, to run.

Sunday I’m running another half marathon. Yesterday I ran four miles. Today I got to lift. In a gym where I can afford a membership.

Look at these opportunities. I have taken moments out of my day to bitch about this, to say out loud, “I’m no more ready for this one than I was for the one two weeks ago.” But I can run. I can afford races. I have the health and the stamina (physical and mostly mental) and the OPPORTUNITY to run. For fun.

I get to go out and do something I love (most days), and people congratulate me! I have a schedule that allows me to take time out of my day for ME to do this.

I am SO thankful that I have the physical capacity to do these things, to feel strong, to be in nearly the best shape of my life (before last October’s half marathon….that was when I was in the best shape).

Things on my body hurt when I do this, and sometimes that’s frustrating. But I CAN do this. I can finish. I can go lift and feel my muscles sculpting and shaping and getting stronger and more toned.

Yesterday’s run was one that left me just happy. I’m thankful for that too.

What are you thankful for today?

Shake it like a Polaroid Picture

Today I have been going through old pictures. This all started due to a question my mom asked. Do you avoid getting your picture taken?

If you ask my mom, she will tell that without a doubt, since the very beginning, I have been an absolute camera ham. There was a time I tried to deny it, but there is no denying the truth. And the truth is evident through years and years of goofy faces and candid shots etc.

I love pictures. I love them. They tell a story and remind me of some of the best times I’ve ever had. Since Facebook came around, it’s been even easier to document those times.

This morning I followed my entire Facebook photo stream all the way back to 2005. You know, back when college kids with a valid college issued email address were the only ones allowed on Facebook (hey, businesses, get off my Facebook lawn). Let me just tell you about that progression. Holy crap.

I found myself laughing out loud at some of the memories, wincing at some of the friendships lost that I still miss and in some cases those I don’t, being reminded of past and lost loves and knowing each of them made me realize instantly what I had found in GCB, and finding themes throughout the years, throughout my life I suppose.

In all these pictures, I am SMILING (or in some cases making what could technically pass as a “sexy face”). In those moments I was happy. Even though many circumstances of my life are far from where they were at those points, happiness just radiates from each and every one of the nearly 2000 pictures that I’m tagged in. This doesn’t even include ones I’ve taken that I wasn’t in, ones that I’ve untagged in older years where I realized that some things didn’t need to be directly associated with me.

Over the last few years, I’ve taken this blog as a platform to share the specific pictures that still make me overwhelmingly happy. I love that I can go back and look through some of my favorites that are also associated with some commentary. This place tells the better story than Facebook. This place reminds me of all I’ve made it through. What’s an even more stark reminder of that is my former xanga blog, which I do have saved for me, though it is definitely deleted in the online world.

However, this blog is finite. It has a specific start date. It has posts which should probably be transferred back to a draft form. Many of you were not around for the times before I posted pictures, but those times are as much of who I am as the ones I post nowadays. They MADE me who I am.

Would you like to see some?

Going back through pictures of 2005, there is one, ONE picture that contains entirely people I still speak to. Those people? My sisters.

I see this picture and wince at just how skinny I was. I put on 30lbs shortly after this picture. Thirty NECESSARY pounds.

Everyone else in that year’s pictures are former RAs, former residents, group pictures of friends, pictures with old roommates, and filled with people I don’t talk to anymore.

2006 is when more people show up who are still around. That’s the year that April makes her first appearance, where pictures stop focusing on my life in the dorms and starts looking at the things I’m doing separate from Res. Life. This is the year that I partied my ever-loving ass off over the summer, the year that I got bored and chopped 8 inches off my blond hair and dyed it dark brown. This is the year I realized that my grades were good enough, that medical school wasn’t for me, and that the opportunities I had then would probably not show themselves ever again. This is the year I learned to LET. GO. and just live.

This was April’s last day in Springfield. I will not post the picture of the blubbering tear-filled goodbye from later that night.
My stepmom had us take these pictures for my dad for Father’s Day…..or his birthday. One of the two.
I spent most of my summer that year with these two ladies. Edit: I spent most of my summer that year buying alcohol for these two ladies.
And then there was no hair.

There are gaps in 2006. There was the trip I took to Hawaii that is documented in hard copies, though they are in the possession of the high school best friend who is no longer in my life. There is the presence of my dear friend Nic, who while she is in pictures, her online presence is an anonymous one, and I won’t be the one to encroach on that. There are the pictures that I have copies of from my very first apartment with roommates who I grew apart from and to this day still only communicate with one. There is a complete lack of the fact that 2006, though an incredible year, was one of the most emotionally difficult years of my entire life, as completely changing one’s career path will send one into an existential crisis.

And then there was 2007. For quite a while, I considered 2007 to be the very best year of my life. I got a big kid job, graduated college, bought a car, moved to St Louis. I, for all intents and purposes, grew up. But I played. Oh how I played.

My closest and dearest friend in the world.
Step 1….

2008. That year was a transition year. Those transitions are actually fairly well documented over in my archives. There were good times in 08, don’t get me wrong, but there were very, VERY low times. I was head over heels for someone who would clearly never reciprocate. Any friends I had in the city left. I lived by myself for the first time ever. But looking back through the pictures, there are some bright spots. It’s the year I met Ali and JD. It was the year of baseball and beer pong and the first edition of Sunday night dinners. It was the year of do-or-die, essentially, of¬†perseverance, and of learning my own strength.

The next year contains another wave of people I no longer speak to, even though 2009 was not that long ago. But there are still the happy pictures that include a few from the best birthday I’ve ever had. So many happy times.

At National’s Park in DC.
After reconnecting with a very dear friend of mine, we took “prom” pictures at the Capitol. This was one of them. I don’t even know who this guy is, but I’m glad I have this picture.
25th birthday party. Best. Ever.

That birthday¬†is pretty much where my former blog picks up on the pictures. It’s where afterwards you find and read about and SEE trips across the country to see baseball stadiums, friends moving in and out of my life, love, joy, heartbreak, depression. There are Mardi Gras celebrations and New Years and family time and birthdays. You can see my first half marathon and becoming comfortable enough in my own skin to SHOW it off to the world. There are tales of frustration and happiness and determination. There are 30 solid days of posts. There’s meeting and falling in love with the man of my dreams. And through all of it, there’s me.

This little place of the internet is me. It’s my heart and soul bared for all to read, and now for all to see.