There are so many things that I am thankful for these days - so many. And, as today is Thanksgiving, I am feeling ever more appreciative of what awesome things I have going on in my life and the amazing things going on throughout the world.
So today, on this 2012 Thanksgiving, I will share with you a list of 15 things I am thankful for, right now:
1. My amazing, supportive, and loving parents. I would be nowhere near the person I am today without their love and guidance (and their amazing ability to just let me be who I am and do what I want to do, even when it seems like the craziest idea in the world).
2. My crazy, loud, obnoxious, supportive, loving, and amazing friends. If a girl is defined by who she surrounds herself with, I must be pretty awesome.
3. My best friend, Hannah. Who I love as though she were my sister. I only wish I had more time to just be with her. I cannot wait for her little baby boy to get here and meet his amazing and loving parents. What a lucky kid already!
4. My job. Unlike so many, I am lucky to simply have one. While it (like most jobs) has its days, it is an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling place to work and job to do. Taking middle schoolers and teaching them about kindness and respect and showing them that they have so much control over their lives and this world is an amazing thing.
5. My car. How else would I be able to go back and forth between where I work and live most of the week to my parent's home? I am thankful for the ability to go where I want when I want to. Having a car provides a lot of freedom, and for that I am thankful.
6. This blog. It has provided me an outlet to tell my story and connect with people all over the country and the world. How awesome is that?
7. How, despite all the crud going on in our country, that I feel safe to leave my house in the morning. There are no bombs flying overhead, no civil war to be wary of, no persecution based on unfounded and frivolous aspects of who I am, no censorship of ideas or beliefs. We live in a relatively safe land, and for that I am thankful. My heart goes out to all those around the world (including a lot of my friends from grad school) who do not enjoy such a privilege.
8. Having a month off this winter to just enjoy being at home with my parents and to get a lot of my stuff in order. I love being at home. It's always a blessing when I get the chance to have an extended stay.
9. My education. I am so thankful for where I have been able to study - both in Chapel Hill and in Budapest. A lot of people still don't see higher education (and, at times, even the completion of High School) as an option. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to (and continue to have the opportunity to, if all goes well) advance my education.
10. For the ability I've had to travel and live in amazing places. Between Russia, Rome, Budapest, Chapel Hill, and so many others - I've had so many opportunities to broaden my horizons and open myself up to so many new cultures and peoples. I am so thankful to have used my passport so well up to today and hope that I can break in my new one soon!
11. The internet. I am so thankful for this because it has allowed me to stay in contact with friends from all over the world in quick and meaningful ways. Skype? Email? Even Facebook? All of these have allowed me to stay connected to (and, at times, check in on the safety of) all my friends who have scattered themselves across the country and world.
12. The books that I read so frequently (but not as frequently as I would like). I love that I have the freedom to read what I want when I want. I love reading, if you haven't noticed through this blog. I love how you can escape to a place you've never been before or places never heard of, or places only imagined. I love it. I am thankful for it.
13. The health and safety of myself, my family, and my friends. It's easy to take good health and safety for grated, as we never really think about it until something terrible comes up. But I am so thankful that for now, knock-on-wood, that everyone I know is in relatively good health and happiness.
14. The upcoming holiday season. I know it's cliche, but I am so thankful for the coming month. I love Christmas season - the lights, the music, the food, the decorations, the feeling of it all. I love that people focus on being good and kind (except when shopping) to each other and go out of their way to embody the Christmas spirit (or, at least most people do, there are always exceptions - which sucks).
15. Yoga. I don't go enough or nearly as often as I would like, but I love it and I love that I can go if I figure out a way to make the time for it. I just need to make myself make it happen, because I want it to.
So, Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I hope you are able to take a moment and reflect on all that you have and all that you are thankful for this holiday season!