I am admittedly an extremely pessimistic person, so I tend to rant a lot and don’t always look on the bright side when I should. But I was inspired by Lindsay’s lovely post yesterday about things she’s thankful for, so here are 6 (and a half) I gave thanks for yesterday, as well.
Also, there’s a slightly NSFW photo in here, just to warn you.
My family can be ridiculous (we’re all a bit neurotic and crazy) but I love them deeply. They’ve put up with me being even more crazy than all of them combined, supported my absurd, far-fetched dreams and kept me afloat when I needed help. I think when I was younger, I didn’t always see how significantly they’ve helped me my whole life, so now I try to regularly let them know how grateful I am.
2. Best Friends
I really wanted to post a photo or two of my best friends here, BUT HOW GREAT IS THIS CAT SUSHI PICTURE? But seriously: I love my friends, I feel lucky to have ones that (like my family) put up with me so much. Even though there’s a lot of distance between myself and most of my closest friends, as we’re all scattered around the country, what matters is that we love one another. And we all use FaceTime a lot.
Words cannot possibly express my obsession with avocado. I eat it on toast, sandwiches, burgers, bagels, waffles, salad, ice cream, eggs, potatoes… everything. I don’t think I would ever feel completely happy if I couldn’t have avocado for the rest of my life.
4. Libraries (and books, for that matter)
My mother is a librarian, so perhaps I am a little more obsessed with them than most people. But even before she became one, I’ve always thought that libraries are so important: they offer kids a way to learn, grow and enhance their lives through the written word. I feel so lucky to have had books in my childhood, but many children don’t. I used to work as a tutor for ESL students and it is truly shocking how detrimental it is for the education of little ones to not have books in their lives. Some people can’t afford them or simply choose not to give access to books, but libraries do, regardless of money or age or reading level. They offer wonderful programs whenever possible, too. They are one of the best institutions left in America for helping kids grow for free, so I’m so glad libraries exist.
5. Las Vegas
I know this sounds ridiculous, but hear me out: Las Vegas, where I spent my birthday this year, is the embodiment of what I love and hate about the world. It’s a crazy place full of lust, excitement, greed, ambition, dreams, fun, loneliness… each time I’ve been there, I’ve met fantastic and fascinating people. Whether it was slightly disillusioned workers who talked about Las Vegas as though it’s just a rowdy camping trip or the international visitors who were in awe of its enormity to the CEOS who love it for its excess, I was able to encounter so many types of people in such short timespans. Not only did I have an incredible birthday, I also gained an entirely new appreciation for the normality of my day-to-day life. As much as I love the occasional crazy week, I was better able to recognize how great it is to be able to live in a relaxing, quiet environment rather than just glamorizing and coveting living in what I idealized as a permanent vacation. So, I’m thankful, Las Vegas: you offer everybody an amazing time, yet also helped me realize I truly enjoy my very calm life.
And I also got to sit on that guy’s lap, which would’ve been awesome if I wasn’t the single most awkward, pale and weird person in the world.
6. My Job
I write full-time as a contributor for Lovelyish, The Gloss, YourTango and a couple other places, which means I’m ridiculously busy. But it also means I can typically stay in sweatpants all day, every day; I actually just quit my night job, which was the only thing I had to get dressed for work-wise. In college, I was admittedly super lazy and only did the minimum required (although I at least had a full-time job), but after college, I realized I needed to work much harder. Thanks to a few people who gave me a chance, I now get to write 7 days a week for websites I truly love about topics I’m excited about. I get to examine and explore my own silly life and crowdsource advice, which allows me to look at myself and the world around me in new ways. I get to work with amazing people from all over the world who have their own beautiful voices and faces and ideas. For all those reasons, I’m incredibly grateful to be employed as a writer.
Okay, so I don’t actually know any of you in person, but that doesn’t mean I’m not incredibly grateful that you all exist and read what we write. Without readers, writers wouldn’t have anybody to help ourselves improve. With criticism and compliments comes a further understanding of what works, what’s off, what to do more or less of. When I tell most people I’m a writer, they initially get this image of an unemployed bum, but because of the audiences for the websites us writers work for, we’re not bums! So thanks, readers: you guys are wonderful.
Lovelies, what sorts of things did you give thanks for yesterday?