Every year, on this date, I sit down and take an inventory of the happiness around me. I review the past year and pick out the happiest moments, so I can share them with you guys. Now, this past year hasn’t been perfect but I definitely have plenty to be thankful for. I often forget to show gratitude and instead I find myself constantly being negative. Here’s my attempt to redeem myself for my previous ignorance and denial of the goodness that constantly surrounds me.
I have gained more friends than I’ve lost.
I find myself surrounded by like-minded people; I have never felt more accepted and appreciated then now. I have friends who support any and all the crazy ideas in my head. Writer? Do it. Youtuber? Try it. Activist? Believe it! Jake Gyllenhaal’s wife? …. Yes, they even support the ridiculous notion that I may someday marry Jake Gyllenhaal. I am thankful for every single person in my circle and life is sweeter with each of them in it. This isn’t a competition but if I could pick my sweetest friend, it may have to be Jesenya. Look, I know it’s mean to pick favorites but Jesenya is the reason why I was able to attend an Adele show.
Adele has a special place in my heart and no words will ever be enough to truly describe what her and her music means to me. So the fact that I got to stand feet away from her while she sang her pretty little heart out, well that makes me forever grateful.
Earlier this year myself and two of my wonderfully beautiful friends, went to New Orleans. I am Thankful for New Orleans. A magically perfect vacation was had with my friends Candice and Kristen. 5 enchanting days were spent exploring an interesting city and bonding like only three girls who make impulsive travel decisions can do. Anyone who knows me is aware of my constant state of wanderlust so the fact that I was able to go to such an interesting city with my two friends had me in an extreme state of bliss.
I shout to The Universe in gratitude for the fact that years ago the stars aligned in a way that brought my crazy, beautiful, supportive best friend/ soul sister/ ivory to my ebony/ concert buddy: Candice Hessian into my life. She is a constant reminder that women succeed when they support each other. Any time spent together will result in a fit of laughter and an *NSYNC sing-along. Her friendship is reason alone to constantly be thankful.
My niece came into this world earlier in the year and Sophia Julianna has me continuously thanking The Universe for her existence. I am more than just an aunt; I am a dance party partner, an introduction to new music, a diaper-changer in the messiest of situations and a motivational speaker. Sophia Julianna (named after yours truly) forces me to look at the world in a different way. I strive for greatness, just because she exists. I push myself to change the world, because eventually this world will be hers. This child has already made a difference and she doesn’t even know it yet. I am not only grateful for her but also for my entire crazy, loud and ridiculous family. We may not always be functional but we do always look out for each other.
I found my voice. Before this year I constantly questioned ever speaking my mind about important subjects. Sexual Assault? LGBTQ issues? Mental Health? Illegal Immigration? Body Image? These topics always seemed bigger than myself. That completely changed this year. I’m not sure how it happened, but I found my voice. It seemed to be hiding for fear of ridicule but apparently, the spotlight is exactly what was needed for my voice to shine. Earlier this year I wrote a blog post about Rapist Brock Turner and the response exceeded my expectations. This particular post made it’s way to Oscar Winner (future BFF) Brie Larson and the gratitude in my heart cannot be measured.
I am thankful. My heart is full of love and I sit here writing to you as the happiest version of myself. The past few months contain as much sadness as they do happiness but today (and hopefully every day after) I will focus on the smiles and the laughter.
I will use today to hug my family, love my nephews and my niece and to continuously express my gratitude. How are you spending the holiday?