I know everyone is writing about what they’re thankful for. I wish I did this more during the year and not just in November when the cold sets in and families attempt to put aside their differences for one day in order to celebrate the holidays. Maybe the cold cools our tempers and anger. Maybe we’re all a little idealistic about these perfect holiday gatherings full of laughter and cheer and frivolity.
Thanksgiving has always been a great holiday for me. It’s big brother in December is another story, but I’m trying to get through one at a time before worrying about something that’s still over a month away.
But this year has been a doozy.
I graduated last December. So this is the first year since I was 5 years old that I couldn’t call myself a student. I did graduate with honors and a respectable GPA from a respectable school for my degree field. And while I wrote that I will never give them money, I do owe a lot to that small town. So, I’m thankful that I fell in love with their pretty March weather when I visited on my 17th birthday my junior year of high school. The warm breeze. The pretty flowers. The first taste of what having a little freedom from my parents might be like. For their cute southern accents that just made everyone seem nicer and more genuine.
Wedding planning kicked in high gear at the beginning of this year. Even though I had been engaged over a year at this point, and most of the actual decisions had been made about place, dress, flowers, invitations, and the like, there was still a lot of work that needed to be done. My mom drove me nuts, but she was truly fantastic through everything and did a truly amazing job. I can’t take too much credit for our amazing wedding. My mom did most of the work. I just dated a sweet southern boy who decided I was someone special enough that he wanted to wake up next to me every day. I’m so thankful and grateful and appreciative of the sacrifices my mom made for our special day. I know I wasn’t demanding huge and extravagant by any means, but she went above and beyond to make sure our day would be looked back upon with joy and smiles. She does more for me than anyone else and, as I’ve gotten older, I can call her a friend and not just my mom. This is still one of my favorite pictures from the wedding.
And I know she wasn’t sad. I know she was, and still is, incredibly happy for us. She was probably a little relieved to be done planning anything. Even though I know she doesn’t read this, and I really don’t want my family to find it, I love you Mom.
And along with that wedding came my amazing husband. Granted, it kind of feels like nothing changed since we had been dating 4 years before that day came and we knew quite a bit about the other. And while I will never admit this to my parents, we basically lived together for about 9 months before the wedding. Yes, I had my own apartment and sometimes I stayed there, but I really lived at his place and only went to mine on rare occasions. I don’t really know if I believe in soul mates, but if I did, he’d be mine. And no, we’re not perfect. We fight and bicker and annoy each other, but we love each other with just as much gusto. He may think the oven is a perfectly good storage place for the cookie sheets and that my shoes in the living room is an atrocity, but he also takes care of me when I’m sweet and is my number one supporter and biggest advocate and is ferociously defensive of me. I love him immensely. I am so very thankful that he is in my life and a lot of my success is due to him because I didn’t, and still don’t want to let him down. And those standards are placed upon me, by me. Not him. I just want to be as good as he is.
At this point, I have a job. I have no idea if they will keep me past January 1st or not. I don’t know if I really want them to. I feel if I have a job, I’m going to become complacent and just accept it. And while I’m not judging at all, retail is not what I want for me. I worked too hard and long to work for a manager who may or may not have a high school degree. I’m proud of her, but I want something to challenge me, and not just my feet. Whether that’s teaching or not, I still don’t know. But I need more for me. But, for now, I’m incredibly thankful for this job. I’m thankful to be out of the house. I’m blessed that I like the people I work with and that it keeps me busy. I’m thankful for a paycheck so I can at least buy my family Christmas presents. And I’m thankful for support from my husband to keep looking for other jobs.
And lastly, I’m thankful for you all. I don’t like to talk about it because it feels pathetic, but I don’t have any friends here. Not really. I have Mr. A’s classmates who are super sweet and ask about my job and invite us to tacky Christmas sweater parties and I can hang out with them at gatherings without being attached to my husband’s hip. But they aren’t the true friends I need right now. And my girlfriends from home are great, but they have busy, full-time “grown-up” jobs and lives and boyfriends and such and I don’t feel I can call just to vent or to bitch. And while my blogging friendships have become invaluable, I’m not about to air the little disagreements Mr. A. I don’t want to seem whiny and negative, so I try to write about happy things. I’m not fake. I’m probably more honest in this little corner of the internet than I am with myself at times. But no one likes a negative nancy, including myself, so some things that are going on never make an appearance here. But even so, some of you, I feel incredibly connected to. I feel we could go grab a coffee, a drink, a cupcake and talk and it wouldn’t be awkward. I’ve asked you all for advice. You’ve given support and encouragement. You’ve made me laugh and cry and think. You were there when I was in some dark places as I sat at home and received rejection e-mail, after rejection call, after rejection letter. You told me to keep my head up. And because of you, I kept trying, and finally, something stuck. I am thankful for you. I’m thankful that I haven’t had any trolls on the blog degrading me. Because I may seem like a sarcastic smart ass at times, but I let people’s words affect me. You are wonderful. And I hope, even in some small way, I’ve added to your blogging experience as well. I love reading your stories, trials, joys, achievements, failures, snark, commentary and hilarity. You are all wonderful and thank you for writing and for reading.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. Whether it’s an extravagant affair or just you and your loved one at home, I hope you can find the time to relax and enjoy the day. And if you hate Thanksgiving, it’s only a day. Friday will be here before we know it and we will be headed into Christmas.