Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"You have to be willing to get happy about nothing"

What am I thankful for this year? I think the shorter answer would be, what am I not thankful for...but that would be a very pessimistic piece of writing, so here goes...

I am thankful, just in general, for 2013. This year began on a high, ringing it in with vodka, champagne, and dirty board games with Kitty and Stu and their friends. And a then-boyfriend, but whatever. Not long into the year, a routine trip to the doctor left me having surgery, which clearly was not ideal, but did allow me to take 2 full weeks off of work and to spend some relaxing time at home doing nothing. From there I moved out of my condo in Clackamas and into a one bedroom on site at my new property...oh, 2013 started with a promotion as well! I lived there for a couple months, only to have our property put on the market; I spent most of this time working 70+ hours a week and thanking the universe that I had an amazing staff to keep me company. I moved back in with my parents for a short bit, then my cousin's dad was awesome enough to let me crash in his guest room for a couple months while I waited for job placement and found a new apartment. My company placed me in Aloha, and while I am not happy at the property, I am thankful to have been offered a position. I moved into my apartment just this month. So while 2013 has had several ups and downs, I have had nothing but love and support come my way from my friends and family, so what more could I possibly ask for?

I am thankful, as always, for my mama and my daddy. For their help, their love, their support. I know that every single time my brother or I moves out, they say we can never come back. But every single time my brother or I needs some support, they are there to let us back in. They let me bring my cat to terrorize their dog. They let us bring our boxes, they park outside while we take over their garage. I truly have amazing parents. I am lucky enough to have a mom who I enjoy grocery shopping with or talking to on the phone while I sit in traffic. I have a daddy who will never stop telling me to "drive careful" when I leave, even though my response is always, "nope." I am grateful that my dad will always worry about me, no matter how grown up or independent I become; he will always ask me when I last checked the oil in my car or if I am locking the front door at night. And I am grateful that my mom picks up my lunch tab sometimes when she knows I am on a tight budget but want to go out to a nice meal with her. Not all of my friends have had that love and support from their parents; when we were growing up, my house was the house my friends came to when they were fighting with their parents or when they ran away from home. I appreciated it in high school, but not the way that I appreciate it now. I know I am so lucky to have the mom and dad that I have.

I am thankful, of course and always will be, for another year cancer-free for my daddy. It has been several years now...since what, 2006/2007...and I still can't talk about it without getting a lump in the back of my throat. My mom said the other day that the reason we go through bad shit is so that when bad shit happens to other people, we can support them. And at first I just rolled my eyes. But my dad's older brother has just started chemo for cancer this last week, and after a conversation with his daughter, I think maybe my mom was right. I can't relate to how my uncle feels, nor can I relate to how his son feels, or his mom or his siblings. But I definitely understand exactly how my cousin Keri feels. I know just how hard it is to be the daughter of a daddy battling cancer. And while I wish my dad would have never had to fight the battle he did, I can definitely appreciate being able to have those conversations with Keri that maybe no one else would be able to, because I know how she feels, because I have been in her shoes. So hopefully she feels a little better knowing that her little cousin understands and empathizes with just what is going through her mind.
Christmas 2008
I am thankful for my extended family. This goes without saying; I love being a part of this big, crazy, loud, opinionated family. My cousins are my best friends and I wouldn't have that any other way. I love all of the babies and toddlers, love watching them grow, love playing with them and being around them. I appreciate my relationships with everyone that is still a member of my family, and I appreciate the lessons I have learned from those who are not part of my family anymore. I am grateful for the courage that some of us have shown in order to let go of our tumultuous pasts and for the trust we are rebuilding. I cherish the closeness, the bond, and the love that my family has for each other, and in the past 6 months I have truly been able to let go of so much anger and just appreciate what I do have in the family who is still around, and to just let go of those who have let go of me.

I am thankful for everyone who helped me while I was temporarily homeless. Especially Kitty and Thor's dad, Ole, because he let me live in his house while he was on a work trip for almost 2 months. I am grateful for Rachel, who let me sleep in her son's room and use her shower every day for 3 weeks, and cooked me dinner in exchange for making her a smoothie every morning. I am even more thankful that I now have a beautiful, warm, cozy apartment to call home. I love my apartment. I love that I hired movers and they loaded and unloaded my whole life in like an hour. I love that Rachel spent an entire day/evening helping me unpack while getting drunk on champagne and wine. I am grateful that I finally have a nice, clean space close to my friends, so they can come over for dinner, or for drinks, or for movies. I am so happy to be able to drop in at Rachel's while I am running errands because we live so close and that visiting Kattie is no longer a chore. I finally can afford to turn on the heat, pay for cable, rent a carport parking space, and grocery shop at Trader Joe's & Chuck's Produce instead of Winco. I appreciate those blessings so much, as I know that not everyone has the same luxuries.

I am thankful for the new friendships, relationships, and experiences I have had this year. The girls I have become friends with this year - Kattie, Rachel, Ashley, Bridgett - I feel like I have had forever. When I think about how close I am to them, how well they really do know me, and everything that I have shared with them, I can't believe I have only known each of them for a year. Each of them is so unique and there is something just very genuine about them that is so hard to find in female friends. Kattie has taught me so much about health and nutrition, but also how to maintain clarity and the desire to grow as a person. Kattie is one of those rare gems who is just so mellow, which I don't understand being the high strung maniac that I am. Being her friend slows me down, lets me think and experience life as it is actually unfolding, and I love her for that. And being friends with me likely gives her a brother said the other day that I move faster than anyone he has ever met. So true. Impossibly fast. And then there is Rachel, who lives in her Type A brain much like I do. I am fairly certain that "Call Rachel" is on my daily to-do list and that "Call Veronica" is on hers...but unlike normal people, we would actually write it down. Rachel and I thrive on lists and organization and being crazy, and we play off of each other in a way that somehow allows us both to CTFD (calm the fuck down). Bridgett and I could probably not be any different - except for that we both just like to go to lunch and talk about sex. So there's that. Bridgett and I start a lot of conversations with "well I know you're a lot more spiritual than me, but...." We're different. But the fact that we can have a conversation knowing that we don't believe the same things makes me truly appreciate these conversations, because it shows a level of respect that so many people don't have. I feel like with so many false or one-sided friendships I have experienced with girls, I finally have the sense of real girlfriends. And I appreciate each of them so much.

 I am thankful for the ability to truly let go and move on, to get mentally healthy, and to maintain my sense of independence this year. This one pretty much speaks for itself, but after a long couple of years spent recovering from a horrible relationship, and then failing at the first one out of the gate afterwards because I wasn't ready for it yet, being able to function with men this year is something I am really grateful for. I have learned to be up front, open, and vulnerable with the people I spend my time with. If someone doesn't keep my attention right off the bat, or if I can tell it isn't right, I don't waste time trying to push it. I have learned to go with the flow, to take my time, and to trust my heart. While I am single now, and have been for most of the year, I have finally learned to be happy and self sufficient, and I have confidence that I will be so much better and so much healthier in my next relationship. 

I am thankful, as I will be every year, for the love of Miss Juno. Everyone likes to tease me about Juno and how spoiled of a cat she is, but everyone also knows where she came from and knows that I believe with all of my being that she is what saved me from an abusive boyfriend who was literally isolating me from the world one day at a time. From the day she arrived on my front porch, Juno was all mine and no one else's, despite the 3 other people living under that roof. And after only 27 days, Juno and I moved out, never to second guess the decision. So while I understand that she is just a cat, and while I can laugh at myself for how ridiculous I am about her, I truly am grateful for her. And you can all make fun of me all you want for it, it doesn't bother me at all.

I am thankful for travel and for the trips I have taken - and will take - this year. I got to go to Arizona and Las Vegas this year to celebrate turning 30. While on that trip, I found out that Kitty was having a baby; it was an awesome start to our girls' weekend and I was so excited to hear such great news. I stayed with Jenny in Arizona and spent those few days relaxing, reading, sleeping late, and hanging out at her bar while she was working. I am grateful that Jenny and I have been able to roll back into our friendship after my past relationship tore it apart out of jealousy and, well, it doesn't matter why. What matters is that I abandoned my best friend and am extremely humbled that she was able to forgive me and move on from those issues knowing that what happened in 2010 was out of my control. Jenny has always been my best girlfriend, she has been the one I trusted when I didn't trust anyone else, and she shares my sense of adventure and is seriously the best person ever to travel with.

There are so many reasons for me to be thankful this year, I think I could spend another ten hours on this blog post. I am appreciative of all of the friends and family I have grown closer to this year. To everyone who has supported me and loved me through a hard couple of years and has stuck by my side as things continue to improve in my life. I feel like I am finally surrounded by people who I can trust and rely on, and people who give me the same level of love and support that I give to them. I am truly just so grateful for the life I have and the world I am a part of. Happy, happy Thanksgiving to all of you.