Thankful AF (in a Not-So-Great Time)

Today, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ve been thinking a lot about everything I’m grateful for. I’m unpacking my suitcase from one amazing trip just to fill it back up for a trip to Indiana. I think a lot of people might agree that 2016 was a rough year that came to a head on November 8th*. I’m not going to minimize the things that have gone wrong, but I think it’s so refreshing to reflect on all of the things that have gone right. This year, I’m thankful for so, so, so many things. I’ll save you the generic ones – I could, and do, write entire blog posts about how thankful I am for my family, dear friends, and dog. Instead, here are the more personal things I am thankful for (in no particular order).

Paychecks.

Every time I get a paycheck nowadays, I beam. I’m getting paid to do something that I absolutely love doing. They aren’t as big as the ones I used to get, but it feels really empowering to be on the right path for me. I feel like I worked hard for every penny, and that feels fantastic.

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My new home.

California, you are everything I wanted in a home and more. I am grateful for your sunshine, your mild fall/winter weather, your performance in this month’s election, PALM TREES, the ability to take weekend trips to cool places, and much more. And my apartment, you are also perfect. Between the fitness center, the bark park, our balcony, and our pool, you make working from home feel luxurious. This time last year, I had no idea what was in store. 

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My Canadian family.

My mom, my brother, and the rest of my blood relatives are required to love me, but Jeremy’s family is not. Since I’ve met them, though, they’ve treated me like I was meant to be there. If I listed everything they’ve done for us as a couple and for me, specifically, I could fill a book. I feel grateful every day that I found Jeremy, but I’m doubly grateful that I’ve become a part of his family. I couldn’t have found a better one.

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Our health.

Health is one of those things that you don’t appreciate until something goes wrong. My family experienced firsthand how a few words from a doctor can change everything, and now I’m unspeakably grateful for every year that my loved ones and I are healthy. 

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Weddings.

Next year, my brother, my stepsister, and two of my best friends are getting married. They’re all stupidly in love. It’s amazing to see everyone grow up and find their people. Maybe I’m just a weirdo – after all, I read the “Our Story” section on wedding websites of people I don’t even know – but watching people be really in love makes me giddy.

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My generation.

This campaign and election may have brought out the worst in some people, but I’ve also seen the absolute best in others. While this isn’t the outcome I would’ve chosen, I do think my generation is mobilized and inspired like never before. Between calling representatives, volunteering, speaking out, protesting, and finding other ways to make a difference, the millennial generation is a force to be reckoned with. Jokes about participation trophies and safe spaces are getting reeeal old. 

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Jeremy’s cooking.

People always say, “Wow, you’re vegan? That takes so much discipline!” It doesn’t. At least, not when you live with a fantastic chef. I eat WELL – just ask my scale. I honestly don’t remember how I survived on my own cooking. I am incredibly thankful for Jeremy’s culinary skills.

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*I was considering writing a post about the craziness that’s been going on since November 8th. I’ve spent a lot of time talking about it (and hearing about it) and it seems weird to ignore it completely on my blog, but I’m going to. This is not to say that I think we should start getting comfortable in our day-to-day. In the wise words of John Oliver, “Optimism is nice, if you can swing it, but you’ve got to be careful, because it can feed into the normalization of Donald Trump – and he’s not normal…. So giving him a chance, in the sense of not speaking out immediately against policies that he’s proposed, is dangerous. Because some of them are alarming.”

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