This year, like most people, I have plenty to be thankful for. First and foremost, my family and friends are healthy and happy. I was lucky enough to be born to two of the most amazing parents, who have consistently supported my decisions, rash or not, without hesitation. Additionally, I am the sister of five incredible characters, all of whom have evolved into fine [and very cool] young adults. My friends also keep me going, so here’s a shoutout to you five- keep shining and doing your damn thangs- I love you! Secondly, I am healthy and happy. Ah, genuinely happy. It feels like a breath of crisp, fresh, fall-in-California air.
I’ve spent a large portion of my time here on Earth being harshly critical of myself. Way too judgemental. I’m so quick to condemn myself for what I haven’t accomplished rather than praising myself for the challenges I’ve faced and overcome.
My perfectionism (and borderline OCD) might be to blame, but regardless, it’s something I’ve always struggled with and for the first time in a looong time, I am learning to make peace with the devil on my shoulder.
I’ve heard it time and time again, but never chose to listen; it’s all about embracing your flaws. Focus on the things you can do rather than ridiculing yourself for the books on your list you haven’t read, the run you didn’t go on, or the 9-5 job you still don’t have.
For me, I go back and forth because my current situation is far from the conventional “life-picture idea” I drew for myself. Finally, I am allowing myself to sit back and know that that. is. okay. Why am I giving myself such a hard time? This is my life and so long as I can put a roof over my head, food on my table, and a smile on my face, that is enough.
At the end of the day, all you have is you and your thoughts and if all the thoughts that ping-pong around in your head are negative, you will drown yourself in bad energy. That’s no way to live.
So, this year, I am grateful for this groundbreaking (and obvious) revelation. I have finally reached the point in my life where I am choosing happiness. I am choosing to be kind to myself and love all my quirks, my weird habits, terrible singing voice, and so on. It’s the most freeing feeling and I recommend it to anyone who remotely relates to anything I just wrote. Your life starts the day you become your biggest fan instead of your biggest critic.
Enough of all that personal chatter, it’s time to give some recognition to the tres amigos that I am fortunate enough to share this chapter with- Kyle, Vikki, and Matt. I’ve had a few lapses and a breakdown or two, but these three keep me grounded, love me for the emotional, now-and-then sassy, sometimes-too-much-to-handle self, and for that, I am eternally thankful today and every other day.
Oh, and we had a pretty kick-ass Turkey day (or Salmon day for me– first pescatarian Thanksgiving) spread, if I do say so myself. Me and Vikki’s apartment has a maximum capacity of 6 with close to no seating so we shot down to Kyle and Hunter’s spot for the feast of a lifetime. We made everything (except for the Gelson’s pumpkin pie) ourselves and did a damn good job.
Vikki took the reins for the stuffed artichokes and the turkey, Kyle jumped on board for the sweet potatoes (marshmallows with a touch of sweet potato) and stuffing, Matt was on roasted veggie duty, and I made some garlic lemon butter salmon and honey glazed carrots.
The prep started around 1:30 and by 6pm we were in a food-induced coma in the ultimate garage man-cave. We fell asleep to the sweet sounds of a Spotify Thanksgiving mix. Vikki and Kyle took the couch and Matt and I retreated to the twin mattress, which was appropriately right outside. Talk about luxury. It was the most pleasant (and unique) Thanksgiving day to date and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Life is about enjoying the simple things. Be different, be happy, be grateful for all that you have and above all, love! Especially yourself… it will make this whole ‘life’ much more enjoyable.
Cheers to that.