The Obligatory “Grateful” Post of 2018

There’s only a few more days left of 2018.

What am I grateful for this year?

1-A. I have a great group of friends and not a shady feeling about a single one of them. They’ve proven that their values when it comes to friendship (loyalty, kindness, support) are synonymous to my own. They’re supportive, they don’t judge, and they’re respectful. I’m not lonely or isolated. I’m supported and I’m able to support them. It’s a perfect system.

1-B. I’m thankful that I’ve learned to listen to my gut when it comes to people with no exceptions. If someone does something or behaves in a way that makes me feel fishy about them, I NEVER make excuses anymore. If I don’t feel like I can trust someone, I keep my distance and that’s that. I can’t tell you how much that has simplified my relationships with others. Life is life, frustrations happen, but the choices I give to myself  are to either confront the frustrations and work them out, or just walk away. My life has zero drama. It’s blissful.

2-A. I’m thankful to have a job doing something that I enjoy and earning a higher salary than I’ve ever had before so that I can afford the things that matter to me. I will always despise how much money plays a factor in our lives, but I can’t control that reality.

2-B. I’m thankful to finally be in a financial position that allows me to help others when they are in times of need. I’m thankful that not only is there zero stress in my life about my ability to pay my own bills, but that I have money leftover enough so that I can do things like buy Christmas presents for a disadvantaged group of kids who otherwise wouldn’t have had a Christmas. As I’ve been up a creek without a paddle financially and had to ask for help from others in the past, I know how much it means when someone is willing and able to provide that help.

2-C. I’m thankful for a boss who actually likes me, who has my back, and who has a hilarious sense of humor. I’m also thankful that I’m able to work for an organization that does something that I’m personally passionate about. My job isn’t just a job, it actually has meaning. We’re doing good for the world. We’ve saving lives.

2-D. I’m thankful for my horse. I’m thankful to my boss who allows me to board him at a stable she leases which is close to the city. If it weren’t for her assistance in his rescue and for allowing me to board where I board, I wouldn’t be able to have a horse again and I can’t tell you how happy having a horse makes me. Horses are majestic and sensitive and amazing. Our symbiosis has made a world of difference in my life-fulfillment.

3-A. Even though I will always be horrified and disgusted at the lengths that people from my past used to go to in order to sabotage me and to put me down, I’m grateful to have very solid examples of the types of people that I never want to be. Ashley inadvertantly taught me that I never want to be someone who cares about someone conditionally, or uses them when it is convenient and tosses them aside when it is not. She also serves as a walking, talking reminder to me that I never want to be someone who agrees with someone in a private whisper, but vilifies them if they believe doing so will get them closer to something they want. Essentially, she is an example of loyalty, and even integrity, that I always want to adhere to in my life. What she did to me in the past really cut in so many ways, but carrying that with me helps me make sure that I never do to someone else the things that she did to me. The same goes with Jen. I will never forget her. She taught me that arrogance and power are dangerous on so many levels. She was the “Trump” before there was Trump. She was someone who took pleasure in putting me down, who really enjoyed the pain and depression that I was in at the time, who dehumanized me not only to herself, but to so many others. She hurt me in ways that changed me forever, but I’ve gotten to a place where although I can’t change the past, I can be thankful that for all of the ways in which she made me feel like I was nothing, I know, with utmost certainty, that I NEVER want to make someone else feel that way as long as I live. I’m not perfect. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve hurt others. But when someone tells me that something I said or did hurt them or is hurting them, there is no pleasure in it for me. I don’t laugh about it with my friends and trash that person even more. All I feel is regret and guilt. I apologize, I do it sincerely, and I prove that I mean it by not hurting them again. It took me a long time to process the pain that all of these people caused me, but I’m genuinely thankful that I’ve gotten into such a good place in life that the only way they linger in my mind now are as a moral compass, as the opposite of the kind of person that I strive to be. I’m proud that I’ve gotten to this place. It was a long process. I’ve never been a person who possesses the ability to heal quickly from emotional wounds, so this is a victory that I will gladly wear with pride.

3-B. I’m grateful for karma. I’m glad that the moment that I stopped sinking into the sadness and negativity that people used to bring into my life, opportunities and things that made me happy have been flowing into my life. On the other side, I’ve noticed that karma has come back around for the people that have done those shitty things to me so unapologetically. I turned my back on them and stopped watching a few years ago, but more importantly, I’ve learned a valuable lesson about not trying to force karma to give them what’s coming to them. At that point you’re just mirroring their own negativity and you sink down with them. I tried to force karma on them in the past, but it doesn’t work like that. It was a hard, but important lesson for me. Karma didn’t do it’s thing until I turned my back on their negativity and gave up trying to control it. Then it worked for me… and as for them, well I heard down the road that things eventually came back around. In the end, it always does. I’m not grateful for their pain, but I hope that they’ve learned and grown from the kind of people that they used to be. They have never sought me out to apologize, but that’s on their conscience (if they have one), not on mine. I’ve apologized to people that I’ve hurt, and that’s all that matters to me now. I’ve done what they won’t do. I’m so grateful to have a moral compass.

4. I’m thankful for the lives that my pets have been able to improve this year going on senior center visits, community center visits, and humane education trips. I love my fur-kids, they bring me so much joy, but it’s even more awesome to witness with my own eyes how much joy they’re also able to bring to others. (Also thanks to my boss for allowing me and my pets to do these things in conjunction with our organization!) Also thankful that I’m able to bring them to work daily in general!

5. I’m grateful for my publishing journey. I’ve turned down two opportunities thus far to publish on a larger, more “supported” scale because they would have required me to give up aspects of control that I’m not willing to part with. I’m genuinely happy with where I am at and what I have been able to accomplish doing things my way and at my pace. I plan to step it up a lot over the next year and that will be even more exciting. This has been my dream since I was ten years old, and I’m doing it!!

Embrace gratitude. Pave your own way. Turn your back on negativity. Be the friend that you hope to have. Be the change that you hope to see. I’m looking forward to 2019. Lots to do, so let’s go for it!

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