10 Things I'm Thankful For In 2017

10 Things I'm Thankful For In 2017

I've lost a bit since school ended, but I've gained a lot.

As The season of thanks is upon us, and Thanksgiving is just hours away, I have found myself in a much happier place. I have given into the tackiness of the holiday season and even set up my desk with fairy lights and Christmas decor, something I had never done before. Something about this season is warmer than the past, and for once I may just give thanks. Of course, there were always things I was thankful for, but I hardly put myself in the position to celebrate them, even if they are kind of dumb.

  1. Good music
    • Thank God for good music. I have been so stressed recently with college that just having a few minutes to listen to my Chill playlist made me feel all the more relaxed. I may not be musically inclined but lately it’s felt nice to just lay down in the booth and relax even though I had a six page paper due the next day.
  2. Good Books
    • I have not had the time to sit down and read but I miss it greatly. I have about three books on my shelf that I hope to start reading tonight, but they’ve been sitting there for the past couple weeks. Because of college and the work load, I have not had the energy to put up with the focus that comes with reading novels and focusing on the small details to take in the full story, but I miss it and look forward to reading in a few short hours. Hopefully.
  3. Parents
    • Yeah yeah this is sappy and I won’t spend much time on it. I am thankful for my parents, and for them not kicking me out despite being nineteen, that’s a plus. I like waking up in a house with family that cares and having company every day, even if they do get on my nerves and we fight a bunch. I appreciate everything that they’ve done for me through the years and for my mom taking me to college and for my dad making me coffee every day. I’m thankful for my mom keeping secrets from my dad when my grades were too low to comprehend and for my dad helping me make cosplay for the local comic con, as well as my school projects.
  4. Nieces and Nephew
    • They can be annoying sometimes and they can be a couple of brats, but I am thankful for the two of them. Despite them being loud, they are so sweet and make holidays so much fun again (they’re still fun, but it’s something about kids that make the holiday all the more enjoyable- maybe it’s Santa, who knows.)
  5. Family (Extended)
    • Even if I don’t see them often, i am thankful for my extended family, or the family I still have. After many incidents and turmoil within some aspects of the family, and losing respect for some, I am happy to have an extended family on my fathers side that I can talk to and enjoy around the holidays. If not much else, that’s enough and it sure does make the holidays feel like a real family movie. Probably National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but still a movie.
  6. Friends
    • I only have a few as of now but I am so grateful for the ones I made that were made by choice, and not because we were stuck together for the past few years like in high school. College has done me so many favors in meeting new friends and seeing who sticks around, seeing who doesn’t care, and giving me the ability to cut of the ones that just weren’t worth my time anymore, and I am so thankful for the ones that I have met in the past couple months of school. Not only that, but the ones I have met online have been good to me too. I have had one friend for the past couple years due to our shared love of writing, and I can not imagine losing them. They are truly one of the best people on this planet and I adore them to hell and back.
  7. And Lack Thereof
    • I said it in point six but I will say it again, I had a lot of friends that were not worth my time. In high school, we are forced to spend time with the same old people in the same old classes for four years- at least, that’s how mine was. It got to the point where despite growing apart, I stuck around because I had no one else, and they would claim not to either. Over the summer it was apparent that our friendship was a chore, whether they would admit it or not, it was the truth. Im thankful that the friends that I have cut off are no longer around, even if there were good memories surrounding us. It’s a relief.
  8. Writing
    • Writing has played a big part in my life and I have such a huge passion for it. English always came easily to me, but starting in freshman year of highschool it became a bigger passion.I was writing for the school newspaper, I was writing fiction on a blog for fun, and now I am writing for the Odyssey. It keeps me busy and allows me to learn more about things which I have a passion for, and its a creative outlet that I dread doing sometimes but it makes it all the more worth it. It has also introduced me to the girl I am seeing as of late, and to my best friend, and I am thankful for that.
  9. College
    • I am thankful for the sleep deprivation, the stress, the homework, the tears, all of it. I love college, even if I still live at home and haven’t gotten the full experience. I’m thankful that I get to ground myself in a schedule and have responsibility, and I’m thankful for the freedom it gives me. I’m thankful I was able to go for a semester with only having to pay for my text books, and I’m thankful I get to go in and have the freedom to schedule my classes and work load around my interests and my major. I am so, so thankful to be out of high school.

I don't have anything extravagant to be thankful for. I'm not rich, i don't have a hot boyfriend taking me out on great dates, I don't have a full ride scholarship, or any special skills, but this season I'm thankful for the simply things life has given me. Love, comfort, grounding, I'm thankful for it all and it's stressful glory.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Summer = Rest?

Sometimes it feels as if we need a vacation... from our vacation.


Ah summer: Popsicles and sun burns, mixed with fresh-squeezed lemonade that local kids are pandering to make enough money for Roman candles and Black Cats. The crack of the bat can be heard among the simmering charcoal grills and Troy-bilts humming through the ever-lasting sun. School is out and children are wild. It's a paradise.

Or is it?

But after countless sports camps and tournaments, other camps, vacations, school (?) events, traveling teams, VBS, summer seems to have been sucked fun-free.

Maybe it's Hollywood and Harper Lee's fault for giving us this utopian view of what summer should look and feel like (I'm looking at you Sandlot). But how can we really rest this summer? Because everyone needs some actual rest, even adults.

First thing is do NOT pack your summer full. Say no to some things. Coaches and Families can expect too much and it's okay to say no to them. You have to. There is no time for kids to be kids anymore.

Work can take a backseat. Vacations need to be taken. Families need to reconnect.

And for all my super-scheduled people out there, please PLEASE don't schedule out your vacation. Just enjoy it.

Another bit of advice would be to put away the technology and spend some time outside. When was the last time you tried to catch lightning bugs? Or went for a swim? Or listened to birds on your front porch?

I may sound like I have an old soul, but I really feel like we have lost this connection to the outside world. Summer is all about getting a farmer's tan and getting stung once or twice. I can guarantee you that's some of the best therapy in the world.

Maybe this sounds all over the place. Maybe this sounds like me ranting. And it probably is.

But I'm telling you that this stuff matters. Don't let summer whiz by and you arrive in August more drained that you were in May. Enjoy this time with family and friends.

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