This year has been a challenge, to say the least. This year has also been extremely wonderful for a variety of reasons. I took & passed two of Dr. Clayton’s classes in the same semester, I gained a second consecutive semester being on the dean’s list, I became engaged, I put money into savings, I paid off my credit card debts, I learned how to dive, I flew on an airplane for the first time, saw Blink 182 live, saw my first outdoor and indoor Korn concert (I caught a guitar pick from Head & my fiancé caught Jonathan Davis’s wristband at the end of the show at the BOK!) my younger sister turned 13 (OMG, Rainn please stop growing up. I love the woman you are becoming but I’m just not ready to let go of my kid-sister just yet.) I’ve struggled to keep up with school work, questioned my major more times than I can count, met up with a brother that I haven’t seen since I was too young to even remember it, been so tired that even coffee wouldn’t energize me, and I have had more clumsy or scatter-brained moments than I am willing to admit. Throughout all of this, I have realized that I am truly passionate about my degree choice and headed into the right career, I have set goals for not only my future, but for my family’s as well. I have gone above and beyond to give my all into everything. In this crazy year, I am thankful for so much that I couldn’t possibly list it all. But, I’m going to try to list as much as I can.
- My education: This is an opportunity that not everyone gets to have, and I don’t take it for granted for a moment. OK, I should probably be honest here and say that I do take it for granted occasionally, but that is usually because I am super tired and am up late studying or trying to finish an assignment.
- My family: Most of my family are not actually related to me. They have come together over time and been there for me through a lot. They are my family; no matter what DNA says.
- My car: I might complain about my older not so cosmetically great looking car occasionally, OK maybe more than that, but she gets me where I need to go & I can feel safe driving her. (Yes, my car is a she. Her name is Ricki Cassandra)
- My flash drive: it goes basically everywhere with me and it has my entire college career’s worth of work stored within it. It has made my life SO much easier to be able to just grab it & go wherever I need to.
- My daughter: She makes me practice my patience daily, and there are times when she isn’t so cute, but she is definitely worth it all. I’m truly blessed to have her in my life, and I will spend mine never letting her forget that fact.
- Being able to be financially secure: I have never had a sense of financial stability, not once in my life, until now. When I was able to pay off my credit card debt, that was one of the best feelings, to no longer have that bill hanging over my head.
- My identity foreclosure status: In developmental psychology, we talked about Marcia’s 4 statuses of identity. Identity foreclosed individuals have made a decision about their future, without really putting much thought into it. Deciding what I wanted to do wasn’t difficult, or even really a decision. I just knew what I wanted to do. Now I can set an example for my sisters, my daughter, my future children, and my nieces/nephews that achieving any goal is possible with hard work, even if they do have a decision to make.
- Food: Whether I need the life sustaining nutrients, or if I am studying and need some extra sugar to keep me awake, I am thankful for the food I have. Not everyone has the peace of mind that they have food or will be able to get it the next time they are hungry. It’s important to remember the “little things” we normally wouldn’t think about.
- My friends: How I made it this far down the list before coming to this one kind of stuns me. I may not have a lot of friends, but the ones I have are great ones. They are always there & always do something that reminds me why I love them & why I should be thankful for them
- My fiancé: Guess I should give him some space somewhere on here. He encourages me in everything I do, makes me laugh constantly (evidenced by our engagement pictures, as there are several where we are clearly mid-laughter because of him being funny) comforts me after a bad day, and always listens when I ramble. It was such a chance of fate that we even met in the first place, I’m eternally thankful for the chance we were given, and excited to get to spend my life with him, even though he is a special kind of dork.
- My bed: providing me with a comfortable and cool place to sleep, or lie awake ruminating over things in. Either way, I am comfy and I feel safe.
- My dogs: Both are pretty great, but Poe especially. He comes and cuddles me if my blood sugar is high & I’m not feeling good, follows me around the house, and just wants me to scratch his back. He is my furry kindred spirit, even if he is a bit of an annoying over-barker.
- My job: I’ve worked in a job where it didn’t matter if you had plans or if you were sick, if you were supposed to work, you came in and if they wanted you to work, you came in. It changed me into a very negative person over time and I am so glad that things changed. I love my job now, and I work with some great people. It’s so nice to be understood and appreciated. Even years from now, long after I’ve graduated, I will look back at my college library job with fond memories, and useful knowledge that it taught me.
- Insulin: Seriously, without insulin, I wouldn’t be alive. To me, this is the greatest invention/discovery ever, simply because it allows be to be alive and know the wonderful deliciousness that is Italian cream cake.
I know there is more, but I am going to stop here. 2016 is almost over, but its going to stay with me for quite some time. I hope 2017 turns out to be even better, just maybe without so many bumps in the road.