Grattitude

*Note: I am aware “Grattitude” is actually spelt “Gratitude” – there’s a sign near the city that has is spelt this way because gratitude is really about your attitude.  See what I did there?  Let’s move on…

As I’m sure you’re aware, this past week was Thanksgiving.  My fiancé, or ‘fiancebabe’ as we like to call each other and he shall hence be known as, spent Wednesday-Saturday (technically Sunday morning) with various combinations of our family members.

While I’m sure a lot of people might think “Jesus. You must have wanted to shoot yourself,” we were thinking “Jesus. We’re REALLY lucky.”

I have an unconventional family that we refer to as our “modern family” and I love every single one of them, no matter how we’re related.  I also have an incredible future family-in-law that I would seriously choose to spend time with.  Not many people can say that.

Instead of raging the town at some bar in the city, we spent pre-Thanksgiving doing what every good Italian family does; eating.  As we went around the table and shared what we’re thankful and grateful for, I reflected on the many blessings in my life.  I went for the sappy road and shared my gratitude for my beloved fiancebabe and my soon-to-be in-laws.  But here are some other things I am (and lot of us should be) grateful for…

  • I’m grateful for the $8.17 organic chicken bone broth (with added organic bone marrow) I bought for lunch because it means I have a stable job and salary that allows me to enjoy such extravagances (once in a while).
  • I’m grateful for the many empty whiskey and wine bottles in my apartment because it means I have good friends who helped us drink them.  And even better friends who brought them.
  • I’m grateful for my insanely sore thighs because it means I am healthy enough to use them, and that I was able to treat myself to a Soul Cycle class.
  • I’m grateful for the medication I take every day because it means I have health insurance, a good doctor, and a country that’s finally recognizing the importance of mental health.
  • I’m grateful for the hangover I had on Saturday because it means I had a great time and that my mom can still out drink me.  It also means my body has a checks and balances system in place that makes me say “I mean it this time – I’m only having one glass of wine tonight.”
  • I’m grateful when my phone blows up from a group text because it means I have friends who want to stay connected to each other.  Plus it means I have a phone and my phone is super helpful, and it entertains me on my way to work.
  • Most of all, I’m grateful for when I feel uncomfortably full, for when I’m so comfortable I don’t want to get out of bed, for when my face hurts from smiling, and when my stomach hurts from laughing because it means that I have a good and plentiful life.

I almost forgot to mention something else I’m grateful for, or should I say someone else – I’m so grateful for my fiancebabe. Because of him I get to share all of the good (and the bad) things with someone who loves me in such a unique and powerful way.  He’s also not too bad on the eyes (wink).

I hope everyone found something to be grateful for this year, and I hope you find even more to be grateful for next year.

Oh, one last thing – I am also grateful for Pumpkin Spice Lattes because they are amazing and they mean it’s fall and I am NOT SORRY ABOUT IT.

24601

I often sing showtunes in my head or out loud depending on my mood.  So many songs can sum up life events perfectly that I could probably explain my entire life in showtunes.

Recently, I’ve been feeling like I’m losing touch with myself.  I feel like I’m in a very stagnant place and I often don’t feel like myself.  This situation, like most life situations, makes me think of a showtune; “Who Am I?” from Les Mis.  One of the things I always thought was so interesting about this song was at the end,when Jean Valjean decides to reveal who is really is, he yells out his prisoner number “24601”.  I always think that line is interesting because he’s using a terrible time in his life to identify who he is.  Yes, Javert knew him as 24601 but he sings it out so triumphantly.  Perhaps it’s because his time as a prisoner helped define who he is.  It led to him hiding his identity and then realizing that he had to be true to who he is and exclaim it for all to hear, in song of course.

Sometimes I feel like I created a life for myself based on things I was hiding from and things I felt were expected from me.  I think back to when I was 22, when I had the most self-confidence I’ve ever had.

I was messy, impulsive, and wild, and I certainly didn’t have everything all figured out but I didn’t pretend that I did.  I didn’t try to be something I’m not.  A few months ago I was walking through the city in a suit and I caught my reflection in a window.  It actually stopped me in my tracks because I thought back to the time I profoundly told my mom that I would never work in a cubicle and wear a suit to work.  I was 11.  Sorry younger self, I failed you.

I have this enormous need to be true to myself and to put my time and energy into things that matter, at least to me.  Writing is something that has always been important to me because I believe it can help people, including the author.  I stopped writing about the harder things because I wanted to forget about those times in my life.  I realize now that those are things that matter the most because they made me who I am and gave me ideas about who I want to me.  Those are things I need to write down because they’re what people need to read. There are things I prefer to forget and things I try to cover up, but those are things I like to read from others.  I love seeing writers pour themselves into their writing because it means something and it’s relatable, which is why we write.  Maybe it’s time to stop being polite and start getting real (yes this is a Real World reference), and write the “real” stuff.  No one wants to read about a perfect life, they want to see the mangled, disjointed, and insane road that got to that life.