No thanks for livin’ on Thanksgiving; I’m still starvin’.

It’s Thanksgiving Eve and I’m powering through cups of black coffee and full albums of Wu-Tang on YouTube, waiting for the workday to end. It’s been a bit of a slow day, but a good one for bonding with new co-workers who are also looking longingly at the clock, waiting (somewhat) patiently for quitting time. It was one girl’s birthday, and so we headed over to the local wine bar for lunch, a glass of our favorite spirit, and an opportunity to share some hilarious/embarrassing stories while also sharing the details for our upcoming holiday celebrations.

A lot has changed since the last time I wrote–lots of life shifts, some really exciting, some challenging (the theme for 2014, it seems). Especially in the past 2 months, I’ve seen pretty much every single aspect of my life change tremendously. From losing both of beloved pets unexpectedly in the course of a week (apparently dying of a broken heart is f’real), to dealing with month-long car troubles, to 2 weeks of jury duty–it had been one hell of a wild ride. But one of the “good” highlights was that I ended up changing jobs at the very end of October, which has allowed me to pursue more of a creative field than I was in before AND enjoy a better work/life balance (going from a 50-mile commute one way to 4 miles, what what!!)

Being the new kid again has had its ups and downs, but it was a necessary change, and although I miss my old job/friends tremendously, I know I’m moving in the right direction. And little things like booze-y pre-holiday lunches with new coworkers is helping me feel more secure and comfortable with this new venture.

I know I’ve been neglectful of the blog recently, which is an ongoing trend for me, but honestly, it’s often hard to really verbalize exactly how I feel when I’m in the moment, and sometimes it’s difficult to decide what, if anything, to “put out there” for the world to know–especially when I’m still trying to figure it out myself. 

I posted a very lengthy status update on Facebook last week, and I think it might be appropriate to share here, since it touches on a lot of the feelings/emotions I’ve been working through in 2014, as well as the intense feelings of gratitude and gratefulness I have for the people who’ve helped me get through the past couple months/years.

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Alright, I gotta say this while the derby endorphins are still high in my system: this year has been a tough one. It’s been filled with so much struggle and challenge and difficult change. I have hit the point of “this is rock bottom” a couple times only to realize that there was another level beyond it. There have been some moments where the only thing I could use as motivation was that soon that day would be over and another one might give me a better chance.

I am a tremendous believer in the power of others to help one get through. And I would be remiss not to take this moment, especially with Thanksgiving so quickly approaching, to express outwardly the overwhelming feeling of gratitude that I have for the many, many people in my life who have helped me through this year and (sigh) the many that have come before it.

 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been humbled and overwhelmed by the selflessness and kindness that has been shown to me for no reason other than that people are good and are willing to help someone when they need it. I realize more and more that despite how loud I might be, my emotions/heart are not on my sleeve as much as it may sometimes feel, and so it’s imperative I take the time to say how much these gestures truly have helped me when I needed them most.

 

I also want to take this moment to say that I have read so many statuses (stati?) recently of people who are struggling and hurting for their own reasons, and I just hope that if you are one of those people and you are reading this now, that you can find the strength to believe that things will get better, and whether or not I have been able to tell you directly, please know that you are loved and although it not be easy, it will eventually get better, usually with patience and persistence and good ol’ fashioned hope. Believe me, I know how fucking hard it is to believe that sometimes, but sometimes that blind belief is the best thing we’ve got. The only direction we’ve been given is forward, and forward motion will help us grow into who we need to be…

 

Lastly: I’m a firm believer in signs–in little glimmers of motivation that help you remember that there is still light at the end of the dark tunnel, no matter how faint it might appear. Pretty much my entire life, the signs that speak loudest to me come through music. And this year, for whatever strange reason, those musical signs seem to come from The Rolling Stones. I cannot tell you why, but that is the band who’s been playing on the radio whenever I’ve gotten in my car before or after an especially significant moment or event for the past 6 months.

 

This last month has been an especially strange one for me. I’ve been working through being the New Kid at my new job; I’ve been trying to get myself back into a healthier, happier lifestyle. It’s required discipline that doesn’t come easy for me, along with patience and the blind belief that I will eventually find my place.

I can’t explain why, but In a lot of ways, today felt like a turning point–nothing particularly significant happened,, but coming down the steps from the 2nd floor of my office into our lobby where our Thanksgiving potluck was being held, I felt like I belonged. And even though I was struggling for motivation to get out of bed to go to derby tonight, and it was not my best practice ever, I felt like I was able to make some substantial progress, both on the track and with my teammates.

 

So tonight, when I was leaving the rink, I had to smile when I get in the car right as “Brown Sugar” came on the radio.

This year has been a hard one, but it’s been an important one, one that makes me so fucking proud of myself for getting through better than I could ever could have imagined.

 

It’s not an easy life, but damn if it ain’t a good one.

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Happy Thanksgiving, friends. Hopefully it’s a good kickoff to your holiday season.