Thanksgiving is a time to get together with our friends and families, eat a ton of awesome food, and reflect on what we’re truly thankful for. Holiday season for most people is one of the happiest times of the year, who wouldn’t be happy eating copious amounts of food and spending times with their loved ones?! Sadly, I’m one of those people who want to love the holidays but in reality the holiday season makes me irritable and angry. I have a knack for ruining holidays with my attitude and it’s why I’ve worked more holidays in my lifetime than I have actually spent with my family. Thanksgiving is one of the holidays where I try to really reflect on life up until this exact moment, I like to take the day to appreciate the good things in life instead of getting annoyed by everyone and everything. This year, I wanted to make a list of everything I’m thankful for and why. I have a lot of things to be grateful for and I think it’s important for everyone who is important or impacted my life to know I’m thankful for them.
1 Dad. The number one person I’m thankful for is my dad. Strange right? Those who know me and my story know how angry my dad can make me, but he is the one person who has stuck by me my whole life. Many people have come and gone throughout the years but my Dad has always been around in some way or another. I’m thankful for my dad because he taught me the importance of hard work and following my dreams. Some people are born with silver spoons in their mouths, I wasn’t. Everything I have, I worked hard for and I’m thankful my Dad taught me to work for the things I want in life versus getting handed things. As children, we tend to look back at the way we’re raised and critique our parents when in reality our parents were learning too. So Dad, if you’re reading this, thank you for being you.
2 Mom. I was two when my mom adopted me and we’ve gone through hell and back the last twenty something years. Adoption isn’t an easy thing most people, especially if the parent already has a biological kid or two. I have fought back and forth with my mom since I was younger about any and everything. Our relationship if I could define it, is like a coconut, rough on the outside and soft on the inside. However, with every argument we have, there’s a lesson to be learned. Even as adults, we never stop growing and part of growing up is to acknowledge the flaws of others without getting angry. The saying, “what comes easy isn’t worth having and what’s worth having doesn’t come easy” would best describe our relationship. I’m thankful for my mom because although she and I can’t see eye to eye most times, she is one of the few people who haven’t given up on me. Also, I’d like to thank my mom for teaching us kids how to cook eggs in the microwave.
3 Fawn and Richard. My two siblings. One whom I argue with daily and one whom I’m fairly close with. Regardless of differences, these two knuckleheads have been around my whole life and I learn something from them daily. I’m thankful for them because without them, life would be a lot more boring. My sister created two of my favorite children, my nephews and without her I wouldn’t be an Aunt. My brother is a wise kid and he’s taught me the importance of taking responsibility for my actions. I’m not great with criticism and get flustered when people criticize me but watching my brother own up to his mistakes has really helped me learn not all criticism is bad. The beauty of siblings is knowing no matter what, there’s always someone that will have your back when the going gets tough and there’s always a lesson to be learned from each other.
4 Tamara. My best friend forever, future maid of honor, travel buddy, and sister from another mister. Tamara’s been my best friend since we were twelve and she is one of the few people I can honestly say has made me a better person. First off, I would like to re-thank my little brother for getting lost in the elevator because that’s how we accidentally met. Besides the fact she walks slow, she’s always been around to teach me life lessons such as letting me crash my car to teach me the importance of not texting while driving. All jokes aside, she’s one of my biggest supporters in life and I’m thankful for her because her friendship is genuine and she’s helped me grow as a person.
5 Cole. It took me a long time to open my heart to someone else after a seven and a half year relationship with someone prior to Cole. I came to Kuwait with no intention of getting into a relationship but Cole’s positive mindset and genuine personality made me rethink my intentions. I’m lucky to have found a guy who was raised by an awesome family, has good values, a positive mind set, loves to workout with me, motivates me and genuinely cares about others. I’m thankful to be with someone who cares about me, my future, my company, and contributes to making myself a better person each day.
6 My Faith. There have been a few times in life where I’ve questioned my faith in God. This year has been a roller coaster of emotions and without prayer, I don’t think I would have gotten through it. I’m reminded daily how awesome the word of God truly is and I’m thankful for prayer and good faith.
7 My Health. I’ve been injured the last few months but I’m thankful I’ve been able to even workout. I watch videos of people with no leg or no arm working out at the gym and it reminds me how lucky I am to workout with both arms and legs, even if I do have to scale. I’m blessed to have good health and able to go about my daily routine without a frequent hospital or doctor visit. I’m thankful to still be alive and breathing.
8 My Company. I recently started a clothing company called Crops & Cleans. I’ve worked so hard over the last year and I’m thankful for everyone who’s helped me in any way including purchasing clothing, going to events, and talking about the company to others. My online sales have been doing fairly well and without any of you, it wouldn’t be possible. I’m thankful for an awesome group of people who support my brand and its vision. I’m taking a leap of faith next month and pursuing entrepreneurship head first, I’m both anxious and scared but excited to see what happens when I commit full time to Crops & Cleans.
9 Family. These are in no particular order but I am truly thankful for my family. My Aunt Jamie for talking with me every single day while I’m in Kuwait, my Aunt Jill for being a genuine person every day, my Uncle Donnie for teaching me the importance of hard work and saving money, my biological Mom for teaching me how to truly forgive, and my Grandma Dorothy for teaching us how to be humble. Every family member I have has taught me a valuable lesson in life and I’m thankful to have a family who can contribute to so many life lessons.
10 Friends. Last but not least, I’m thankful for my friends. I don’t have many I’d consider close but I am thankful for the few who’ve kept in contact with me over the last few years. They say you’ll learn who your friends are when you move away and I truly did while living in Kuwait. I’m thankful for Mattison who went above and beyond to help me with my company over the last year while raising a child and working full time. I’m thankful for Eric for teaching me how to use my front sight post when I was 19 and being one of the best friends and mentors I’ve ever had. I’m thankful for Nadine who promotes my company as if it’s her baby too and wants nothing but success for me. I’m thankful for Mason who’s kept a record breaking snap streak with me but has also been available to talk when I need a listening ear. I’m thankful for Kristian for believing in my success and being one of the best people I’ve met while in Kuwait. I’m thankful for Mari for taking me under her wing over the last few years, adopting me as “a little sister” while in Kuwait and mentoring me. Overall, I’m thankful for good people who have made a positive impact on my life and I hope I impact everyone the way they impact me.
Not being irritable and angry around the holidays is something I want to work to get better at, especially because there are people who have nothing or no one to spend them with. I believe everything happens for a reason and my anger around the holidays has more to do with unresolved issues that have built up throughout the year(s). As I look forward to the future and coming home to rebuild my life in the United States, I’m going to work on forgiveness. I’ve always felt the person who’s wrong should apologize first but it takes two to start an argument and one person to hold a grudge. I hope on this holiday, you guys can enjoy the day with your families and/or loved ones. Count your blessings and remember there is always someone who has it worse than you do. Happy Thanksgiving! Until my next post, inshalla.