Project Thankful: Reason #179

Thunderstorms.  I’m thankful for thunderstorms.

There is something almost mystical about a thunderstorm.  It’s a sight that is wondrous to both see and hear.

And inspiring.


Project Thankful: Reason #178

Today, I received an “I’m here for you” card in the mail from my friend.  The message on the card was beautifully written, but it was what my friend wrote that was more powerful and meaningful.  

“I’m thinking of you and your family during this time of uncertainty.  Whenever you need anything, day or night, please give me a call.  I hope things get better soon.”

I feel like words such as “thankful” and “grateful” do not fully encompass how much I appreciate my friend’s acts and words of kindness.  If there were a scale for friendship, she would rank as Stellar because it’s a true friend who possesses the ability to know exactly what to say and exactly what to do to make you feel better.  

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to express the extent of my appreciation for my friend.  For now, let me just say thank you.

Project Thankful: Reason #177: The Post-College Gap Test

Tomorrow is the last day of May.  And for that I am thankful.

May has been a month that has tested me.  It truly felt like a long month.  As I write this post, I realize that May was my last full month of working in Education.  I’ve spent the past three years working in Education, working in schools, and now that part of my life is coming to an end as I begin a new phase in my life.

It’s bittersweet.  I’ll miss working with my students, but I’m excited to be moving on with my life and getting the opportunity to work with a new set of students I’ve never worked with before.

I passed the post-college test of my life.  I found a job after college and acquired experiences and skills that have allowed me to call myself a professional. Along the way, I’ve learned from my adventures in dating/relationships so that as I move forward I can love smarter.  And I know more about budgeting than I first did when I graduated from college.

At times, I didn’t think I would move past the post-college gap years.  Now, I look back on them and see how quickly they went, although at the time it felt like they were never ending, and how full of growth they were.


Project Thankful: Reason #176

I opened my email this afternoon to see a message from a consulting company I had applied to last year, asking if I would be available for an interview.  When I saw this email, I was shocked.  I still remember crafting that cover letter, writing in such a way as to try and persuade the reader to consider me, even though my background is one that does not immediately peg me for a consulting position, and emphasizing the strengths I would bring to the position given my unique experiences.

In a sense, I feel renewed to have received the email.  It’s kind of like a reminder that I’m not defined by my job; rather, I have the ability to create, and at times reinvent, the life I want to have.  

Some choose to let the clay harden.  I just have too many ideas to let that happen.

Project Thankful: Reason #175: On Loving Smarter

I’m friends with one of my ex-boyfriends, and we still talk on a semi-regular basis.  By talk, I mean text about “Game of Thrones” and about how our jobs are going.  Ah, friendship in the 21st century.

This ex-boyfriend is the One You Wonder About.  He’s the “What if?” ex-boyfriend.  “What if things had been different?”  “What if the Universe is trying to tell me that I’m meant to be with this person because he always seems to be there?”  *In this ex-boyfriend’s case, “there” refers to going to the same middle school, high school, and college as me along with still living nearby post-college.

I’ll be celebrating a significant birthday in a couple of months.  The type of significant that causes one to undergo a lot of reflection.  For me, that reflection involved this ex-boyfriend.

Here’s what I’ve found, not just from my experiences with this particular ex-boyfriend, but from other relationships and dating experiences as well.  To answer that “What if the Universe is trying to tell me we’re meant to be?” question, if two people are really meant to be together, they’d be together.  No wondering, no “what ifs?”  To answer the first question, “What if things had been different?” then maybe.  But things being different wouldn’t have been enough; we would have needed to be different.  

Simply put, we want different things in life and back when we dated, some part of us knew that too.  We’re headed in different directions and that’s how it’s supposed to be because those different directions lead to our different versions of happiness.

I’ve learned to love smarter.  To step back and take my time to see if someone’s vision of happiness is similar to my vision of happiness.

Project Thankful: Reason #174: Cookie Dough Days

Yesterday was a cookie dough kind of day.

The thing about a parent losing their job and being unemployed is that the stress of a parent losing their job and being unemployed never goes away.  It stays with you like a stain on your favorite shirt.  You look in the mirror, trying not to concentrate on that one spot on your entire outfit, but it’s still there and you do notice it, even though the logical part of your brain reassures you that it’s fine, you still look great, no one can even see it.  If you try to cover it up, you end up twitching all day to make sure the covering is securely in place lest the stain reveal itself.  Or, you might decide “the hell with it” and just wear the shirt as is, stain and all, with your head held high, staying strong in your conviction that “who cares?”.  

But you care.  Because that stain is still there.  No matter how distracted you might be, or how otherwise self-confident you are, when you look in the mirror your eyes will instinctively go towards that stain.

The “stain” was more visible yesterday.  I found $2 in the Computer Lab by where a boy had been sitting.  I asked him if he had dropped money.  He paused, turning red, and hesitantly answered “Probably.”  I gave him the money, and as he was leaving the room I heard him say to one of his friends “I didn’t drop any money.”

Well, I over-reacted.  I reported the incident to the teacher who immediately went to get to the bottom of the issue.  As I stayed with the next class who was waiting to begin, I felt embarrassed, vulnerable, and raw that I had over-reacted.  I don’t like anyone taking advantage of my kindness, but when it involves money I am more sensitive, especially given what’s happened recently with my dad.

I felt like Kristen Wiig’s character in “Bridesmaids” when she’s working at a jewelry store and a teenager comes in asking for a friendship bracelet for her best friend’s birthday, and Kristen Wiig’s character starts grilling the girl, taking out her own friendship frustrations on the girl.

And so, yesterday was a cookie dough kind of day.  The type of day where your life feels raw with the hard chocolate chips not evenly dispersed throughout the dough.  And all you can do is savor the sweetness while seeing what a mess it makes on your hands, telling yourself that one day the dough will get baked. 

Rest in Peace Dr. Maya Angelou

Melissa Janda - A Time to Write

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Dr. Maya Angelou

April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014

“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve…

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