This post was written in honor of Thanksgiving.
Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you to all of our readers!
- Professional opportunities: After experiencing the hardships that come with job hunting, I’m grateful for all of opportunities I’ve had that could further my career―whether they were positions I was offered. Just being given the opportunities to interview for such positions has allowed me to become a better interviewee and speaker in addition to letting me ponder upon what I really want out of a career. Although most of the job prospects I’ve had didn’t work out, thankfully, some of them did. I’ve been working as a copywriter, have been doing a sports writing fellowship in which I get to learn from highly accomplished mentors, and have continued to write about basketball.
- Broadway musicals: Anyone who knows me knows that basketball is my biggest interest. For the longest time, it was pretty much my only major interest. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but I’d sometimes have trouble figuring out what to do with myself when there were days without NBA games I can watch or during the offseason. That has changed since developing a legitimate interest in Broadway musicals―which was only about 15 months ago! In fact, in the past month alone, I’ve gone to three shows to see two different musicals on days without Chicago Bulls games: Hello, Dolly! (twice) and Miss Saigon. I can’t keep up with that forever, because I just don’t have that kind of money; however, I can be found listening to show tunes on a daily basis. It’s wonderful to immerse myself into a new interest, to learn all about a new subject, and to find joy in something else.
- Creativity: I’ve always considered myself to be a creative person, but I’ve always aspired to be creative in a multitude of ways. As somewhat of a perfectionist, creativity hasn’t always been easy or satisfying, which can take away from some of the fun that creativity offers. But, this past year, I feel I’ve made tremendous strides in growing within mediums I’m comfortable with―such as writing and photography―as well as finding and trying new ways to be creative: baking and decorating desserts, hand lettering, graphic illustration, crafting, and more. As a writer, it is easy to feel stagnant despite a yearning for some sort of outlet, so it’s wonderful to have various ways to be creatively fulfilled.
- My health: Last year was full of highs and lows, with some health problems being a low, preventing me from living my life to the fullest. 2018 is nearly over, and I’m glad to say my health is no longer in the way of me living my life. I haven’t had any hospital visits or stays, and the doctors I’ve had have found a way to keep me healthy. I remember sitting in the ER last year, scared and crying, because I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Now I know and am so grateful for that.
- Opportunities: While I’m not where I wanted to be at this point in my life professionally, I’m lucky to have the opportunities I’ve had, the interviews I’ve done, and the jobs I’ve been offered. I don’t have a full-time job yet, but I’ve been contributing to a gymnastics website with growing consistency for the past year or so, allowing me to feel like I have a purpose, letting me do what I love, and giving me a bit of financial help along the way. I’ve had three job offers―all this year! And while I would have absolutely loved accepting the first two, I’m thankful I had any offers at all, because it reassured me that I am wanted and can make it.
- Friendships that withstand time and distance: It’s not easy when nearly all of your friends live hundreds or thousands of miles away from you, but that really makes you appreciate who you have in your life. I was able to see my best friend since sixth grade (who now lives in San Diego) again this past April, and it was wonderful. I’m so glad we’re able to catch up and talk like we’re still bus buddies in middle school. And although Carly now lives in Colorado, we’re still close, and I know distance won’t change that. It makes the times we do get to see each other that much more special.
- This new adventure in Colorado: Moving to Colorado has been a huge life change and one that has challenged me in many ways. It has also been a really exciting and rewarding adventure. Despite the hardships of being away from home, I’ve really embraced all of the great things that Colorado has to offer and have found a sense of belonging. The mountains, the incredible opportunities for outdoor activities, and the constant sunshine have eased the transition and made me really excited for the future.
- Friends and family that have supported me through the changes this year: It’s not easy moving to a whole new state where you know nobody, and I was really nervous about how it would be. I’m so thankful that my close friendships remained the same; despite being thousands of miles apart, it’s as if nothing has changed. That unconditional feeling of love and support is the best feeling in the world!
- My loving fiance who has made this year wonderful: In case you missed it, I got engaged this year! After doing long distance for months, it has been so nice to finally be together again and embracing a new phase in life. Since we started dating over five years ago, I’ve always believed that Grant is my absolute soulmate. I don’t gush about him a lot, but he is the most supportive, patient, loving, gentle, and kind man that I have ever met. I’m more excited than ever to spend the rest of my life with him. 🙂