Reflect, Relax, Appreciate

Such a strange time, to be writing a blog post on the day before Thanksgiving. Most people have packed up their things at work and are headed to see their family and/or friends.

Four years ago I was leaving work at an advertising agency in New York to spend my first Thanksgiving with zero members of my family on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It was an interesting one, to say the least. I awoke early on that Thursday to take my roommate to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We walked around in the cold air. That evening, I was blessed enough to go have dinner with her and her family at a fancy restaurant on 5th. There, we had a seven course meal, and my favorite part of the night was the lobster with cornbread stuffing. We went to see her father’s hotel, and we stood in an elevator that Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton had been in earlier that day.

It was a surreal, very un-Thanksgiving kind of Thanksgiving.

This year, things are different. I worked 5am-1pm at my retail job, and did some last minute Thanksgiving/Christmas shopping at my work before the madness begins this week.

Tomorrow, I know I have it easy. I will have brunch at my parents’ house, I have a photo shoot at my cousins’ in the afternoon (I’m never not working), and I will be having mid-day dinner at my boyfriend’s grandmother’s house. Hopefully I will be able to swing back by my parents’ house and enjoy some more food tomorrow evening. If not, I will certainly be bagging up some leftovers.

Friday I will work 4 hours at one job, and then 8 hours at my first Black Friday retail experience. I’m not thrilled in the least, but I can’t complain.

I have several jobs now, and no steady, full-time position that I can leave early or drink at to celebrate the holidays. I have a little bit of freedom in my schedule. Life is not mundane, that’s for sure. Every year has been different. Not every year has been so confusing. But I’m still keeping the creative in my life. I’m still doing what I love for money. I’m still growing as a person, both personally and in my career. I’m so thankful for the opportunities I have been given, and the experiences I have earned. And maybe the madness of this Friday will give me a different perspective on it all. (Or maybe I will want to shove shopping bags down peoples’ throats. Whatever.)

Whatever the case, I know tonight I am relaxing. I have dinner in the crockpot, just took a shower, and will be doing some routine cleaning before my boyfriend comes over. I have planned for us to decorate my apartment (mainly just me) while we watch Harry Potter, drink spirits, and (finally) finish Sons of Anarchy. He seemed reluctant in the beginning, but he’s doing it because he knows how happy silly little relaxing nights like this make me.

I have to say, I’m still pretty happy given where I am compared with where I thought I’d be. Thrilled, even, most days. And I hope that–no matter what stage you are at in your life–you take the time to sit back and breathe in the next couple of days. Reflect, relax, and appreciate.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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