Giving Thanks

Something that I find really beautiful about this time of year is that everything slows down a little bit. It's cold, and that drive to hibernate keeps us indoors and close to home. It always turns my thoughts inwards, and makes me reflect on what I have in my life.
Sometimes, that's a bit painful. I don't have a lot of family in my life; some of the people that I loved have passed, and others are estranged (for good reasons that I won't go into right now), and since I moved to Chicago, I've spent more than a few Thanksgivings alone, or working. Last year I went to Dublin over the holiday, partly to avoid the whole situation. I bought my ticket before I started dating my boyfriend, and while I had a wonderful time there, on Thanksgiving I found myself sitting on a bridge, looking out over the Liffey, eating a turkey sandwich and wishing I had someone to share the moment with.
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I mean, just look at that. I wanna go baaaaaaack.
I think a lot of people battle with loneliness this time of year. Ads and movies and tv shows and songs are all about the joy of gathering with your friends and family, talking and laughing and bickering and sharing meals. There's something very primal, very human about it. For most of human history, this was the time of year where we didn't just choose to come together, we were forced to do so to survive in the face of the harsh weather and scarce food. Feast days, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, were much needed breaks from fast days, which were necessary to preserve food stores. For most people, food scarcity isn't something that we worry about anymore, but the urges that come with the onset of winter remain.
This year, I feel like I'm in a really good place. It's almost startling how happy life is making me right now.
One of the things that I'm truly grateful for this year is my boyfriend, Brian.
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The filter I used here is called "Lucky." Seemed appropriate.
We've moved pretty fast with our relationship - we just started dating a little over a year ago, and already we've moved in and are talking about a long future together. I'm really happy to have someone in my life who supports and understands me; who can have a talk about issues (personal or social) and take my opinion seriously, but who is also really joyful, and will dance around the house with me; who loves me; who isn't perfect but is awesome.
Even though I complain about it all the time, I'm also really grateful for my job.
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The totally awesome view from my break room at work.
For the first time in my life, I have a pretty stable income. I may not have a lot of money, but I have enough money. I don't have panic attacks over bills anymore when something unexpected comes up. I even have decent benefits! A regular schedule, plenty of time off, a relatively low stress environment. Sometimes, when I really stop and think about it, I can't believe how lucky I am to have stumbled into it. I also just applied for a promotion, and I think I have a really good chance of getting it.
My friends are another bright point in my life. There are a couple of people in particular that I love, and am so happy to have in my life. I don't see them often enough, but I'm determined to fix that as soon as possible.
Is it silly that I'm thankful for my wardrobe? Probably, but I am.

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It will never stop evolving, but I feel like, for the first time in my life, it really reflects who I am, or the least who I want people to see. For a really long time, the only thing it showed was what was on sale at Kmart, so it feels good to have control over it.
I'm grateful for my city, for my safety, for my neighbor's dog, for my coworkers, for the books that I read, for my health, for my youth, for red lipstick, for good tv, for whiskey, for sales (sorry, had to shill a little bit), for this blog and all of the kind people who read it, and sometimes even comment.
That's kind of all encompassing, isn't it? But really, for all my little complaints and issues and annoyances, I have a good life, and it feels good sometimes to stop and remember that.
What are you thankful for? Even if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, feel free to comment.

No post tomorrow (I will be far too busy stuffing my face, drinking too much, and napping), but keep an eye out Friday. I'm going to be trolling Etsy and posting about even more sales, so if, like me, you're participating in Chronically Vintage's Secret Santa, now might be a great time to find the perfect gift.