I feel like I say this every year, but this year feels especially fast. Maybe it's just the second half of the year that has been so incredibly...unique, or it could just be that time passes faster the older you become. I mean, not that it really matters anyway.
But since this year has been totally out of the norm, it's shaped me in ways I didn't know I could move. It's stretched me and grown me and pulled me in different directions. It's made me more confident in some areas and also shattered other parts of me beyond recognition. And I guess that's what happens when you go out into the world and try to be a functioning adult. Limits get tested, patience is worn thin, grace and humility become your best friends and you are forced to figure shit out. Welcome to adulthood.
As weird as it sounds though, it's actually something I really enjoy. This year I lost a job in the stupidest way possible and had all sorts of negative things spread about me (I can only assume, based on the situation, as it was not peaceful) which was a complete and utter first in the Natalie department. But through that situation I came out with a different and better sense of self.
As an artist, I started designing fabrics and have even sold some to people who are not my family - which is, as they say, the mark of success. As a girlfriend, I got to understand just how much Nathan loves me through all the stress that we've dealt with the past few months. As a daughter, I have witnessed just how much my parents care about me and my wellbeing and how readily they will sacrifice for me when I need them to. As an employee, I have learned that it's not the amount of money you make, it's the experience you get doing it. Which could also be in the art category too, you know, starving artist and all.
So as we've just finished Thanksgiving and are about to head into the Christmas season, I have been filled with a spirit of thanksgiving. Or at least I want to be filled with a spirit of thanksgiving but sometimes I am filled with a spirit of hunger and crankiness - I am only human after all.
But I'm thankful for quite a few things this year, including but not limited to: my family, who keep surprising me in all the best ways; all my friends, who are supporting me in all my artistic endeavors or who listen to me rant about things without judgment, (you guys are amazing!); my oma, who has supported me and offered a lot of advice and who has been my biggest cheerleader when it comes to designing fabrics and creating art; and Nathan, who is so much more to me than a boyfriend and even when I'm crabby and impossible, for whatever reason, he still loves me and surprises me with little things all the time. I couldn't have asked for anyone better to have by my side.
And as we head into the land of greens and reds and jingly bells, while you are all taking the time to make a unique gift or thoughtfully pick one out at a store, remember who it is you're buying for and why you are so thankful for them.
Christmas tends to make me really grinchy and irritated with all the people in all the stores buying all the things and paying absolutely no mind to the world around them. Sometimes I get so annoyed feeling like I'm the only one paying attention to my surroundings, that I lose track of the fact that these are humans too. And they are somebody's mom, grandma, dad, sister, brother, aunt or uncle. And they deserve to be treated like a human being too.
So goosfraba this holiday season, my friends. And a Happy Christmas to you!