Monday, November 28, 2011

Thank You...

Thursday was Thanksgiving.... the first major holiday since the divorce.  I thought it would be just fine, but I gave in and got a little sad.  This time last year, I was in New York City, in the heart of Manhattan, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  My best friend and parents drove down to spend the holiday with me and J.  We went to J’s aunt’s house where about 25 people were gathered.  I used to work for J’s uncle.  He and I not only rode into the city together every day, but we also shared an office.  That meant for a LOT of quality time spent together.  We grew really close.  He was like a surrogate father and mentor in both business and life.  He’s the one that encouraged me to pursue consulting with other companies for strategic communications and social media.  Needless to say, spending the holidays with that family was a joy.  It was the best thanksgiving I had ever had by far.  I loved that family.  Truth being, I still do.  Of course I miss them.  I genuinely hope they’re doing well and that the business flourishes. 
Naturally, this thanksgiving was a little depressing to me.  The thought of going and spending the holidays with my family was so sad.  J was always there.  ALWAYS.  Even when I didn’t want him to be.  He was a little creeper.  Just popping up out of no where.  Sometimes, I miss that.  Even more so, I wonder why I miss him at all if this was my decision.   I was the one that made the decision to leave.  I’m the one that packed up my car and left with only clothes and memories....leaving behind all the things that defined my success to that point.  It was me.  Not him.  So why do I miss him, especially during the holidays that typically turned into a big fight about something stupid?  Because I’m human.  I know.  I hate humans.  Ugghh.  So many feeeeelings.  But the truth is, he was a part of my life for so long, important days, like holidays, revolved around time spent not only with one another, but also with each other’s families.  We tend to forget that when a couple gets divorced, it is the separation of two families.  And although relationships can be maintained regardless of the divorce, we all know that it will never be the same.  So, as Thanksgiving got closer, I realized I needed to do something different so as to avoid holiday heartbreak.
This year, I spent it with my best friend and her family.  It was a small gathering of only a few of us, but it couldn’t have been more perfect.  The laughter, conversations, and fooooooood... oh boyyyy.  It was perfect.  And while I was sitting there, enjoying my third helping of sweet potatoes (HOLY DELICIOUSNESSSSS), I got to thinking.... I am the luckiest girl in the world.  Now this is the part I know you’re all waiting for.... but I want to share the joys of my life.  I share the heartbreak a lot, so I figured I’d share the joy as well.  I know I’ve done a THANK YOU style post before, however... this one is a little different.  There’s some serious name dropping going on.  If you don’t want to be in this post, I’m sorry... but we’re friends for frig sake. of course you’d make it into one of these.  
First and foremost..... my family.   
Madre- the most beautiful woman I know.  You’re the strongest, most interesting person in the world.  I mean that with love, of course.  I know you worry about me and as twisted as it sounds, I’m thankful for that.  You’re a great mom.  I wouldn’t trade you for anything in the world, not even Janet Jackson ;).  BOBDOW- the most incredible step padre a native girl could ask for.  I know I never appreciated you at first, but as I’ve grown and matured, I genuinely credit you for saving our lives.  You’re an amazing husband to mom and a great father to all of us.  But please remember, we’re all crazy because of you.  Just sayin.  Krista- I know we haven’t been close in recent years, but I look up to you a lot.  You take risks and aren’t afraid of anything.... very admirable.  Beej- oh Beej, you’re fantastic.  Thank you for tolerating me and all my craziness throughout the years.  You know I keep things interesting... just admit it.  Meg- You’re a beautiful soul.  Thank you for cultivating my niece, who is the perfect child.  Glow- we have our ups and downs, but at the end of the day, I think we have a mutual understanding.  I love you and I’m glad you’ve found what you’ve been looking for.  Donnie- my biggest little brother. I’m so proud of you. I love your quirkiness.  Alora- Thank you for loving my brother so genuinely.  You’re proof that love gives second chances.  Dad- you’re the best man I know.  I love you more than you’ll ever know or understand.  Nat- you’re an amazing figure in the boys’ lives.  I’m so thankful that they have you (and me too ;)).  Thomas- I love our car rides, jamming out to Taio Cruz and you tolerating me singing at the top of my lungs.  I’m proud of you boy.  Keep your head in the game and you’ll go far.  Al- everyone’s favorite little brother.  What can I say?  You are picked right out of Dad’s butt, so you pretty much make me laugh all day long whenever I’m around.  I love my family.  As dysfunctional we all are, I wouldn’t change a thing.  
Secondly... Roomies <3
Becca- You know me better than anyone else...almost too well....  You have done so much for me that I honestly don’t know where I’d be without you (well, homeless for one...hahha).  I’m so glad that we met that first day on freshman orientation and that we both had psycho roommates.  Best decision ever.   And I’m so glad that we’ve been reunited and that everything has worked out so well.  It just feels so natural.  
Phyllis- Well, Doc, you help me see life in a completely different light.  I love making fun of people with you, accompanied by our long philosophical conversations and our therapy sessions.  But most of all, I love that you make my best friend so happy.  You’re a great dude.  Y’all make me believe in love <3
Next.... the besties!
Cassandra- you’re one of my kind. I do not know a single person that is more like me than you.... which means you’re pretty awesome.  BAHA. I’m hilarious.  Which means you are too. hahha. Oh, I kill me.  But for real, you’re phenomenal. By far the most beautiful person I know. I love your laugh, your optimism, your authenticity, and your killer dance moves.  We’ve been through so much together.  I’m so glad we experienced heartbreak at the exact same time, as sick and twisted as that may seem.  TRIFECTA <3
Kyle- BFF. You’re amazing. You know me so well. I don’t even have to talk and you just get it. I am sooooo thankful you entered my life.  
Megan- You’re such a great person.  Our relationship may have changed, but you know I still love you.  I’m happy you’re still in my life.
Biggie- Imagine if I never moved to Belfast?  Our lives would be soooo empty! The memories we’ve made.... including Jackson, shaggy boys, Pauly D, crazy boys.... more boys. Hahaha. Big. We get into trouble together, but I love it.  Including Julio Jr.  Kamikazes.  BAM. I miss you.
Work Friends!
Alexa- My little highlighter.  You’re such a beautiful person, inside and out.  You literally are one of the kindest women I know.  I’m glad you were stuck in Maine all summer.  Can’t wait to get crazy together again :)
Stephen J Smith- my favorite neighbor.  Our shared love of music is what I like most about you.  That and the fact that you’re half asian.  You know how much I love bok choy.  :)
Matthew- bake me a pecan pie, please.  Just kiddddding. I am trying lose weight, not gain more from your incredible cooking skills.’re a very inspirational person.  I haven’t met anyone else who enjoys life as much as you.  You’re awesome.  I’m so glad to know you.  
Val- My soul sister.  You inspire me to be a better person.  We are so similar that it sometimes scares me. hahhaha. Can’t wait to run our half marathon in March... maybe March 2013? hahaha. 
Linda- HE’S MARRIED!!!! Probably the funniest woman in the world!  If I’m ever having a rough day, all I have to do is hear your laugh and it brightens my mood.  
Carol- If I am half the woman/mother/friend you are, I know I will be doing well for myself.  You’re incredible.  
Eben- You’re one of my favoritestestestest.  Let’s play spoons again soon :)
Ed- my voice of reason. you’re a cool dude.  Glad I screwed up all my CCP machines at first or else we’d have no reason to communicate. 
Art- My bocci partner.  Told you that you’d make it to a blog post.  Thanks for tuning in and for keeping life interesting and always keeping an eye on the HD for me ;) 
Shellie- SHELL.... my booty wouldn’t be the same without you. HA.  You’re fantastic. We  need to love on one another more often.  I miss our lunch dates.  
Risely- You really helped to provide insight into the big D that is absolutely invaluable.  I’m thankful for your friendship.  
Courtney- hilarious girl! You make life so interesting! I LOVE your stories and your faces.  You crack me right up!
Old Friends!
New York Friends- Shundiin and Serena. Beautiful, smart girls.  You inspired me to make the best decision of my life.  I owe it all to your encouragement and promotion of faith and strength.  
Sierra- Daughter. My crazy, wild, daughter.  It’s been quite the ride. Lots of interesting moments shared. hahhahha. whoops.  
Hometown friends- Morgan, Katie, Hala, Saben, Jason; downeast lovin.  So glad we’ve kept in touch.  Life wouldn’t be the same without you.  
Small, Tiffanie, Ashley, Morgan- my Portland girls.  Y’all know how to have a good time.  So glad we’ve been able to maintain a mutual love and respect for one another.  Sisterhood forever.  
Old School Friends- Sarah Rose and Faith- I love you girls so much. It's amazing to me that we've known each other since we were fetuses yet we still love one another.  My life would literally be a completely different story if y'all weren't in it.  You and your families changed me.  Sorry I didn't mention it the first time, but know that I have so much love in my heart for you.  I miss you. 
Nana and Papa- You saved my life. You are the relationship I model how I want my next marriage to be after (if there is one, of course).  You taught me how to survive, appreciate, but most importantly, how to love.  
Toya- My girl. You know I love you. I'm your little pimento.  You're a gorgeous woman who I admire greatly.  Cannot express how much I miss you. 
Ann- My favorite.  I aspire to be like you.  Ever since college where you scared the hell out of me, I know you had the kind of guts that I needed in order to survive in this market.  I'm glad we've gotten our chance to exchange story ideas.  We NEED to get back on track! I'm planning on getting famous, I don't know about you... ;)
Thennnn.... new friends!
Monica- Get it girrrrrl. You are phenomenal.  The best dance partner I’ve ever had.  So glad I got to meet you and facebook stalk you a bit. hahahaha. It’s allllll goooooood.  Let’s make some memories together. 
Ike- what can I say? We’re the same person.  Except I’m brown and you’re Irish.  I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to get to know you better the last few months.  Wish we had more time, but it is what it is.  Our shared love of ridiculous videos and consuela is what makes me smile more than anything else in this world.  We’ll have our chance, I’m sure, guap.  
Lionel- quit playing games, amigo. You know you’re my s’more.  hahahhaaha.  Get your snowsuit ready.  I’m requesting a one piece.
So, I know I probably hurt some feelings by not including people in this post, but honestly, I cannot include every single person I know in this post.  I have like 1,200 facebook friends, I’m not including y’all in on this. Sorry. 
Now I think about what my life would be like if I hadn’t of moved back to Maine, I may never have gotten a chance to get to know a new family member, Joey.... or meet my perfect niece, Mackie <3  I would have never met my incredible Athena family nor would I have taken the time to get to know myself in such an intimate way.  Sounds kinky.  But anyway.... I have so much to be thankful for this season, so I figured I’d share that love with y’all.  And just when I start to doubt myself or my decisions... I think to myself... I left that life for a reason.  And looking back on all of the above memories and/or people I’ve met the last 9 months, I wouldn’t change a thing.  
Tis the season.  Amidst all this holiday chaos... shopping, cooking, cleaning.... I hope you find some time to reflect on the beauty of this season.  And say thanks to those that have deeply affected your life, because the truth is, you wouldn’t be who you are without their influence... good or bad ; )

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