Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Counting my Blessings (Literally) (11-20)

11th, I am thankful for my friends, though few, they are my confidants, my accomplices, and my mentors in life. Through their eyes, I see our futures and our pasts. I feel their presence within me when they are gone. I live and breathe in order to make them proud. They are my 2nd family. They inspire me. They define me. They reflect me. I could not survive without them. They are all different… but together we bring balance to our lives.

12th, I’m thankful for my self. Because of the people listed above, I’ve been able to live independently. I’ve been able to stay strong after many falls. I’ve been able to move past my irrationality and see what is truly important. I’m grateful to God for giving me strength of character and physicality. For providing me with the emotional stability needed to improve my life. For the mental capacity necessary to learn and achieve one’s goals. And for motivating me to move forward when all I could see was down. Mypassions are few but strong and at once there were all nothing… I regained that passion and continued to improve my life. I hope I continue to do so. I hope I continue to experience new and exciting things, to live life fully, and to work hard towards the goals I’ve set myself out to achieve.

13th, this was the candle I had given Megan at my Sweet 16, which makes me realize, I’m grateful for my enemies or better yet, those who are no longer my friends. Without them, I would never truly recognize my friends. My enemies have helped me grow… grow thicker skin and grow a sense of self preservation. They’ve allowed me to realize that there is in fact good in bad in the world to all degrees. They’ve helped me be able to define myself apart from the qualities which I would not want to be preserved. They’ve tested my resilience. I truly believe in many of these situations I’ve come out on top. I don’t wish them ill (well most of them) because the way they live their lives is poor enough. They haven’t enriched their lives (non-materially) and therefore have not grown. I do not believe people can easily change their character but they can change and I hope they do. I hope that they find themselves and that person is someone they can live with.

14th, I’m blessed to have a job… any job, but better yet one with stability. We’ve seen the economy hit some astronomical lows and some ridicules highs in our lifetime. We had the dotcom boom followed by its crash… 9-11… and the hypocrisy of Enron, Tyco, Worldcom, Lehman Bros, etc… Many individuals with 1st rate educations and a wonderful work ethic are left collecting unemployment while going home to apply for any job they can from a financial assistant to starbucks barista. It was not there fault, but they are stuck and I respect them for doing all they can, even settling for a barista job. It’s not a great place out there to be stuck without a job, prices are going up, and paychecks are coming down. I might not always enjoy my job or the people I’m stuck with but I have one and I’m good at it. I appreciate the small challenges I’m faced with but sometimes I wish I had more. I’m glad for this career’s flexibility and for the doors it has opened for me. I’m glad all the hard work has paid off and I pray it continues to do so. I know that somewhere out there, I could be in a bigger office on a higher floor working longer hours and bringing in more money, but is that really what I want?

15th, my plants. I know that sounds completely stupid but seriously, they’ve created a routine in my life that I’ve never really had before. I don’t think having a pet is fair since I am out of the house a lot and live in a 1 bedroom apartment, but I do admit to having about 20 plants and I take care of each and every one of them… though 2 are looking kinda dead right about now. These plants have been therapeutic for me. I’m proud when they grow and look healthy and I worry when they look sick. I do research to see what might be wrong and I try and take care of them. I think it helps me relax and it makes my living environment pleasant.

16th, my home. It’s not mine per say since I’m only a renter, but we’ve really made it our own. Having not lived under may parents roof since I left for college I always treasured my space until my post John Paul life living in my 3 BR in Bellerose. I lost all control of my lifestyle and lived in a mess. My apartment was trashed with junk everywhere and I could not keep up with my self destructive lifestyle. So much for being on the cover of Good Housekeeping. I was always so neat, to the point of OCD and then it was gone. Meeting Paul, I tried to keep up a cleanly and neat outward appearance but couldn’t keep up with my laziness. A few years later we would have moved into our 1st apartment together in Manhattan where I was forced to rid myself of more than 50% of my useless crap and I did… thank goodness! I was finally well on my way to ridding myself of all that extra baggage (sometimes literally). Our new apartment was small but beautiful and we kept it spic and span, because if you didn’t, you’d have no place to sit or walk. Eventually we moved yet again to our Kew Gardens apartment and I love it! It’s big and its home. I feel comfortable here. Its Queens (and I love Queens over all other Boroughs). Best yet it can hold all our stuff from furniture to snowboard equipment. Did I mention if I’m in one room and try and talk to Paul, he can’t hear me… that’s how big it is. I’m greatful… because it was a dirty mess when we looked at it… (hence the price) and we walked away. But soon after we saw its potential and changed our minds. After a LOT of cleaning, a few coats of paint and some love, we’ve made it into a great living space we can call home. Even after Paul moves north to Beantown… I’ll be keeping our apartment warm… and keep his side of the bed empty for when he comes home.

17th, food. I’ve never had trouble with money. I know there are people out there who must clip coupons, eat pasta every night, or plain junk. I’ve never been in this situation. Having had a job most of my life and being a diligent saver, I’ve always been able to satisfy my cravings whether that mean a nice steak dinner, a night in, a 5 course meal, or a drive down to MD for some crab, I’ve been able to do it. And I’m lucky because eating what you want when you want it is a luxury.

18th, freedom. I am truly a free spirit tied down by nothing but my own mind. I have the usual responsibilities such as my career, bills, loved ones, and well that’s about it. I’m able to leave my home when I chose, eat when I desire, travel when I feel it’s time. I’m able to wear what I like, be with whom I please. More or less, I’m free and many in this world are confined by both tangible and intangible boundaries which others or they have placed around them.

19th, I draw a blank but this list does go on… maybe I’ll add to it as I think of things.

Maybe 19 should be my ability to read and write (again, some cannot) because I believe writing is the easiest form of expression…. But I’ll save that for another day.

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