It's that time of year. And I won't be unique in posting things I'm grateful for, but sometimes being unique is overrated in the first damn place.
Thing is, this year started out hard. I was not in a fun place, and I remained in a not-fun place for a long time. Now looking back at it though, once I stopped feeling sorry for myself and curling up on the couch in my pajamas to watch all the tornado shows ever made (yes, really.) I started to figure out what I wanted and what I needed to do.
I think the basic goal was to start doing the things I "always wanted to do" but never did.
If that show looked interesting, then I'd watch it. If I felt like a day in the city, I didn't need to wait around until someone else was interested too, I just went and did it. If I wanted to participate in the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen...well...I would, and I did. And it really, really took me places.
It took me away from this blog a bit, and I'm hoping to start writing here again more often. But it got me a writing gig at Chicagoist where I'm covering Arts and Entertainment- which I am still crazy about. If you'd have told me that as a result of a scavenger hunt I'd have gotten a writing job I'd have slapped you silly. Or at least threatened to. And the thing is? I'm getting to do even more amazing things as a result. Even though my pay has gone way down due to a layoff, I'm out at all kinds of events that I'd always wanted to go to but didn't have a chance/money/time to. I'm at Symphony Center, the historic Pullman site, seeing Josh Groban, interviewing Sergio Vega from the Deftones (There's one I thought would never happen. I was SO nervous) and basically what I have to do is write about it. You bet your ass I'd have done that anyway, y'know? My pictures have been used as well, and even though I still need to get my main camera fixed...man...it's all the things I love rolled into one. Music and art, writing and photography. I get to combine all that into something I do.
Then, a little more recently...I finally got a car again. I have always been and will always be a driver. Road trips are part of what makes life worthwhile to me. The very beginning of this blog was about the biggest road trip I've taken to date, and I'd do that again in a heartbeat if I could. For a while there though, I had to ask people for a ride to go get shampoo. I felt like my wings were clipped. Sure, there's trains and buses and things...but I missed my sanctuary. My music and my rolled-down windows and too-cold air and late night cruises to nowhere. That's part of me I got back. I think people thought I'd gripe having my first ever car payment. Maybe once in a while I'll wish I had more money, but whenever I pay towards my car, I know what I'm getting out of it.
Even more recently...I got the chance to bring something- someone, really...back into my life. I wasn't sure about it at first, but now that it's happening...I'm so happy about it. It's got a new shine on it, and I'm crazy happy about it. I'm able to be free about it too- I can openly honestly care. I get to enjoy someone else on a new level. The main thing is...all the time I spend there brings so much happiness. I laugh til my sides hurt half the time. There's good, serious conversation. There's absolute peace and quiet that makes me feel completely at rest. Those are the things that this has brought, and I'm immensely grateful for them.
I guess this year, ups and downs both, have shown me the people in my life who are always there. The ones who rescued me from my couch and my tornado shows, and the ones who got to know me better, and the ones who came back.
I'm just grateful.