To all my friends and readers and/or Twitter followers: I hope this post finds you having (or had) a wonderful, safe and joyous Thanksgiving.
For me this is a time of not just giving thanks, but also a time of reflection. And in writing this, I don’t and am not interested in listing all the good things that have happened for the sake of doing so; I’m not interested in rubbing things in, as I know there are loads out there that are still struggling to get by and that each and every one of us has our own series of battles to fight. What I’m more interested in is exploring how even the little things add up, how even the slightest reaching out from someone makes a world of difference to another.
If there’s one thing that this year – or should I say the events of this year – has taught me more than anything, it’s to focus and be grateful for what – and whom – I do have. Not just, or so much in material wealth, but also key intangibles, such as the support of family and friends and the life lessons I’ve learnt and the experiences that I’ve reaped.
This year has taught me to be extremely resourceful. Not just financially, but emotionally. As I watch all my closest friends from childhood get engaged or married or go through another life changing event, I do observe the closeness of their immediate families, and the support they derive from family. It’s taken me a lot of strength to admit that “unlike” them, I will never achieve that relationship again with my own and that yet, I’m not anything less than they are. It has ultimately forced me to find support and solace from other people, other sources, and other networks; as I rebuilt my life on a personal level, I have met and made a load of new friends in the city that I see routinely and that share my interests. At the same time, I’ve also been fortunate to keep in constant contact with my lifelong friends, especially considering that my travelling for work allows me to see Patrick and Rina all the time. To be able to confide in these friends things that I am too scared to death to tell anyone else, particularly the struggles with my own family, and to not be judged. That’s big to me.
To boot, I’ve met a wonderful guy in Jeff as well, although our relationship is relatively new, I’ve found him to be supportive and understanding, yet finding myself becoming a stronger person as a result of having spent time with and learning a little bit from him.
With a few exceptions, my health has not only stayed intact, but I’ve been able to strengthen and condition myself to the level that has allowed me to run distance races. As I stated before, I hope to maintain myself through next year and complete my first full marathon.
My professional life couldn’t have gone much better. Yes, there’s loads of travel, but I’m enjoying nearly every minute of it. My coworkers are awesome and I’m learning a lot. Overall, it is a very progressive work environment and one I can easily thrive in. And given the shortage of jobs and the struggles of many people to find a secure and rewarding job, I definitely feel quite fortunate; prior to starting this new post, I felt quite lost in how I was going to develop my career. I am thankful to those who have given me the chance to thrive and develop myself.
Experiences. Yes, I’ve gone on and on about my experiences with running. The people. The sense of accomplishment. The feeling that yes I can achieve something. Positive coaching. But also just having the opportunities to connect with other alumni, plan networking and other events and give back by working with exchange students – all these opportunities I find rewarding and what I learn through these experiences are all priceless. Seeing the smiles on the students as I send them off indicates I’ve made an impact and that means a lot to me.
It’s been a great year overall, but by and large, it’s the care of a collective of individuals that I have to be thankful for. It only goes to show how important it is to reach out and maintain relationships with people, because your friends may need your support the most at certain times.
So for all of you that have reached out to me in some way or another, thank you yet again and keep in touch. And best wishes to everyone for a wonderful and safe holiday season.