Ten Things I’m Thankful For

Hello, hello!

Top Ten TuesdayHappy November, friends! How are things? For my American readers, how’s the Turkey Day preparation? I myself simply have to power through a morning of classes before I’m granted a brief four-day break. I hope to use it wisely: between the outings I have planned with friends, I’ll be reading {currently devouring Una LaMarche’s You in Five Acts – it’s a delight}, baking {this time of year calls for an abundance of cookies}, and Christmas present buying {cue the holiday fun}. In the meantime, as a small practice in gratitude, I wanted to participate in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Things You’re Thankful For, a fitting prompt with Thanksgiving a mere day away. I had hoped to get this up yesterday, but expressing thanks can and should be a daily habit, yes? :) {If you too want to create a list of what you’re thankful for, you can find all of the details on The Broke and the Bookish HERE!}

FriendsTo start, perhaps it’s a bit predictable, but I’m incredibly thankful for my friends: those who’ve stuck with me since middle school, those I’ve met just this past year; those I know from working on shows together or bonding over blogging or sitting next to each other in the same class. They make me smile and laugh; they’re supportive through class president woes and never-ending tech weeks; and they are as talented and friendly of a bunch as one could ever ask for. In short? They all rock.

FamilyIn a similar vein, my family is my everything. I’m so fortunate to have loving parents who support me in all that I do; they push me to try my best, of course, but they don’t let me sacrifice what I love for what is the norm. My siblings, too, are close to my heart, my brother always ready with a comeback and my sister always ready with a hug. They make my heart swell, and needless to say, I love them a lot.

HealthIn my day-to-day routine, it’s easy for me to lose sight of all that my body enables me to do and, furthermore, it’s easy for me to take my health for granted. Type One Diabetes is no fun, but I recognize I could have to deal with far worse {consider this a shout-out, as well, to the doctors and nurses who’ve made my life – and that of so many others – both safer and easier. That’s no small task}.

EducationAs much as I complain about the workload and the early wake-up time, I’m truly thankful for the education with which I’ve been provided. Particularly now, as a senior, I’ve found time to reflect on all that my school has offered me, from the amazing teachers who’ve made their impact to the classes that have not only developed my interests, but challenged me to think differently. Education also extends to my home, where I’ve been fortunate enough to grow up in a family that encourages learning of all forms.

ArtOne of my favorite quotes is “Earth without ‘art’ is just ‘eh.'” It’s good for a laugh, but it also speaks to the value that art brings to our lives. Any type of art, be it a written work, a performance, a painting, a layout, serves a purpose: to allow us to make sense of the world. I’m glad I live in a society where creativity can flourish, and in addition, I’m glad that artists go to such lengths to present pieces that ask audiences to look deeper. I think it’s just the coolest.

BooksWhat’s a world without books? One I don’t want to live in, that’s for sure. Books teach us to empathize, connect, and understand, and I feel so lucky as to have encountered such a large number of well-written novels over the years, all of which allow me to experience events and lifestyles I may never encounter outside of literature. Authors deserve many years of my gratitude for crafting such rich, creative, and influential stories, as do the booksellers, educators, and librarians that make my bookshelf feel never-ending.

TheaterI’ve spoken about my love for theater and stage managing at length here at Ciao Bella, but it bears repeating, as the auditorium has grown into my home away from home over the past several years. In theater, I’ve found both a passion and community, and I’m so appreciative of the teachers who trusted me with a headset, as well as the casts and crews who keep me coming back, production after production.

OpportunitiesWhile hard work can go a long way, I’m not blind to the privilege I’ve been afforded: in other words, I’m lucky to have so many opportunities in my reach. I live in a wonderful town; my family supports me in what I’ve done and what I hope to do; and going into next year, I have what feels like the whole world of higher education in front of me. This is a rare combination, and I can certainly do a better job using the platform I’ve been provided, particularly following the election, but today, I offer these opportunities my thanks.

YogaI’ve been practicing yoga for so long now that classes have simply settled into my weekly routine, but nevertheless, I’m so thankful it’s a form of exercise that has entered my life. While the poses have proven terrific for my flexibility, yoga also does wonders for my mental state, prompting me to find the calm when things get stressful. Or, as my yoga instructor likes to say, “wring out the ‘blah’ to bring in the good” :)

BloggingFinally, this last one was easy: I’m so thankful for all of you! Ciao Bella began as a creative outlet, but I quickly learned that blogging is just as much about interacting with readers as it is writing drafts. I feel the need to apologize with each new post – they’ve grown so sporadic – but every time I come back to write, I feel as if I’m welcomed back into the blogging community with open arms. Ciao Bella turns 5 {!!} in just a few days, a fact that wouldn’t have been made possible without your support.

Have the most wonderful Thanksgiving!


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