I’ve never done the Grad-itude 101 link-up before, but today a couple of people (on the Internet) responded to things in a way that made me angry and threw me off, so I decided to make an effort to ignore them in favor of things that make me happy. So here are some things I’m grateful for:
…my work: It’s taken me a while to call it that, and it still feels a little fake-it-till-you-make-it, like calling my photography ‘fine art’ did when I first used the term in my Etsy listings. It’s also been very slow to take off — it’s only started to this month, I feel, when I began offering graphic design, and I’m still not great at managing my business. But it is taking off, and I have so much to do, and I love it. I love photography and graphic design and fashion, and maybe most importantly, I’m doing it in a way that works for me. I’m having a go at making a living from my creative pursuits, things I can do at home, without the incredible, paralyzing social anxiety that a job hunt would have given me from the get-go, at my own pace, with an international reach and more and more reasons to make the cross-continent move of my dreams.
…my cat: Because there is nothing better than a furball. Even when that furball has a penchant for biting whatever part of you he can get at. He’s small and fuzzy and a champion napper and he likes to sleep on top of people even though if you pet his face too much he’ll go and turn his back on you (at which point I usually grab his tail) and he enjoys making you move the laptop on your lap so he can take its place (and then bite you). Basically, I love him. I’m grateful for having him. I’m grateful for the mornings he comes over to my bed and steps on my bladder and then doesn’t let me get up. I am grateful because I can hear him meowing right now, and it’s adorable.
…my sister’s stubbornness: Because sometimes being persistent pays off, and things won’t get done unless you push for them. You may annoy some people along the way, and maybe your anger issues will flare in their direction, but being bold and asking for what you want will always be worth it in the end. (Unless you’re a Nice Guy™ pursuing a woman, in which case persistence is actually harassment. Stop that right now.)
…my mom: For everything. For supporting me and listening and having the ability to apologize and accept an apology, for caring about me, for treating me like an adult, for working so hard for everyone. I love her so much.
…my Asperger’s tendencies: You know how I have social anxiety and stuff? I’m also sort of possibly on the mildest end of the autism spectrum, and while this means I often feel like a fish out of water in social situations in a way that makes my social anxiety spike, it also means if I think something’s right, I don’t care who knows it. I have never felt the need to keep any part of me hidden, from fandom participation (including fanfic – including porny fanfic) to atheism to being attracted to girls to taking meds for my anxiety. You think it’s geeky/wrong/immoral? Then you’re going to have to do all the feeling bad for me, because I don’t even a little bit. I love that about me.
On top of that, it also means that I’ve escaped so many awful things society tries to make you internalize. I have zero body image issues, I don’t feel like a lesser person for never having been in a relationship at 23, and I know that I don’t owe anyone — not even my father — anything.
…my friends: I always talk about my support system and the friends I’ve met through fandom, but I rarely name names. There’s only one person I talk to in real time, and I’m never sure I should call anyone else by name. But I’m so grateful for them. I’m grateful for everyone who’s known me since I was fifteen or sixteen and stuck with me despite my teenage snob years. I am grateful for Christina and Cheska and Nitya and Hannah. I’m grateful for the people I met a bit later on through livejournal, people like Mireille and Carly and Ashy and Tori and Sonni and Emma and Leila, Jess and Jordan and Amy and Marcia and Lexie and Maggie and Meg. I’m grateful for everyone I met through tumblr who are essential parts of my twitter feed now and who I constantly learn from and who make me laugh and support me when I whine. I am grateful for Gillian and Heather and Rawles and Anna and Rachna and Sonia and Lex and Hailey and June and Isobel and Leisha. I’m probably forgetting people, but my personal twitter feed is my cozy cuddly blanket so if you’re in there, you’re part of my blanket fort and I love you.
But maybe I especially love Katie, who deserves a special mention for being ridiculously supportive and smart and wonderful and an avid reader and the reason I went on meds and the reason I have this blog and an excellent writer and positive in the best ways and basically one of the friends I cherish the most.
And of course I’m thankful for my best friend, Annemari, because she’s the greatest and has an awesome Instagram feed and we’re totally going to move to the UK together one day. Because this one time after a fight with my father, she told me to go watch the Rainy Day Women episode from The O.C. and that made me feel so much better. (No, I will never let that go.) Because I can tell her anything and she can tell me anything and being on my laptop means having an IM window open at all times even when we’re not saying anything. Because I can’t imagine my life without her and I don’t want to try. I’m so grateful for her.
…the Etsy forum admins: for indefinitely suspending my forum privileges. You guys, I’m seriously so thankful for that. I was in there all the time and every day I saw a thread that pissed me off. Being suspended freed up so much time to blog and read blogs, and talk about issues in spaces where no one will remove my post and ban me for being ‘disrespectful.’ No longer liking Etsy wholly made me focus my efforts outside the site. The Etsy forum admins suck, and I’m so glad I know it.
…the people on Etsy who have worked with me, traded with me and supported me: It takes a bit of trust to trade with someone, and a lot to trade for something that can’t be done until the other person receives your handmade goods. People have trusted me like that and it’s amazing. They’re the reason I’ve stuck with Etsy so long. I start almost all my Friday Loves boards with an item from one of those people, because thank you is not enough. And I’m going to namecheck Erin and Melanie and Diane and Patti and Shannon right here, right now, because wow, I am so glad that I know them.
…this blog and everyone I’ve met through it: You guys have made my day to day so much more fun and easier. Thank you.