During this time of year, I often find that people tend to be more thankful for things rather than make the things they are thankful for known. After all, it was just the month of Thanksgiving, so I totally get it. I tend to think about the things I’m most thankful for, too, and I’d like to share what some of them are:
I’m thankful for family.
My family is nothing short of amazing. Since moving nearly 900 miles away, I’m reminded often how much I miss my family and how many events I actually miss. I talk to my family quite frequently, but this semester has been semi difficult as I can’t just go home on a whim. Still, I’m thankful for the opportunity to have a family and thankful for the opportunity to see them for Christmas. I’m thankful that my mom would do almost anything for me, including fly to North Carolina so she can drive back to Chicago with me and Dash Dog. On that note, I’m even thankful for my dog child who makes every day extremely eventful!
I’m thankful for friends.
I spent Thanksgiving with a lot of friends. My coworker/friend’s family was in town and she invited me over to have dinner and fellowship with them. It was an amazing time and all my family back home, was especially thankful that I didn’t spend thanksgiving alone. Over the next month, I’m going to be seeing my two closest friends, both at the beginning and end of December.
I’m thankful for my education.
While most people don’t realize I have a master’s degree because of how young I look, I’m thankful for the amount of hard work I put into that piece of paper and I proudly display both of my degrees in my office! This month, I decided to do a crazy thing and apply for a Doctoral program. It’s crazy because I think about the amount of time I spend on work every week and now to add another time consuming degree on top of it, is just a little wild to me.
However, education is something I’ve always loved and I’ve been itching to go back to school. Getting my Ed.d in Higher Education is something I’ve always wanted to do, not only because I love learning and research but because I know, long-term, holding an upper level administrative degree is something I want to do. I went back and forth between applying for a second masters, even another bachelors, and then a Doctoral program. I ultimately decided the Doctoral program was the best bet because I would spend almost the same amount of time going to school part time to get another bachelors or masters as I would just getting my Ed.d. I’ll be sure to keep y’all updated on that journey as the year goes on.
I’m thankful for work.
Sure work pays the bills, but to me, it’s more than that. Work is something that I’m passionate about. I wake up every morning and I’m excited to start the day and go into the office. My students are special. My to-do list is never ending and rarely gets completed. However it’s the times with I interact with students that truly get my through the day. At the beginning of the year, some of my residents thought I was another student. Some referred to me as the lady with the dog. Now, most of them know my name as my dog’s name. Most of them say hi to me in the building or when I’m walking around campus. It’s an amazing feeling to feel known and for students to know how I can help them.
I’m thankful for life.
As I reflect on my life and the upcoming holidays, I’m constantly reminded of the things I’ve been through in life and how they’ve gotten me to this point. Last year around this time, I was going through a rough time and experiencing some mental health issues. Shortly after, I was driving along the expressway and it was me and my car vs. three deer. I’m sure many can guess who won that battle. My car was totaled, the hood of my car came up and shattered my front windshield. My air bags deployed, and somehow I was completely unharmed. I vowed to live each day with a purpose and to never get back to that dark place again.
Yes, during this time of year everyone begins to think about the things they are thankful for. I’m no different than everyone else, but this holiday season, I’m reminded that every day should be thanksgiving. We should wake up everyday thankful for our lives, where we’ve been, and where we’re going. We should be thankful for everyone in our lives and always tell people how much they mean to you! I work to spend my days doing that, and I hope each of you reading this might consider as well!
This post is part of the Emerging SA Pro series following 4 awesome people: Aracelis, Emalie, Felicia, and Patrick, as they blog monthly about 1 year of their journey as either a new SA Pro or SA grad student. We are proud to help them share their stories as they break into our field.