It’s Grace, here to do Top Ten Tuesday. For those of you unfamiliar with the feature, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies over at the Broke and the Bookish. I’m a sporadic participant in this one but I saw this week’s topic and had to give my two cents.
This week has been really nice because I’ve been on fall break since Friday. I’m really grateful to have the time to sit down and bang out a full blog post, because that’s been harder to come by lately. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic? Top Ten Things You’re Thankful for (That Aren’t Books.)
If any of you follow my personal/writing blog, I do this feature occasionally where I list out all the little things that make me happy at a given moment. It’s a habit I picked up freshman year when I was going through a lot, and it makes my day a whole lot brighter. Plus, it’s really nice to go back and read them because it makes me appreciate my surroundings and notice so much more. This strikes the same vein, so it’s really lovely to be able to share this on my book blog.
I have a lot to draw for this one so here we go. I’ll start out with the basics, y’all.
1) I’m thankful for my new friends.
I’ve had a friend group for a long time – we jokingly refer to ourselves as “REDRUM” because the first time we all hung out, we watched The Shining. I love them to death. Still, I’m also really grateful for all the people was able to get closer with this year. I have a best friend who I rarely talked to before last year and other people who crept into my life when I least expected it. Frankly, I love so many people around me.
2) I’m thankful for my massive family.
I love having a big family. There are six of us (soon to be seven by marriage! My older sister is getting married in March) and plenty more adoptive Smiths and Collinses (is that the correct way to indicate that plurality?) I have a huge extended family as well, sprawled in Tampa and Tallahassee and even Virginia and Ohio. I love seeing them when we actually all get together. Down here, I love our huge Thanksgiving and I love Friday’s “unThanksgiving” where we cook burgers and hang out with all our adoptive brothers. (Once, my adoptive brother made my date do push-ups to prove he was “worthy”. Beware.) Also, my dogs.
3) I’m thankful for my health.
I have near-chronic bronchitis. I’ve had it three times since August, and nine times since freshman year. I used to have asthma, so sickness just goes straight to my lungs. I’m grateful for any day when I can breathe properly and breathe through my nose because my immune system is frankly nonfunctional.
4) I’m thankful for my opportunities.
I’m an ambitious gal. I have a lot of ideas of what I want to do. I never stop being grateful for the opportunities that I have. I live in a nice neighborhood; I go to a phenomenal public school. I’m lucky enough to be able to pick a school out-of-state and my parents will help me afford it. That’s really incredible because very few people have that access and I’m aware of that.
5) I’m thankful for camp.
Granted, I only go once a year. But those three weeks at Illahee (longer, provided I’m able to come back for a full summer of work) change me profoundly. They bring me back to myself. I’m religious, and those three weeks are when I connect most with God. I love having a cabin. I love loving my girls. I love being in the mountains, in fresh air, with archery and paint and capture-the-flag. It makes me a better person and I’m such a camp girl at heart.
6) I’m thankful I’m able to express myself.
When I was in eighth grade, I was bribed by my parents. The bribe? Finish dance team tryouts in exchange for finally being able to write on my walls. Now, my walls look insane – covered in colorful Sharpie and paint. Because I’ve been doing it since eighth grade, I have years and years of important dates, quotes, and notes from other people on them. Sometimes, I lie on my back and read them for hours. I’m a very colorful person by nature. I pursue a lot of projects. I’ve been a dancer, a swimmer, a lacrosse player, a piano player, a guitar player, a drum player. But I’m lucky to be able to pick up my various projects on a whim if I would like to do so.
7) I’m thankful for work.
I love where I work. I really do. I also love my tutoring, and my freelance editing, and little jobs I pick up occasionally. Nothing trumps the feeling of walking into Oxford Exchange though. It smells like candles and coffee and wood. Working in retail can be tricky sometimes, but I’ve loved the people I work with and the environment I work in and my bosses and all of that. I’ll be living there come December – the holiday rush is INSANE – so come visit!
8) I’m thankful for curiosity.
I’m thankful that I always want to learn more. I hope that never goes away. I’m incessantly curious about everything. I think that’s what lets me connect with people, and I hope that’s a quality that makes me a helpful listener. I always want to be someone who you can go to, and I always want to pursue some higher education and thought. (By the way, Brain Pickings has been indulging my curiosity lately. I could spend hours reading there.)
9) I’m thankful for driving.
I know that my parents will not let me take a car to college. Depending on where I go, I might not need it. I also know that I will likely end up in New York City or some other urban area where a car is more of a hindrance than a necessity. I’m a stressed driver, which is why my twin sister normally takes the wheel. I’m normally in shotgun with my feet propped on the dash and a book in my lap. Because this is my last year in Tampa for a while, I’ve relished night drives, and car-dancing, and watching the sunrise on the way to the beach over the expressway. There’s something immeasurably peaceful about that.
10) I’m thankful for blogging and publishing.
It sounds trite to say that this has made me who I am. But I’m certain I never would have “found myself” if not for this community and the love and passions I’ve experienced here. I love to read about houses and deals and reviews. I love to talk to y’all on my Twitter and get recommendations and become friends. I’m so lucky that I get to spend my entire LIFE in this industry, around these people. I really really want to say that I’m thankful for books.