November's always been one of my favorite months, because it's filled with opportunities to reflect, celebrate, and be thankful.
I'm thankful for my students, who make me laugh, make me think, and make me feel like I hold a valuable place in the world.
I'm thankful for my work. This year, I've gotten to achieve some fairly substantial dreams: I've done work for National Geographic, and I've gotten to craft my own creative writing class. I am thankful for the trust those around me have had about my ability to do these things well. I work very hard, but I'm fortunate that so much of my work allows me to share my passion, and to fill my life with it.
I'm thankful for my writing, which inspires me to get up before the sun, and stay up long after it's gone to bed, exploring and dreaming and discovering. I'm thankful for the way my writing allows me to better understand myself and my world. I'm thankful for my critique partner, Ryan Graudin, whose encouragement, kind words, and "done yet?" emails help me remember how important my writing is to me, and how much I want to continue to pursue it.
I'm thankful for my friends, who keep me sane in the midst of my crazy work schedule, who make me laugh and feel seen, known, and celebrated. Even when they're far away from me.
This Thanksgiving, I feel very thankful for my family. I feel thankful for the fact that, even though my brother and I are very different, we can still find joy in doing crazy things (like jumping out of a plane) together. I'm thankful for the fact that he's the ONLY boy who's ever been unembarrassed to dance with me around the kitchen. I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to sit around a crowded table and soak in the eccentric, outspoken crazy of my family members.
And - because I don't think we do this enough - I am thankful for myself: my resilience, my courage, and my continued desire to be open to the world and passionate about it, even when I'm tired and depleted and unsure.