What I’m Thankful for This Thanksgving [Confessions of a Twenty-Something]

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I can admit that sometimes I act like a spoiled brat. I complain that my iPhone took three seconds to send a text rather than the two seconds it usually takes. I bitch and moan about traffic in the car that my parents bought for me. I cry over the stress of school and the education that I am lucky enough to be receiving. Sometimes I feel like the whole universe is against me. I just hate the world and will tell anyone who is willing to hear me complain about how hard and dismal my life is. On a bad day, I could easily be the spokesperson for White Girl Problems.

Now before you go ahead and start hating me, I fully realize how irrational, annoying and terrible I sound, but aren’t we all guilty of being ungrateful from time to time? Sometimes we cannot help but forget all the wonderful things we have going for us because the crap stuff just overshadows it all.  Who wakes up every morning and says to themselves, “Wow, I get to live for another day. How wonderful! Good morning world?” It’s 7 AM and your alarm clock is blaring in your ear; you’re not having any of that. Being thankful for life, love and everything else that’s delightful in our lives is important, but sometimes we all miss the boat on that key condition of being a human being.

In the sprit of the holidays and Thanksgiving more specifically, I’ve been thinking about the good things in my life that I’m thankful for. Being a twenty-something can make a girl go crazy. We know this. There are struggles and bumps in the road everyday, but that shouldn’t stop us from taking a step back and saying, “Thank you,” to someone or something that makes this time in our lives a little less terrible.

I’m thankful for my parents. I honestly don’t even know how to properly show my gratitude and thankfulness for them because I feel I can never do them justice. Both my mother and my father had pretty rough childhoods and lost their parents when they were young. I cannot imagine how they got through that or why they even decided to have children of their own after the hardships they went through, but they did. They broke the chain. They raised three (semi-normal, but pretty awesome) children and have loved them, supported them and respected them unconditionally. My mother tells me that I’m beautiful about 50 times a day and my father would never let a soul (mostly male souls) hurt me. They support me financially as well as emotionally. They keep me sane. They keep me in check. I know without question that my parents would be there for me in a heartbeat for whatever reason. I know not every person can say the same and that is why I’m completely indebted and eternally grateful.

I’m thankful for my friends. Old and new. This past weekend, I got to spend Friday night with one of my oldest and dearest friends. Just the two of us, drinking wine and talking about everything until 2 AM. It was so wonderful to sit across from her and know that we have been close since we were 12 years old. 11 years of friendship that is still going strong. We have a million stories and memories and laughs that we share and I feel that’s something more special than we know or recognize sometimes. I remember one time I was sitting in a lecture hall with her (because we can’t stay away from each other and went to the same college) and I turned to her and said, “Can you believe we’re here together?!” I think she called me a loser and laughed at my nostalgic attitude, but that was one of those moments where I was so thankful and awestruck by the power of friendship. To be attached and connected with another human being that is not your blood (because we’re obligated to love those people, let’s be real) is pretty remarkable.

New friends have also been a new development in my life. I have kind of always been under the impression that after a certain age, no one wants to make new friends. By this age, we all have enough and so we all just stick with our usual crew, but after this term at school, I stand corrected. I’ve met a couple of the coolest, different and down to earth people in my classes. It’s refreshing to meet people who are from different places with different stories to tell. I always joked that after I transferred to a college near my house that I never had any friends because I just went to class and came home, but now I actually have friends! I feel like I’m back on the playground and just got picked first for kickball, but that warm feeling of a new friendship is the same when we’re ten or when we’re twenty. We’ve even started a tradition of going to a local bar after class every Friday. The more time I spend with these kids, the more I like them and feel comfortable being myself. I’m thankful that new friendships aren’t out of the question yet.

I’m thankful for my bed.

I’m thankful for Starbucks mint tea.

I’m thankful for DVR.

I’m thankful for Taylor Swift’s new album being released right after my breakup.

I’m thankful that I get to write about my life for CollegeCandy and have people read and respond and take something away from my ramblings and ventings about life.

I’m thankful for being young. Sometimes I get down on myself because I feel like my life is not where or what I want it to be. I watch one friend after another getting engaged, married, pregnant, a job promotion, etc. and I just start to feel sorry for myself. Why am I still in school, living at home and single as f**k? I lose sight of the fact that I’m only twenty-three years old! I have so much time to figure all that out. Some people are ready to roll a little ahead of me and that’s totally fine. I’m thankful that I have the world at my feet. I’m in my twenties, I’m about to graduate (actually, when all you guys read this, I will be graduated!) and I get to do whatever I want with my life.

My best friend dropped a truth bomb on me tonight when she interrupted my dramatic monologue about being old and dying alone. She said, “Katie, your life is just beginning.” I’m graduating, and I get the opportunity to start an entirely new chapter of my life. I’m young and free to roam wherever I please because I have friends and family who support and love me and want me to succeed. That is definitely something to be thankful for.

What are you guys thankful for this Thanksgiving? Let me know in the comments below!

Katie is finishing up her undergrad at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. She enjoys wasting hours on Facebook and tweeting things no one cares about. When asked the question, “Do you do marathons?” She promptly responds, “Of course! Which show?” Follow her @KatieGarrity! Or read her personal blog where she talks incessantly about Ryan Gosling and hummus here!

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