Giving Thanks | 2016

Happy Hump Day everyone! 

With the holidays inching closer and closer (and faster and faster! Why does the holiday season always feel like it's 2 days long?!), I decided that an appropriate topic for today would be Thanksgiving. I honestly don't even know where to begin. I am so overwhelmed with humbleness, thankfulness and appreciation this holiday season, it's unbelievable. For those of you who don't know, in October, my family and I had a scare. My father was unexpectedly admitted into the hospital at the beginning of the month. He originally went to the doctor after being hospitalized multiple times in Punta Cana DAYS prior...it was a good thing, otherwise, we would've certainly lost him. It difficult for me to grasp that he almost left us. It drives me crazy knowing that he saw the light...God had him for a second and my Dad walked the other way. He's alive. He's recovering. His story is truly 100% amazing...he's a miracle!

With a life threatening event like this happening so close to Christmas (ironically, my Dad's birthday is on December 25! What a lucky Christmas baby!!!), it's hit me pretty hard on how lucky I am (and how lucky my family is too!). It's been really wonderful being able to acknowledge all of the amazing things that have happened this year and it's also amazing that I have evolved in such a way that I can empathize with other human beings on this planet. This year, Donald Trump was elected our President. Am I mad? No! Acceptance of things we cannot change is key in life. I am thankful for this knowledge. This year, the U.S. Government has chosen to get involved with Native American land and environmental issues. My fellow human beings are being shot at. They're peacefully protesting and they're dying. Getting their arms blown off. Having limbs amputated, all because they're standing up for what they believe in. This year, those people won't have a normal Thanksgiving. Our brothers and sisters are doing without this year at Standing Rock...yet millions of human beings throughout the US and elsewhere are selfishly thinking about themselves. Thinking about Christmas gifts. Thinking of material objects that will never quite fulfill their hearts. Thinking about killing people. Thinking about violence and terror. Thinking about anything but THANKSgiving...

I am going to share images...and with those images, I'm going to share why it coincides with my Thankfulness.

I don't normally put myself on blast like this, but I'm going to today. How else are we to relate to one another? How else do we develop empathy and sympathy for other human beings, unless we share our heart-to-heart stories? These stories bond us together as a community, and well, I don't think it could hurt! Community over competition is something I've also been working on this year. It's the best way to be!

I can't even lie, 2016 has been incredibly difficult for me. I started going to counseling in January and finished (proudly!) in 9 sessions. I've probably caught up on all the tears I've never cried throughout my life.  I've felt more feelings in the past 10 months than I have in my whole existence. 2016, although it's been more difficult than anything, has shown me that I CAN change. I CAN be what I want to be. I CAN. I listened to my counselor. I WANTED to learn. I WANTED to get better. I WANT to strive to be the best Whitney that I can be. I am thankful for my willingness to reach out for help. I am thankful that I realize that as a sign of strength, rather than weakness. 

What are YOU thankful for this year?