so many turkeys

People who know me know how much I love the holiday season, and specifically how much I love Thanksgiving. (I think it is criminally underrated.) It’s the perfect holiday to kick off a month of reflecting on maybe the two most important facts we can know about ourselves: what we have, and what we can give. I try to look at it as an opportunity to balance myself: count my blessings – give thanks – while gently reminding myself where I can do better. Because I always can.

In the spirit of the season, then, I thought it would be a good idea to try and write a list of the things I’m thankful for from a professional development standpoint.

First, I am thankful for the incredible support network of family and friends that allows me to do what I want to do. In many ways, this year has been painful and difficult. My schoolwork is difficult, and in a different way than I’ve ever had to deal with before. My job is wonderful as always but my new position has a learning curve associated that’s caught me off guard a bit since May. DVRT… we don’t have to linger, but it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And all of this sums up to be what it’s like to leave behind a life I really wanted, and a degree I worked very hard for. In short: this is hard. My family and friends have been there for me so consistently and have been such a calming, soothing presence; I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them.

(I should also say that spite of all this difficulty, though, I am also thankful for all the ways that this year has been wonderful and easy: I feel like I am finally fitting into where I was always meant to be. It’s all about getting stronger, kinder, better. And the going might be slow, but it sure is going.)

I am thankful for the opportunities in my life – I am thankful that I got into a graduate program that fits who I am and what I want the first time around, and I am thankful for the graduate assistantship that’s making it possible and giving me so many skills and advantages. I am thankful for bosses and professors that truly care about my education. I am surrounded by role models every day – by people who don’t get told often enough how integral to my development they have been and continue to be. (Resolution: tell them more.)

I am thankful for working in a building with a Starbucks downstairs.

I am thankful that I live in an area with so many opportunities to volunteer and “get my activist on”.

I am thankful for a boyfriend who helps support me, and who makes it possible for me to devote my life 100% to school and volunteerism. I am thankful for intelligent, open-minded friends who listen to me, who talk to me, who learn with me and help me see new things, or see old things in new ways. I am thankful for this bullet point: thankful that my personal and professional lives can intersect so seamlessly while still remaining, at the end of the day, separate. I’m thankful for feeling like I even have a professional life. It’s good. Life’s good. Happy turkey day. <3

© 2019 Caroline Horste

I am neither a professional nor an expert, and nothing here should be taken as counsel or legal advice. Along the same vein, nothing here should be taken as representing the views of anybody but myself, including my employers or the organizations I volunteer for. -CH