Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hey. Thanks.

Yeah. I know I'm a couple weeks late on this, but Thanksgiving happened while I was on my blog vacation. Naturally, I have some thoughts.

It's no secret 2011 hasn't been my best year -- although it did rally something serious starting at the end of October. Well, when you go through rough times, you learn a lot about yourself and your friends and the people who care about you.

I've definitely got that. I learned more this year than I ever have before -- about humility, about perseverance, about trusting my instincts, about not being afraid of accepting help, about the importance of a positive attitude, and so on and so on.

Finally, I feel like I've made it through the storm. I feel so good, and there are innumerable things for which I'm incredibly thankful. Since I didn't write anything on Thanksgiving, I figured why not now?

Fair warning, though. It's about to get real up in this piece. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving (two weeks ago), I couldn't have made it through this year without the following things (some very obvious, some maybe not so much), albeit it an incomplete list:

My Family -- My dad slipped me a $20 bill every time he saw me. My mom sent me home with food every time I saw her. My grandfather was so upset when he heard about my job back in January, he sent me a card with a check for $50 in it. Seriously. That happened. Is it getting dusty in here? I mean. There aren't enough words.

My Friends -- You guys. For reals. You're all ridiculous, and I don't know what I would have done without our weekly (or more often) debaucheries this summer and fall. You were there with a kind and encouraging word when I needed it and with a disparaging word when it was necessary haha. And you continue to be awesome.

Fridays at the Bottom Line -- The best happy hour in DC. It's tough to beat the $1 beer specials. We can go in there and all get drinks for like $25 total, which would cover like three drinks anywhere else in the District. Many a ridiculous night has originated at the Bottom Line, and I hope for more to come VERY shortly. Like this week, I hope.

Running -- Reluctantly crouched at the starting line. Engines pumping and thumping in time. The green light flashes. The flags go up. Churning and burning, they yearn for the cup. You're fired up right now, aren't you? The first few lines to "The Distance," by Cake. It's the first song on my running playlist every time I run. Since April, when I started watching what I eat and exercising intensely, there have been times where I was simply overwhelmed. And nothing cleared my head, got the blood pumping or burned the energy better than a solid four-mile run. Whenever I go a few days or weeks without running, that first run back is a rush of excitement, and I always remember how much I love it now. It's so funny because I hated running until I forced myself into a half-marathon two years ago. Since then, I've run two 5Ks, and I registered for a second half-marathon here in DC in March. CAN'T WAIT.

Losing Weight/Being Healthier -- You may have heard, but I've lost more than 40 pounds since April. You know what never gets old? I wore pants yesterday I couldn't even pull up to my waist just a few months ago. Never mind buttoning them, I couldn't even get them up to my waist. And I wore them comfortably yesterday. Incredible. I was wearing XL shirts just eight months ago. Now, I wear mostly mediums. I have a size medium coat. What in the world. This time last year? I was almost 230 pounds. I weighed in Monday night after my run at 186, which is even more of an accomplishment given how I spent the months of October and November up and down the East coast. More on that next week.

Dancing -- Dude. I never knew how much I loved it until this past summer. But, man, what an unbelievably freeing and exhilarating time. Play a little Jackson 5 ("I Want You Back," especially) or, really, any 60s music, I'm totally in. Oh who are we kidding...I'm good with anything. Lulz.

My Job -- First and foremost, I straight-up love my co-workers. You guys are brilliant and hilarious, and I could not be more excited about this opportunity. It challenges me in new and exciting ways every day, and I'm learning something new seemingly by the minute. What more can you ask for?

My Best Friends -- Jon, you are like a brother to me. We've been friends for, what, 17, almost 18 years now? Incredible. You have a way of cutting right to the point in exactly the way I need to hear it exactly WHEN I need to hear it. I often, unwisely, do not heed your advice (just as we both know I probably won't this time...LULZ), but, rest assured, I know I probably should haha. And it is always most appreciated. Sometimes I just need to go down magnificently in flames, consequences be damned, you know? C'est la vie. And Mike. There may be no stranger "bromance." Despite the fact that we have only hung out in person maybe four times total, I don't think it's an exaggeration to say I have talked to you more than anyone else this year. Disturbingly parallel. Whatever happens with one of us, I can know without question the other has either already done it or will be doing it shortly. Lulz, indeed.

Last and, most certainly, not least, the past five weeks -- I mean. What can I say? Simply amazing. Thanks, "Lola." Always.


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