As 2008 comes to a close, I would be negligent if I did not take the time to mention all the awesome things the Lord has blessed me with. So since I’ve been here 27 years, I’ll highlight 27 things.
1. 4 degrees – I mean, wow, right? I graduated on Monday with my second masters degree, and all my degrees, all in varied fields, are relevant to what I want to do/what I am doing with my life. I was blessed with an affinity for learning, and I would never wish that away, no matter how much of a career student I’ve become!
2. A fulfilling job – Believe you me that I’ve had some less than likable jobs, but I was blessed with my current position at a firm who believes in the same ideals of urban health that I do. And it’s not deliriously easy for me–this position keeps me challenged, and that’s imperative for a restless kid like myself.
3. Both my parents – Of course, my family is far from the Huxtables, but we’re perfectly imperfect. My parents are two of the top reasons I have become who I am. Their support and love and ability to let me be me, even if they have to watch me run into walls, have really been beneficial.
4. A house – I am a homeowner. And I took advantage of a city program that has allowed me not to have suffered so much from this economic housing crisis that some of my neighbors have. I spent all of 2004 searching for a home and found nothing. The Lord has perfect timing.
5. A car that runs – While I ride the inefficient MARTA regularly, I still live in the South and would not be able to function fully without a car. I paid my car off, hallelujah, last year, and my car is still in good condition. Even though I had to get some brake work done this week, I am grateful to have my good ole Joi II.
6. More talent than I know what to do with – Sometimes, in weak moments, I tell myself that I’ve been cursed. But clearly, I shouldn’t. I have so many interests and talents and dreams, and I rest assured that the Lord has plans for all those things. I just have to wait on his perfect timing.
7. Friends – I have lost, and I have gained. But for those who are around and support me and appreciate my support are heaven-sent. Sometimes I wish I were more outgoing and friendly, but I have to applause those people who have accepted me for me and ask for nothing else.
8. Study Abroad – This year, I got to fulfill my dream of visiting Paris. I was able to spend three weeks, visiting 4 countries–how cool is that? So many memories, so many lessons, so many added dreams. Life doesn’t get any better.
9. My family at Thanksgiving – We usually don’t do a big pow wow for holidays, but this year, we had an unprecedented 10 at dinner on Thanksgiving. Words can’t express how that made me feel to have them around. Maybe I can entice more to come next year…
10. Friends on my bday – Before I moved to Atlanta, I had never had a real birthday party before, beyond my mom bringing a cake during lunch time when I was small. This year, I not only had a game night/party that everyone enjoyed, but 3 friends went with me to NYC, where I also saw my line sister and friend and a couple of other friends. It was an awesome time, and I’m ever so grateful.
11. A great social life – I’m invited to events regularly, and people know my name. I’m well on my way to being a celebrity. 🙂 kidding, (kinda)!
12. Lots and lots of service – I really enjoy (most of the time) serving others, and this year I was able to participate in so many projects. It’s always fulfilling to use my resources to help others. I look forward to even more next year.
13. A pink and green DC – This summer I was able to attend my first sorority national conference, which also happened to be our Centennial Conference. I’ve never seen so many AKA’s in my life. It was definitely a memorable event, and I’m happy I was able to go and participate.
14. Smokie – I finally got the puppy I had been wanting for a year or so. He’s such a sweetie, and I love going home to him everyday.
15. Health – While I don’t have pristine health, I’ve definitely been blessed to not have any serious ailments this year. The Lord continuously helps me through rough times and is definitely a healer.
16. Visions of more time – During the latter half of this year, I finally started saying no to being overloaded. In 2009, I will reap the benefits of sowing no’s all ovver the place. I’ll have more time to take better care of myself and to delve into hobbies that I have ignored due to being so busy. Goal #1: rejoin the choir!
17. My quirks – Sometimes it’s hard not being easily understood by other people, but at the end of the day, I think it’s a blessing. I like me for me. I’m not regular, and that’s a-ok.
18. Three grandparents – I still have them to learn from. My mom’s dad and my dad’s parents are still alive, and I enjoy seeing them when I visit home. And it’s such a blessing that my dad’s parents are still together, in love, and full of memories for me to listen to.
19. Great music – There have been some great CD releases this year and some awesome concerts. From Raheem Devaughn and Jill Scott to Maxwell, I have seen some amazing artists rock the stage all year long.
20. Prevention of headaches, heartaches, and bodyaches – I am always grateful to the Lord for not even letting me deal with some situations and forcing off certain paths, sometimes despite me. There are some situations that I can kinda see how they would have played out, from an ex that I thought I wanted to marry to almost getting hit by a drunk or sleepy driver earlier this week. Then there are others that I’ll never know because maybe the Lord put me to sleep, causing me to miss some event or He gave me an alternative to some choice I was about to make. Whether I was aware of the thwart of evil or not, I am happy for it and I pray for continued covering.
21. High standards – Some say I’m single because I’m too picky or because my expectations are too high. But I have to believe that my sticking to my guns about ideals I was raised with will pay off eventually. Nada don’t play with prolonged foolishness. 🙂
22. Lots of clothes – Ok, so my bedroom looks a mess because I have so many. But I’m blessed to never have to worry about not having anything cute to wear. And it’s amazing how I’ve come into my own sense of style since those tomboy days back in the 90’s…
23. Sustained relationship with my past employer – I am grateful to have made enough of an impression on the folks over at BLS to still be cool with my ex-coworkers as well as my former managers. I’m happy that they were happy for me when i found my current employer and actually supported my decision to change jobs. No burned bridges here!
24. Bigger, better dreams – I dream, and the more I dream and pursue those dreams, the bigger I dream. And I will continue pursuing the impossible because when God puts a dream in you and you believe in Him and it, anything is possible. I know there’s even more to come in ’09 and beyond.
25. A Democrat in the White House – No more Bush. Nuff said! But not only a Democrat, a person who has defied the odds and created hope in so many people. I pray that people let activated hope propel them far in their dreams.
26. Healthy hair – My hair and I have been through some things. I went from natural to relaxed this year and thought my hair was damaged forever, but with the help of the stylist I grew up going to and a new stylist near my house, my hair is looking and feeling as healthy as ever.
27. Sound mind – I ain’t no fool. 🙂 I may not process information the way others do, but I’m fully functional and fully ready to take on life as it comes!
I may or may not post again before 2009 commences. Either way, sit down and think of what you’re grateful for, give God a special shout out, and start 2009 with a renewed sense of His presence in your life and a resounding hope that all your dreams are possible with a just a mustard seed of faith! Happy New Year!