ThankFALL (can’t think of a better title at the moment)

 

Oof. Two months that I’ve been virtually silent on here.

I could lie and say I’ve been oh-so busy with my exciting life to write much of anything that wasn’t work-related, but the truth is the moment I open my laptop lately, I feel burned out.

For the past few weeks or so, or whenever the time change occurred, the darkness that accumulates now starting at 4pm seems to have an effect of weighing me down on my commutes home. It’s truly suffocating, so much so that when I do get home, the only thing I want to do is anything requiring little brain power (like finally catching onto the hype of “Stranger Things”). Anything more than that puts me in a fog.
 
I read this IG post recently that succinctly sums up how November has been for me: “November is stressful, like it’s suddenly freezing and you have 35 different deadlines due within 3 weeks and everyone is panicking and it’s dark all the time.”

 Yup.

Almost every year around November, I embark on a quarter-life crisis where I evaluate who I am and where I am in life. I question if I’ve achieved everything I wanted and demoralize myself when I haven’t.
 
At the moment, I’m very fearful of what the future holds and whether or not I’ll reach my full potential. Or that I’ll reach my full potential, but not be truly happy. I worry about the faith part of my life, and if I’m “doing it right” like person X, Y, or Z, or if I’m just kidding myself. I feel a combination of joy and sorrow when my close friends tell me how close they are to marriage, moving away, a great new job, a stint overseas, etc. I feel trapped, yet not brave enough to jump into any ventures that aren’t perfectly calculated with knowable outcomes. I feel paranoid about pleasing my family and the possibility of falling short. I’m concerned with my finances and if grad school will have to be put off for another year, or if I’ll have to default to distance learning (thank you massive car purchase). I sometimes think about what life might look like if North Korea sends their missiles our direction (although I’d most likely be dead anyway).
 
But being that it is close to Thanksgiving, I do realize I have loads to be grateful for. For every stressor I’ve listed, I know deep down that I have twice the blessing. Here are just a few:
 
– I have a solid family unit. My parents are still together after 30 years in a world where the word “divorce” is about as frequent and casually spoken of as Monday Night Football. I know of many kids from split and/or blended families that have fared well, or better than I, but I’m not sure I would do as well if my circumstances were different. As a bonus, I *gasp* like my parents.

– For most of my life, I’ve been lucky enough to not encounter too many my-life-flashed-before-my-eyes moments. I wish I could say the same for the victims of the numerous tragedies that have been making the headlines. The frightening thought of someone I love getting caught into incidents like these, or getting into a car accident, or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time flashes through my mind at least a few times a week, compelling me to send a silent prayer into the skies. But for now, I’m thankful for the blanket of safety my family and other loved ones are currently embraced in.

– The hip kids might refer to their closest friends as “ride or dies,” but fortunately, this trifecta doesn’t make dying an option.  
– I’m by no means wealthy, but am reasonably financially stable for my age. Although part of me wishes I’d spent a few months after graduation doing something unpractical yet super cool like backpacking in the Andes, I know it would’ve been that much harder to slay my student loans. I’m grateful that I don’t necessarily have to worry about being able to afford the occasional fancy Starbucks drink, as well as the opportunities to give where I can, and see how far even a seemingly modest amount can go.
– By the end of this year, I will have attended four weddings. That’s probably just about average, but these too bring me some hope. Yay love.
– Audiobooks. My almost two hour daily commute may not be ideal, but it’s afforded me plenty of time to exercise my brain (perhaps I’ll dedicate another post highlighting some of my favorite reads (or listens) from this year).
– I would be remiss to not mention Amazon.com’s free returns on a lot of their products, which has allowed me to consolidate 90% of what would’ve been shopping trips to an actual store, into online shopping frenzies from the comfort of my couch. Yes, I realize I’m not helping the plight of brick-and-mortar, mom-and-pop-shop owners, but I *detest* shopping. And the ability to decrease my chances of running into someone from grade school who was never particularly fond of me is always something to be thankful for.
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