I have a new schedule. Now that I have my licence and a car, I drive my brother to school in the mornings when he’s over at my dad’s with us. This is good. It keeps me from working into the early hours like I used to.
I forgot how much I like having mornings. Actually, maybe I didn’t forget. Maybe I never liked mornings because they always used to belong to someone else. My teachers, my professors, my bosses. I never had mornings that were mine, so when I had the extra time, I took the nights instead, a more familiar sky. Now I have mornings, and I’m thankful for them.
For not having a solid job, I sure have a lot to do. I’ve been cast in my first feature film, which is exciting. I was also cast in a web series. Both have more for me to do than I’ve done in any project before. I also volunteer as the director of social media for a local association and may be taking on the same type of role for a new local magazine. I’m trying to make YouTube videos again, while still putting out blog posts regularly. I still have my production company and am trying to think up our next project while continuing to improve our previous ones. I am also freelance editing, though I’m slowly extracting myself from it. I want to look into getting an agent. I want to see about getting a qualification for teaching English as a second language, and separately, getting a publishing certificate. Part of me wants to get a job, but all the ones I find would require me giving up acting, and I’m not quite there yet. I gave myself a year.
There’s something else for me to be thankful for. My life in February was crap. I mean, glamorous crap, but still crap. I gave myself a year to improve it. It has improved significantly.
I had quit my job, I spent most of my funds on something I thought would be an investment but turned out to be a disappointment, and aside from the three short films I got that month, pretty much everything else in my life was sliding downhill. My bank account dipped into the negatives, my social life was nearly non-existent, and my day-to-day consisted of writing things that made me feel morally conflicted for less than minimum wage and pulling my hair out trying to edit things that should have been thrown out upon creation (not everything I edited though), all between the hours of 8pm to 5am of course.
Although, I should note that despite all of this, my mental health was significantly better than it was in December and January when I felt trapped and manipulated at a job that went sour suddenly and unexpectedly.
So yeah, my life even six months ago was less than ideal, but I’ve managed to turn things around since. In nearly every way, actually. I’m proud of myself for that, and I’m thankful because I know not everyone is so lucky. I know people who do jobs they hate after years of school that they hated and they just think that that’s the way life’s supposed to go and it looks like that’s the way they’ll live until they retire. It’s soul-crushing. It hurts to watch. I’m incredibly, incredibly lucky, and I know it.
So that’s what I’m most thankful for this year: this life that I’ve taken a risk on. Some of my risks have cost me, but most have paid off and I’m glad things have worked out so far. I hope they continue to work.
Now for the things I’m always thankful for, every year:
My privilege, growing up in a rich and safe country. Having two loving parents, especially my dad who’s had my back this past year. My siblings’ existences and the awesomeness they bring to my life. The big extended family I’ve got and the support they provide. (Well, most of them, let’s be honest.) My dog and her ability to make me laugh at all times (and her adorable concern when I’m practicing an unhappy scene and she comes over to make sure I’m okay). My education that has opened up opportunities and enriched my life. My friends who’ve been with me, even when they’re not with me with me. And my readers and followers for the fraction of attention you give me, and for making me feel like I’m not screaming into a void, I’m actually talking to friendly faces.