Monthly Archives: November 2018

Thanksgiving 18

I’m unemployed. I’m in debt. I’m at least 20 pounds overweight. My arms and face are covered in small wounds. My future is uncertain…at best.

I couldn’t be more thankful.

I’m in my senior year at UC Berkeley and I’m unemployed because I’ve been able to finance school and living expenses primarily through scholarships. I’m in debt because I’ve been fortunate enough to only have to take advantage of a small amount of federal loans to help with school so far. I’m 20 pounds overweight because my life, during each semester, consists of riding my bike 7 miles round-trip to school and then spending the next 4-8 hours snacking on crap foods while I study or write essays. As I write this, I watch the blood flow from the back of my right hand from yet another bite from the rescue kitten we took in a little over two months ago. My future is uncertain because I’ve been blessed with the potential opportunity to stay at Cal an extra year and prep for grad schools. I’m planning on pursuing an MFA in creative writing at any number of schools across the country.

I share this journey with a woman of unparalleled patience and tenacity. My partner has supported my transformation to reentry college student with gusto; she herself has recently entered a Masters degree program.

I want to write. This semester, I’ve taken several courses that have actually given me the tools to do so. I am incredibly blessed to be in a class taught by a world-renowned author who is endlessly generous and encouraging. I was able to “write-in” to a class taught by Joyce Carol Oates next spring, and although I won’t be taking her class because of logistical issues, the fact that she awarded me one of only 15 spots in her class,  based solely upon my work of fiction fills me endlessly with hope.

I am a fifty-seven-year-old work in progress. I’m petulant, I rant, I get scared, I get angry. But eventually life corrects my course through a series of incidents that reminds me how damn lucky I am.

On the morning of November 8th of this year, I awoke to a series of news alerts describing a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks. My hometown. The location of the shooting was a bar that I knew very well, on a night on which I also knew my 22-year-old son frequented. After frantically confirming the well being of both of my children who still live in T.O., I began to unexpectedly sob as I woke my girlfriend to tell her of the news.

And two weeks later, my eyes are still filled with tears as I count my lucky stars that my son wasn’t killed.

A lot of tough stuff has happened to me in my life…things that other people have remarked that they weren’t sure they could have survived.

On this Thanksgiving day, a day that has come to take on a depressingly sad meaning for me in light of my studies of American history, I want to celebrate my life. My extreme gratitude for the things I haven’t lost:

My children

My girlfriend

My mouthy kitten

My health

My family

My friends

Most of all, I’m grateful to be writing this. I’m grateful for another day on Earth where I get to “be.”

Thank you to whatever force/spirit/entity/wavelength that protected my children that night. That has protected me through some rough waters.

Thank you for my life.


Affording the MFA

Full funding, stipends, and healthcare for writers!

reluctantjoy

Achieving Happiness Inspite of Myself

Jonathan latt

All the things you don't care about in one place!

The Unraveling Onion

learning life's lessons with an awkward giggle

L7 Bike Adventures

A couple's traveling adventures by bicycle

LADOT BIKE BLOG

Have fun while traveling, ride a bike!

Fisticuffs and Shenanigans

It was all fun and games, until the fisticuffs and shenanigans... -Deutschmarc

Gino Michael Pellegrini

Education, Race, Mixed Race, and Multiculturalism

giorge thomas

story blogger

BikinginLA

SoCal's leading source for bike news, from around the corner. Or around the world.

Cycling in NY

A blog from an average guy, cycling in NY

Naturally Green Cooking

Green cooking meets natural ingredients with a touch of altitude

The Conejo Valley in the 70's & 80's

Sharing Photos And Stories About The Conejo Valley In The Good Old Days

eryn b good

trying to behave

All Seasons Cyclist

Real World Product Reviews For Avid Cyclists

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

Los Angeles Boudoir Photography

Documenting the human condition with sensuality and complexity