I’d like to take a moment to give thanks for all the great things in my life over the past year. Things have rarely been easy, but it is undeniable that I have been blessed with so many wonderful people, places, and opportunities.
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I’m thankful for my family:
for my father, who challenges me and supports me, and puts me and my sisters first;
for my mother, who laughs with me and talks with me, and always makes me feel loved;
for Anna, so bright and brave, never backing down from helping others in their fight;
for Clara, so smart and full of heart, willing to stand up alone for what is right.
for Grandma Selbrede and Grandpa Wil, who loved me until their last breaths;
and for Grandmom and Daddad, who continue to sacrifice for us and each other even as things get worse.
I’m thankful, too, for the Aunts and Uncles and cousins related by blood or bond, who stand by me and my family, on and on.
I’m thankful for my faith:
for a God of mystery and mercy far beyond human suffering and hate.
I’m thankful for my friends:
for Zoe, my partner-in-crime, who’s travelled with me to strange worlds and helped me find my way home,
for Annie, my rock, who followed me, supported me, and had faith in me even once I lost faith in myself,
for Lexxi, my support system, who fought for me and with me and made me laugh and was always there,
for Erin and Lauren, who stood by me when I felt so alone,
for Jordan, my Crosser, who laughed and grew with me from Middle School to that impossible Summer filming two,
for Emily, who danced with me and comforted me as I faced a program that drove me to tears,
for Eric, my brother, who would drop everything to help me code, or write, or make something beautiful,
for Cristin, my co-conspirator, who took care of me in Orlando and in Maryland as we did the impossible,
for Nithya, my hero, who related to me and helped me save the world even when Spider-Gwen drove us insane,
for Catherine, my co-critic, who relates with me and explores the same fictional worlds with humor and passion
for Angela, long a friend but only recently my companion in coding and gaming,
for Emily F and Laurie, who laughed with me on B Days in the middle of the hall,
for Cassie and Sonia, my co-workers and friends, who worked so hard to build something so beautiful,
for Trevor in hockey, and Henry in Talon Tones, who supported me in environments where I didn’t quite belong.
and for those I have only just befriended:
for Adam, my #1, who’s pushed me and stood by me longer than I’ve been a Bobcat, a linemate and classmate and a master of nicknames who tried and failed to save me from my moldy water bottle,
for Liam, my confidante, who’s given me advice and eaten countless meals with me ever since we met at the water fountain,
for Alex, who got lost in the woods with me at my grumpiest and still befriended me as the school year begun,
for Seren, an awesome dude who still considers me a friend and makes time for me as I drop off the map for weeks at a time,
for Collin, Andrew, and Tim, fellow BRFC-ers who’ve hung out with me and guided me,
and for Ben, who helps me figure out what’s happening in not one but two classes.
For all those I sheepishly forgot or did not include who’ve considered me their friend.
I’m thankful for my blessings:
for the privilege and responsibility of being born into opportunity,
for the asset of an able body and an imaginative mind,
and for the wonderful education I’ve endured from St. Philomena’s, to Aquinas, to Folly Quarter, to River Hill and Bates.
I’m thankful for the teams which have accepted me despite my failings:
for Bates Rugby Football Club and Bates Mens Hockey,
who’ve given me support and structure and strength as I’ve begun college.
I’m thankful for the works of fiction which entertain and inspire me:
for the Legends, and Ant-Men, and the Wicked and the Divine,
the Doctors, the heroes, the warriors, and all the creators who gifted me these worlds and made them mine.
I’m thankful for those who’ve supported me all throughout my life:
for Ms. LaiYin and Ms. Rose, who were family when my family needed it,
for Madame Walk, who was kind to me and had so much more faith in me than I deserved,
for Mrs. Schultz, who believed in my writing and threw snowballs at me when I didn’t,
for Mrs. Mitchell, who took multiple risks on me and gave me the best Senior Year I could’ve had,
for Mrs. Casper, who made me laugh and supported me for most of my high school career,
for Mrs. Mariano, who began and ended my high school career with creativity and care,
for Mrs. Topus, who engaged with me and made me smile whenever I saw her,
for the River Hill English Department, who helped me out time and time again,
and for Mrs. Morgan, the teacher who changed the course of my education and believed in me and my writing despite our rough start.
For all those who’ve read and enjoyed my books,
or watched and enjoyed my webseries,
or even just tolerated them.
I am thankful for all of this, and more.
This feature replaces the Thursday content which would’ve aired next week.