It is two days after Christmas and I am feeling so thankful. Not because I received more presents than per usual, but because I received less in fact. This year was the first where we didn't exchange presents with our aunts, cousins, and grandmother.
Alastair and I had gone over to a friends on Christmas Eve to deliver cookies and a few gifts and to see her newborn baby. It was such a gift to see this new life and hold him in my arms. What was even better was to see the joy in the new mother and how proud she was of this small child that had accomplished nothing but entering into this world. What a gift life is.
We went from there over to my mother's where we enjoyed prime rib, twice baked potatoes, green bean casserole and chocolate cheesecake for dessert. It was such a treat just to sit with them and share a delicious meal. Afterwards we chatted for a bit and then exchanged gifts. I received a wonderful electric blanket and a beautiful gold bracelet from Alastair. And a pair of shears from my mother and a new vacuum for Alastair and I. It was the first year where we didn't write out wish lists and instead just gave each other gifts.
In the past, since I was a child we have always wrote out Christmas lists and hoped that our most desired gift would be given to us, and if it wasn't then we were greatly disappointed. When did giving gifts become a demand in expectation? This year, having no expectation for anything and simply receiving had made me the most grateful. This has helped me to realize that having set expectations and not receiving them is a recipe for depression.
This year I was not able to make it to my grandmother's house on Christmas day because Alastair and I had to catch a ferry. Although I was disappointed that I would not see them, I became thankful that I did get to spend so much time with Alastair's family and play with his nephews. This is not something I expected but instead was purely open to. It's amazing how the absence of material gifts and expectations can really free you.
I have not been this at peace or joyful about life in a long time. And this time it is coming from inside of me rather than an outside source. I am learning to expect less and less and instead give more of myself to create my own happiness.
On a side note, I have had a few people ask me what I am going to school for and when I say Cosmetology there seems to be this loss for words as I feel that they look at that education as not something to be held in good standards. I understand that society views being a doctor and being a hairdresser on two totally different levels. And I can see those things as well. However, my degree or career does not determine the kind of person I am. I could have a doctorate and be an asshole.
I feel as though I have found my niche. I love art and I love sharing it with people and this has become the perfect avenue for me. And I feel personally, if you are loving what you do, you will be successful. I understand I may not be "rich" one day. But I want to succeed at this art and make people happy through it.
It is such a good feeling to use your own skills to make someone feel good about themselves.
I am in love with life and am not going to take it for granted.
Much love and Peace to you all,