What They're Thankful For and Other Questions

In honor of all things fall - thankfulness, Chinese take-out, maple-scented everything - I’ve asked several friends to share their responses to a few seasonal questions. Enjoy!

what are you grateful for? 

“This morning, I feel grateful for deli bagels and my best friend.” - Erika

“I'm most grateful to be self-employed. Life feels far more under control and peaceful when I can do life at my own pace. I'm no longer constantly running on empty and I'm so grateful for that.” - Haverlee

“Cool crisp nights, flannel sheets, pumpkins, and yellow leaves.” - Mom

“I'm thankful for humans who are not afraid of messiness and for people who use their words as shields and as blankets. I’m thankful for painting and the reminder that comes with it: that things do not have to be perfect to be beautiful.” - Liz

“Des Moines is full of incredible creatives that are in complete control of their futures. Being apart of that community and challenging the status quo over that last year has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.” - Andrew

“I’m very grateful to be alive because at the beginning of 2018, I didn’t think I wanted to be and now I want to be alive for many years to come. {It’s} an emotional change that I’m incredibly grateful for as this year comes to an end.” - Antony

“I’m grateful for young people with grit and perseverance, helping me find the light when the world feels cold and dim.” - Emily

in what ways have you changed since last year?

“This year has been filled with a lot of mountain top moments, but quite a few valleys, as well. I jumped headfirst into my dream of starting my own church; ultimately leaving a safe, steady salary to do something that God put on my heart. {That experience} has definitely been a mountain top moment for me. At the same time, my dad passed away suddenly and not having him around to see my dream come true has been hard. My dad was my biggest fan.” - Brandon

“I've been more deliberate about spending time in mutually beneficial relationships! I've learned to take it (at least a bit) less personally when friendships end or ebb and flow—and have become better at realizing that everyone isn't going to be my BFF...and that's okay.” - Karla

“Everyone says you grow more confident in your 30's and it's so true. I'm learning to be kinder to myself in every way. I'm learning to stop looking to others to define my self-worth, which has taken a lot of intentionality. But at the same time, I've had people I really admire and look up to speak into me and tell me the beauty and talent they see. So I suppose I'm finally allowing myself to believe them.” - Haverlee 

“My job is the same, most of my wardrobe is the same, my boyfriend is the same, my house the same. My life looks so similar to what it was twelve months ago, but the entire landscape of my heart is becoming something new. Even as I type this out, on today -- a hard day -- I’m reminded that I’m changing, that I’m not stuck, and that there’s goodness here and goodness coming.” - Liz

what do you hope to accomplish before the end of 2018?

“I’m currently undertaking my first directing role for a feature documentary, so aside from seeing that complete by the end of the year, I want to keep following that path and see where it leads.” - Andrew

“I want to keep leaning into grace and forgiveness and I want to be more disciplined in writing. I can't quantify all of these accomplishments, but perhaps that's for the better. Perhaps the slow crescendo can be just as impactful as the exclamation point.” - Liz

“Hoping to start a novel that keeps me up past my 10 pm bedtime.” - Erika

describe this season using just three words.   

“Austerity, burnt ochre, implacable.” - Brett

“Chilly, cozy, dusky.” - Liz

Gentle, unfolding, musk.” - Erika

“Bring back summer.” - Haverlee 

As for myself, I’m grateful for my parent’s fireplace on a Sunday afternoon, iced chai with two pumps of pumpkin, and that feeling when I’m driving up to a restaurant and I know that my friends are waiting for me inside. Happy best-time-of-year-that-goes-way-too-fast.