Monday, December 21, 2015

Year End Reasons to Be Grateful

Reasons to Be Grateful at the End of the Year

It's that time of year again--the holidays are upon us.... I find the holidays quite depressing, to tell you the  truth. They tend to bring back memories and remind me how things used to be, in another space, and time. As they flash in my mind's eyes, I catch glimpses of my granny cooking in the kitchen; Mom cleaning up the house (always and often, too); Dad bringing in the groceries; my grandpa pretending that he needs my help to put up the tree. And that's only part of it....

Time passes us by. There's no turning back, at least not until we figure out a way to travel back and forth in time, that is. But for now, time flows in only one direction. Things that used to be are no more or not quite what they used to be. I guess that's life. I'm not whining, just...contemplating. As we progress through life, things do change, and we move forward, too. But we don't forget. There are still plenty of reasons (new, and also old ones) to be thankful for. Some of them are different from what they used to be, and I guess that's just how it should be, and so...I'm glad that I still have plenty to be grateful for, and many people to thank for that.

Journeys Through Darkness
So, I've decided to mention a few reasons for being grateful and thankful this year. Here they are, in no particular order:

First and foremost, and always, I'm thankful and grateful for my wonderful family. I cannot say enough about my family. Supportive, loving, and mostly patient, they've been guiding me throughout the years. I owe them everything that I am.

My friends. You know who you are. You've seen me through my ups and downs, and you're still here. Thank you!

Special thanks to my friends who are also my fabulous models, 'vampires,' and my angels, too (I have a few :-)).

Over the years I've had the fortune to work with so many wonderful people, and I've learned a lot from them. Many thanks to you all! In particular, special thanks to my editors, especially a very special editor I've looked up to for over a decade and counting. You, Mr. C., are an inspiration!

My mentors. You know who you writing, photography, and also in the activism world.

Also other good people I've met along the way.

And not to get back and thank my family twice, but thinking about it, I have to thank my mom. Again. She might not be completely aware of, although I've made it quite clear, that she's the reason why today I'm doing what I love. Her reasons for taking me to the AIDS conference, so many years ago, were quite different (the idea behind the invite was for me to go to medical school). But I'm glad things turned out the way they did.

So, maybe the lesson here is that, no matter how things change over the years, it's important to find your bliss and hold on to it. Find your passion and your inner peace.

I wish you all Happy Holidays! And a Happy New Year, too.

Alina Oswald

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