We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving where I live. But as things wind down in these final months, I take as many opportunities as I can to think about the things I’m thankful for.
It’s been a strange couple of years. I’ve lost loved ones, picked up new sports injuries, had to give up things that meant the world to me. My mental health has been not amazing. And my dad’s health is, well, not what it used to be.
But for all the bad stuff, there’s been a heap of good stuff—big and small—balancing the scales. Strange as it sounds, sometimes the bad helped me see and appreciate the good. Sometimes, the bad forced me to make good.
Today, I’m thinking about how important it is to have kind, patient and supportive people in our lives. The kinds of people who, even just watching them from a distance, seeing how they operate, can inspire us. Good people give us the courage to say goodbye to old acquaintances, old habits, old patterns of thinking that hold us back, make us bitter.
And it’s so easy to become bitter. Especially when the bad stuff plays on repeat. Like if our jobs suck, or so-called besties betray us, or the people we care about take us for granted. If it goes on long enough, we come to wear our bitterness like armour.
Spoiler alert: it’s not very good armour. It doesn’t keep the badness out completely, and it prevents a lot of good from getting through.
I’m thankful for the good people in my life today. People whose goodness got through and gave me the confidence to shed that hard outer layer. I’ve been fortunate enough to make some great friends, online and off. Their compassion and encouragement pulled me out of many rotten places.
Sometimes we’re lucky enough to stumble upon people like that. Sometimes they even find us. The rest of the time, it comes down to choices. Who in our lives are we choosing to be friends with? Are they the kind of friend who love us enough to want to see us love ourselves? Do they support us, help us, care for us? Are they the kind of friend we’re thankful for?
And, most importantly… can we be that kind of friend back to them?
Well, then. It’s still six weeks to the end of 2019, but I think I’ve just chosen my new year’s resolution.
On the friendships in It Starts With A Kiss
When I started drafting It Starts With A Kiss, I wanted to capture friendship alongside the romance. Not just the friendship between the couple, but the love and support between everyone on Halcyon Aries. Celeste would have never found it in herself to do what she did, if not for the contribution of everyone in the team (yes, even Eleanor). It’s the friends we keep who influence us to be who we are, whether we’re here on Earth or out in space.
This post was originally published on LoveRomanceReads.com.