Thankful

• for God. Despite the fact that the world’s people can’t seem to get along, and churches that seek to divide and preach a gospel of hate, and church people who speak out of both sides of their mouths, despite everything that seems to be wrong with US, that God is still God, and he loves each of us as if we were the only person he ever created.

• for Michelle, because she is the most amazing person I know. She is everything I have ever wanted in a soul-mate, and she has shown me far more grace and forgiveness than I have ever deserved. She is beautiful and funny and caring and she’s my best friend. I cannot imagine going through this life without her.

• for Sebastian. I feel blessed to have been given such a sweet, healthy, picture-perfect baby. We’ve faced our share of challenges that have made for some very difficult times, but we’re a family, and a damn fine one at that. He is growing so fast, learning all the time, becoming so interested in everything he sees, hears, smells, and tastes. I get so excited just thinking about getting to spend my life with him.

• for our home. It’s kinda small, it’s messy, it needs a few more rooms, and we have noisy neighbors. But we’re not renting, we own it. Our mortgage is fixed and affordable, so we didn’t get messed up in the mortgage crisis. We have great hardwood floors, it’s a nice small 30-unit community, and it has a good deal of charm, I think. It keeps us warm and safe, and it’s our companion. We will hopefully get back into a house one day, but for now, it’s our home, and I am very thankful to have it.

• for getting to work from home. I wasn’t crazy about the circumstances and timing surrounding my layoff, and I can’t say there’s not still some hurt feelings surrounding it. And the transition to working full time for myself has been more difficult than I had thought it would be (granted, the timing of coming home coincided perfectly with the U.S. economy swimming with the fishes). Not to mention my concentration levels and creativity are still pretty shot after the having-your-first-baby-sleep-deprivation has taken its toll. But all things considered, I think that this is something that I will come to adore, and overall, I definitely enjoy the freedom of not having to ask off, not having to ask if I can take a vacation, basically not having to answer to anyone except my clients. And that too, they are MY clients. I do the work, they pay me the money. No boss to get in the way. And there’s a certain power that I appreciate in the fact that although if I work less, I get paid less, on the flip side, if I work more, I get paid more, and that’s something that doesn’t happen when you have a “real job.”

• for my family and friends. It takes a village to raise a baby. We’ve had an amazing influx of support from our family and our friends, and they have helped make a very difficult time in our lives that much better. That’s one thing that I am extremely thankful for this year, is that we feel very loved by quite a few people, and while that doesn’t erase debt or feed the baby or clean the house or do the work for us, it does wrap it’s big, warm arms around us and strengthens us so that we can fight another day. Thank you everyone for showing us so much support. I’m not always very good at responding in a timely manner (or at all, which is awful) but believe me, you are very much appreciated and loved.

• for getting to make art for a living. Both in graphic design and painting, I have been extremely fortunate to have been able to do this and have people respond positively to me. My paintings have really taken off in the past couple years, and I have fantastic gallery owners that have treated both me and Michelle very, very well.

• for the internet. Might seem odd to be thankful for this, but if not for this amazing invention, I would not be in touch with most of the people I know, I would not be able to work from home, I wouldn’t have been able to sell half the paintings I’ve sold, I would have no idea what was going on around the world, and this blog wouldn’t exist. The landscape of society has evolved so much in the last ten years, I can’t imaging what will happen in the next ten.

• for living in a country that will elect a president who is not white. Regardless of what you think of Obama’s politics, isn’t it something that this finally happened? I realize that it’s pure stupidity to think that if someone didn’t vote Obama, then they must be a racist. I don’t think that for a second. But the fact that our 44th president will NOT be an old white guy is something that just excites me, because that fact alone will empower minorities in this country in a way that we all so desperately need.

• for even having anybody still read this blog. When I started it back in December, my goal was to create an illustration of the emotions of a dad experiencing the coming birth of his son. I wanted this to exist 6 months before and 6 months after his birth, and primarily as something that, years down the road, Sebastian could look back on and read and possibly even delight in seeing the inside scoop on what life was like before he even got here. I think I did a fairly good job at that before he was born. Since his birth, it has been increasingly difficult for two reasons. The first of which has simply been time. It’s been hard to sneak away to write, and when I am able to, it’s hard to figure out what to say. And the second reason is that I didn’t anticipate how MUCH emotion there has been, both on the upside and on the downside, and that has scared me and made me a little gun-shy with sharing it all with the world. I don’t like that I have felt that way, i want to be an open book, that’s why I started this blog in the first place. I love seeing writers open up and just put it all out there, the good, the bad, the insane. I hope that I can get back to that place where I can freely share what I am really going through. And I’m also aware that maybe I’m being too hard on myself, because honestly I think that if I had been getting better sleep and had more time to think about all this, the thoughts and feelings would likely flow more freely.

I thank you for reading all this, for checking in as my updates seem to get few and far between. Sometimes I fear that I make it too much about art on this blog, but then I remind myself that it’s just part of who I am right now, and again, I want Sebo to look back on these entries one day and feel like he knows his daddy in a way that most children don’t. 

  • Kevin Rogers said:

    BRAVO!! This post brings tears to my eyes for soooo many reason most of all the happiness I feel from reading your words and feeling the warmth of their sentiment.

  • mk burt said:

    What true sincerety & humbleness.

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