I Am Thankful…

I woke up this morning enjoying some level of peace. It’s curious…

I’m not sure how long it been since I honestly felt that going forward, everything might be alright. These last 3 years have felt like an incredibly difficult 10 years. For most of it I’ve felt like I couldn’t breath. That no amount of effort could put me back on level ground.

I don’t feel like that now.

What I feel now is contemplation, and love, and thanks.

I am thankful.

I’m thankful for (cat sympathizers) Sam and Rebecca, who not only made it possible for me go to school, but also quietly and repeatedly made me realize I was capable of doing so, despite massive self doubt, and without ever once using the words “mid life crisis”.

I’m thankful for my dad, Julian, who taught me to swing a hammer, run a bead of caulk, back up a trailer, build an oven out of an old gas tank, cook a pig in it, and be a man in general.

I’m thankful for my mom, May, who taught me to “Hey, wipe down the sink when you’re done with it”, and to quietly show love, strength, and guidance at the same time.

I’m thankful for my brother, Kevin, who’s always been there when I’ve been really up against it and can’t really talk to anyone else about it.

I’m thankful for my other brother and sister in law Darryl & Veronica, parents of five, who both suit up and faces long hours and hard work every day and still find a way to be engaged parents. I’m thankful that heart attack didn’t win.

I’m thankful for my Auntie Lani, who once she figures out it’s not a Mormon knocking on her door will have me up for an hour and listen to me, joke with me, and catch me up on where everyone is at.

I’m thankful for my nephew Jonavin, who’s still figuring shit out (we all are), but has now climbed enough peaks in his life to know there’s always more to come, but doesn’t seem phased by it at all.

I’m thankful that Daryl-Lynn is back from Japan, and I’ll probably get to (finally) see her today and get some sort of idea of where she’s at.

I’m thankful for Norman, always having me over and always making my feel like a guest, and a regular type guy, even though I don’t like football, and yes I’ll be over for a late dinner.

I’m thankful for Jasmine and her family. Jasmine, I’m perpetually impressed by you and proud of you, but I won’t tell you that too often, because when I say it I need you to know that I mean it.

I’m thankful that Aaron and Rusty are both business owners, and laugh a bit at the idea of that. Nobody could have called that one on any of a dozen dozen nights of tomfoolery that started at the old Tacoma Underground and ended up god knows where, consequences be damned.

I’m thankful that Ron found Renee & Renee found Ron. Though I miss you both dearly I’m thankful that you’ve found peace and a place to watch the sunset together in Arizona. God knows Arizona -and the world in general- needs more people like you. We’ll talk soon.

I’m thankful that my friend Veronica is out in DC facing problem after problem but none the less right were she needs to be in life and moving forward. Shit gets easier. I promise.

I’m thankful that Scot calls me up about once a day to drive home just what a middle class sell out he’s become, and I’m thankful for all the adventures we had Once Upon a Time In America. (My God we were assholes…)

I’m thankful that Char had the courage to go for it in LA right out of high-school, and stuck it out, and is embarking on a new chapter in her life soon. She’s up for it.

I’m thankful for my cousin Ai Tee and the rare times where the stars line up to the point where we can chat for an hour or three about the same old shit, but also everything else. I’m thankful for that picture of two hearts holding hands that Hailey gave me. It’s on my whiteboard, covering up a couple of problems that I’d written down…but now that I think about it were never that big a deal to begin with.

Even though I don’t stop by as much as I should I’m thankful that Eric  and his wife Jenny are just up the street with Izac and Emma-lee.

I’m thankful that my niece Emma-lee (finally) has a class taught by my friend Carol. “She’s in my class and she’s wonderful.” Yes. Yes she is. There is a long and interesting road ahead of her soon. Please teach her about semi-colons.

I’m thankful that there are so many important people in my life that I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot of them in this…

I’m thankful that Natasha one day talked me into attending that writing group in Seattle at a time when I felt alienated from everything and everyone, and that now I a few more interesting friends and a broader perspective.

I’m thankful for my sister Audrey and Billy and their two (and a half!) children, and that even though we are physically thousands of miles apart, technology keeps up close. I will visit, I promise. Just a couple more things to do…

I’m thankful that I stopped randomly yesterday for a cigarette after work and happened to be in front of the old Tacoma Comedy Underground and took a picture and posted it. It helped me to remember who and how we were…and brightened a few folks day. I hadn’t taken the time to think about back in the day, and the family we forged there, in quite a while.

Yes, it’s sad that it’s not like it was, but there’s beauty in change, even painful change. That building has the same foundation, the same structure, but different contents and a different purpose now. Just like we do.

I’m thankful that we had countless adventures and friendships that started there. I’m thankful that we are now all old enough to be cynical about the new generation of comics. But hey, they ain’t so bad…they’re tough kids who came from strange circumstances and are coming up up in a strange time and are trying to deal with it the best they can.

Just like we were.

Just like we are.

Try and remember that they are growing too, and that you can’t help something grow by violently hacking away at it. (Even if it says something really stupid.)

I’m thankful for the people and experiences I’ve know so far, and for everything yet to come, including the pain and the challenges.

I’m thankful to be able to take the time today to sit with family and friends eat and reflect on who we were, who we are, and who we will be.

Much Love, [redacted] Donald Trump, & Happy Thanksgiving!

Author: Jeremy Whitman

A former standup comedian trying to find the best way to communicate now.

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