Being thankful for these beings: Jacqueline Jones

This has been a crazy year for me, and I simply feel like I need to be thankful for all the wonderful humans in my life. So I’m going to write some blogs about people who I am thankful for who mean a lot to me. These people have helped shape who I am, and for that I am grateful. Since I am not going to be seeing a lot of these people over Thanksgiving, I wanted to do something else. And I chose to make this as a blog so all these people’s future employers can read about how amazing these people are. SEO people. (But seriously if you’re considering hiring them, they’re amazing.)

It is hard sometimes to tell people how much they mean to you, but that has never been something that me and Jacqueline Jones have struggled with. Since getting paired as random roommates freshman year of college at Mizzou to now, we’ve always felt that we were soul sisters and voiced our appreciation for each other.

Jacqueline and I in New Orleans in March.

Jacqueline and Mollie at their hostel in New Orleans in March 2015.

This year, I have relied so much on this woman to help lift me up or simply join me in the trenches. We’ve laughed together, cried together, laugh cried and any other combination of hysterical laughing or crying that you can imagine. Even now that we aren’t living in the same city, I still know this girl will always answer the phone if I need her, no matter if we’ve already spoken on the phone three times that day.

A night better than most. New Orleans March 2015.

A night better than most. New Orleans March 2015.

On nights when I have felt so alone, this girl has always reminded me that I am not and I am so thankful for every shambly moment we have had this year. From driving through the night to get to New Orleans, to buying underwear at the dollar store to wear to a public pool party, no matter how far off track we have felt this year, we have made some amazing memories and had some great laughs. Even if we feel that we don’t have anything in our lives together this year, I will always cherish all of our memories (the ones that made the list and those that didn’t). I am glad to have a friend who pushes me to always have fun, always speak my mind and my feelings and always be myself.

“She was never crazy. She just didn’t let her heart settle in a cage. She was born wild, and sometimes we need people like her. For it’s the horrors in her heart which cause the flames in ours. And she was always willing to burn for everything she has every loved.”

—R.M. Drake

I am so thankful to have a friend like Jacqueline that lives with such intensity. She is one of the most fearless people I know, who despite some pitfalls can recognize the importance of leading a passionate life. Even on the hardest days, I am grateful to know that every emotion—fear, sadness, anger, betrayal—is just an adjective and that I have the power to change and shift which adjectives I am going to be passionate about and embody.

Today, that adjective just so happens to be thankful.

Jacqueline kissing my cheek under the lovely glow at Mike Talayna's in June.

Jacqueline kissing Mollie’s cheek under the lovely glow at Mike Talayna’s in June 2015 while sippin’ on the finest PBRs.

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Being thankful for these beings: Anne Dupuis

This has been a crazy year for me, and I simply feel like I need to be thankful for all the wonderful humans in my life. So I’m going to write some blogs about people who I am thankful for who mean a lot to me. These people have helped shape who I am, and for that I am grateful. Since I am not going to be seeing a lot of these people over Thanksgiving, I wanted to do something else. And I chose to make this as a blog so all these people’s future employers can read about how amazing these people are. SEO people. (But seriously if you’re considering hiring them, they’re amazing.)

First on the list is Anne Dupuis, my mom’s cousin’s daughter. So a cousin. Or something.

Anne and I at her house in Los Angeles in June.

Anne and I at her house in Los Angeles in June.

For a while this woman was just someone who had this really awesome wedding when I was younger. Like really, really cool where I got to dress up in costumes and tell some ghost stories and lock my older brother and cousin in a creepy basement. Yes, we got into some trouble for this, but still.. pretty awesome.

This year though, I got the opportunity to go to Los Angeles for a conference for Fangirl, and Anne so graciously let me and my coworker Sean stay with her on her couches. While I was there, Anne gave me some really great advice about personal work and how important it is to really understand your own struggles in order to be able to deal with them.

This month, I am grateful for strong independent woman who never shrink themselves for people who refuse to grow. Anne is one such woman who inspires me daily to recognize that most of the time, the way people treat me is just a reflection of their relationship with themself and not a reflection of my worth as a person. If someone treats you like shit, it’s probably because they treat themselves like shit and need to do some personal work to figure that out.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

—Eleanor Roosevelt

Anne taught me about self reflection and recognizing, accepting and working on my own demons and for that I am forever grateful.

She also let me borrow her flip flops to shower in when I had athlete’s foot, which is pretty dang nice, too.

Thank you Anne.

Looking at goals in a new light

“People on this road see life as a process of commitment making. Character is defined by how deeply rooted you are. Have you developed deep connections that hold you up in times of challenge and push you toward the good? In the realm of the intellect, a person of character has achieved a settled philosophy about fundamental things. In the realm of emotion, she is embedded in a web of unconditional loves. In the realm of action, she is committed to tasks that can’t be completed in a single lifetime.”

Lately, I’ve been forced to take a look at a lot of things. As I near graduation, I have been thinking a lot about what my goals are. This article by the New York Times gave me a whole new outlook on that process.

It’s always good to read an article that really challenges you to take a hard look at how you’re going about things, and I think that this article does just that.

I’ll quit talking about it though. Just go read it.

“Commencement speakers are always telling young people to follow their passions. Be true to yourself. This is a vision of life that begins with self and ends with self. But people on the road to inner light do not find their vocations by asking, what do I want from life? They ask, what is life asking of me? How can I match my intrinsic talent with one of the world’s deep needs?

Their lives often follow a pattern of defeat, recognition, redemption. They have moments of pain and suffering. But they turn those moments into occasions of radical self-understanding — by keeping a journal or making art. As Paul Tillich put it, suffering introduces you to yourself and reminds you that you are not the person you thought you were.

The people on this road see the moments of suffering as pieces of a larger narrative. They are not really living for happiness, as it is conventionally defined. They see life as a moral drama and feel fulfilled only when they are enmeshed in a struggle on behalf of some ideal.”