What a difference a year makes...
If anybody had told me that twelve months from then, that I would be at a totally different place, I could not have believed it. And trust me: there were lots of good friends who were doing their best to encourage me then. Telling me "Chris, God hasn't given up on you! The best is yet to come! You will get through this!"
I've never enjoyed telling so many people that I was wrong and they were right, as I have been compelled to do these past few months.
And today, today... well, I can't feel anything but so very thankful for what God has blessed my life with!
So here I am, picking up again what I hope will continue to be an ongoing tradition of this blog.
I am thankful that this past year has been the very first that I have been able to completely enjoy without my bipolar disorder making life a living hell. And I am also thankful that I have been able to write about that on this blog, and apparently it has become a boon for others who must live with this condition. I'm going to begin writing more about Being Bipolar very soon, incidentally. But that I have been able to at last get a grip on my own mind has been an incredible blessing!
I am thankful for having two very wonderful parents, who have been there for me and encouraged me and have been a bigger inspiration for me than I should have been thankful for already.
I am thankful for my sister, who I honestly have not appreciated nearly enough but hope to do better by that.
I am thankful... and extremely thankful at that... for having what honestly must be the most wildly awesome circle of friends that a guy could possibly have in his life. So too many than I could come close to naming them all.
I am thankful for the many new friends that I have made since 2011 began.
I am thankful for Theatre Guild of Rockingham County and the sense of family that I have come to enjoy from working with so many incredibly talented and wonderful people!
I am thankful for new opportunities.
I am thankful for my iPad: truly an indispensable gadget!
I am thankful for ballroom dancing, which I have come to enjoy more than I had expected and I'm looking forward to getting better at it.
I am thankful that I got to read a bunch more books in this past year (including Atlas Shrugged at last).
I am thankful for the music of "Weird Al" Yankovic, which became a huge catalyst for some insanely good things in this past year!
I am thankful that I finally got to see The People vs. George Lucas and that so much of my own movie got to be part of it and is now making people all over the world laugh to our work!
I am thankful for the chances to travel that I have come to have.
I am thankful for the second chances to make right the mistakes of my life.
I am thankful for Kristen, the abundawonderful lady that God has brought into my life. She is not merely my girlfriend. She is... my soulmate, my sister in Christ, the one who I can always count on to make me smile when I need it most, the girl who has made me more happy than I can ever remember being in my entire life. I am truly thankful beyond words for God bringing us together and, well... I'm soooo looking forward to seeing where He takes us from here! :-)
But most of all, I am thankful to God. And I am thankful that He has brought me through the grief and suffering of the past few years and to a place where I am closer to Him than I have ever been able to be before! I am thankful for the faith that I now have in Him: a faith that had been there before but is now stronger, more resilient, more yielding to Him and His will than I have had before in my life. I am thankful that God brought me through the darkness, that He was faithful and true even when I could not feel Him, when I couldn't even believe He was there at all. But He was. He has been with me and He will always be with me and... I thank Him now that if it took the hardship to draw me into this deep a relationship with Him, that I did endure it.
And last but not least, I am very thankful for you, The Knight Shift's readers, who come to this humble lil' blog and (I like to think anyway) enjoy the insights and commentary of its eclectic proprietor. The readership of this site has grown immensely in the past few years and, I count myself as the luckiest guy on the Intertubes that so many good people come to this place on a regular basis. I hope that I'll be able to keep y'all entertained, educated and Lord willing even enlightened a bit for many more years to come :-)