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12 Things I’m Thankful For December 25, 2007

Posted by Teen Atheist in family, friends, issues.
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So, it’s Christmas, and despite all the shit I’ve been put through recently, I still think that it’s a time to be happy and to reflect on the things that made 2007 a spectacular year for me. I figured that 12 was a Christmassy enough number, so here are the top 12 things I’m thankful for this year:

 

12. My 18th birthday celebration (best birthday ever)
It was the first birthday I got to spend with just me and my friends, because in previous years I’d tried to ask but would invariably have my father try to guilt-trip me, all “she doesn’t want to spend it with us.” This year, I guess I’d finally earned it. I had an amazing time, being with people I loved who treated me like a queen. I was smiling the whole time.

 

11. Scrubs
For a sitcom, this one sure makes me cry an awful lot (damn you, John C. McGinley and your out-of-this-world acting skills!). I’m especially thankful for this line by Dr. Kelso:

“Nothing in this world that is worth having comes easy.”

It’s become my personal motto, and it’s helped me through a lot of the challenges I’ve faced this year.

 

10. Clothes shopping and spa trips
Shallow as it may sound, shopping and getting my hands and feet pampered never fails to brighten my day no matter how down in the dumps I’m feeling. They’re my favorite vices.

 

9. Fred
I still refuse to apologize for standing up for gay people, but it’s not like Fred was a horrible friend otherwise. I do owe him for being one of the few friends who could truly empathize with me and be there for me whenever I was in a bad place emotionally. We’re still on bad terms with each other (and I still think he’s a little off his rocker), but I am still thankful for what he’s done for me over the years.

 

8. The LGBT Pride March
Special thanks to everyone who encouraged me and gave me the testicular fortitude to go through with it. Through the march, I met a lot of amazing LGBT people, like Justin and Emmett, who truly inspire me. I felt so proud of myself for standing up for others’ rights, and I would gladly do it again next year. In fact, I’ve already signed up for a couple of local gay-straight alliances, and I plan to be an even louder voice in support of LGBT rights in college.

 

7. Greg Berlanti
This TV wunderkind, the creator of Everwood, Brothers & Sisters, Dirty Sexy Money and Eli Stone, is exactly the kind of person I aspire to be like when I’m older. It’s my personal ambition to become a television screenwriter (and clearly, I’m siding with the WGA on the writer’s strike), and if I ever achieve the dream of creating my own drama series, I hope mine could be as significant as his shows, which are not only well-written and entertaining, but are a huge step forward in terms of LGBT visibility on television.

 

6. Halloween Party 2007
It was a huge step forward for me in becoming an out-and-proud atheist, and I’m thankful for having such open-minded and accepting friends like Darren, Haley and Steve. This experience gave me the courage to come out to Martha, as well as the new friends I’ve made this year. I learned that I don’t have to be afraid, because not everybody is a narrow-minded bigot, and there are people out there who aren’t quick to judge.

 

5. Chris Jericho, Jeff Hardy and CM Punk
I was a huge wrestling fan back in 2004, but the shitty storylines (Hi, Vince McMahon!) caused me to eventually fall out of love with it shortly after. The return of my two favorites, snarky, witty Chris Jericho and fearless, gravity-defying Jeff Hardy (and yeah, he’s so cute) prompted me to give sports-entertainment a second chance, and it’s provided me a sweet escape from the frustrations of everyday life. (Okay, okay, I sometimes like to picture certain people getting pummeled by these ass-kickers.) CM Punk, thank you for being both one of the biggest stars of ECW and openly atheist. It’s cool to have someone out there to prove to wrestling fans that not all atheists are evil, beer-swilling, baby-eating monsters. You rock.

 

4. My family
For still paying for my stuff and all that. I’m still angry, but I understand what I owe.

 

3. My beliefs
Words can’t express how glad I am to have discovered atheism this year. I feel so enlightened, and everything’s just a little bit clearer now. It’s also helped me realize that everything I do and everything I become is all up to me. I’m also glad to have reached out to the online community, who have not only helped me in further understanding my atheism (though you don’t have to be so elitist about it — just because I didn’t know who Richard Dawkins was doesn’t make me any less of an atheist :P), but have also given me tons of useful advice for my personal life and my relationship with my family. Even though you don’t know me, I’m happy that you care.

 

2. My ambition
There have been times (usually after big fights with my parents) when I’ve wanted to off myself just so I could save them the damn college tuition money that they won’t shut the fuck up about, but I know I’ll never go through with it because I have big dreams that I want to stick around to accomplish. And if all goes well, I will have achieved the following feats: get a job and move out within the next year; graduate with a degree in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch; write an article for Rolling Stone magazine (yes, I realize it’s gotten a little starfuckery these days, but I still think it rocks); create my own drama series for the ABC network; settle down in a nice loft in Greenwich Village. A girl can dream!

 

1. My friends
If there’s anything that’s gotten me through this year in one piece, standing tall and still smiling, it’s the support I’ve gotten from my friends. The ones I just met this year through parties and events, my high school clique, and my grade school friends — everyone’s invaluable to me. People like Tyler who made me realize that I’m not the crazy one in this family. People like Camille, who let me know I’m loved, even on those days when my home doesn’t feel like home (read: everyday). People like Alice, the devout Catholic, who give me hope in the possibility of theists and nontheists getting along wonderfully. Not only do they let me know that I’m worth something, but they make me feel like I’m invaluable. And I couldn’t thank them enough for that.

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Comments»

1. the Shaggy - December 25, 2007

Oh shush about Jeff Hardy and the “Oh he’s so cute!” thing… pfft. He put out an album of hideous music while he was all addicted to drugs and slacking off everywhere else. Woo talent ;-P I had Mattitude long before anyone else did! And despite kicking all sorts of ass, they just never gave the poor boy a legit shot to shine.

But it’s sad that even Chris Jericho wasn’t able to bring me back to wrestling. I have my Ric Flair dvd set and will check out older/foreign stuff when I can, but overall the WWE product just makes me really annoyed – and I don’t think that either Guerrero-death fallout or Benoit’s post-humous self-humiliation helped. TNA doesn’t even have an impact on me (ha, an impact, get it? :-P)

Merry Chistmas, fellow atheist; I have no qualms wishing people such – my non-believing family has always celebrated it with food and fun, so I want all folks to have something similar. I hope that whatever you end up doing is excellent and mirth-filled (and a happy belated birthday, whenever it was!), regardless of who you spend it with.

2. Teen Atheist - December 25, 2007

What, he’s still kind of adorable under all that paint. And he seems pretty sober now, so I’m psyched for him. Love his wrestling style, too, of course — the Jeff Hardy vs. Undertaker ladder match is one of my favorites.

Besides, I’m a teenaged girl! What did you expect? 😉

3. Roe - December 25, 2007

“4. My family
For still paying for my stuff and all that. I’m still angry, but I understand what I owe.”

YOU OWE NOTHING. The act of having children is a selfish action through and through. They OWE YOU a happy and safe childhood, not the other way around. If they pay for something they are fulfilling what they see as a duty to the child they chose to have. Don’t you dare buy into the bullshit of your mother calling you ungrateful.

I am 25 married and my wife and I will probably have kids in 5-8 years. We look at this as a selfish action and as a result we are preparing now to provide as best as we possibly can for them. We are not having kids so they will be carbon copies of ourselves and we are not ever going to hold our money or our choices over their head.

Remember they owe you, not the other way around.

4. Teen Atheist - December 25, 2007

Thanks, Roe. It helps to know that. I’m glad that someone’s learning from this, and I’m sure you’ll have great kids who will love you for not being complete, self-absorbed assholes to them.

Adopt me? 😀

5. jgrab1 - December 25, 2007

Hey, TA, check this out:

6. Karen - December 28, 2007

TA, I love your list. I read it and see a strong woman embracing life, knowing that the glass really is half-full, even though there are days (weeks? months?) when it seems 7/8 empty. You go, girl!

7. jgrab1 - December 30, 2007

Hey TA, I have an idea, seriously. Why don’t you consider writing a book? The “hook” would be that at 17 you became an atheist, and you’d lay out your reasons why. No, this wouldn’t be a book about how terrible your mother is, though that would have to factor in of course. It’d be more about what drove a 17-year-old to such a solid, lucid conclusion, so it would have to be tight and well-argued, but I’m sure you are up to it! Would be very interesting and could be a best-seller if you could interest someone in it. That would be hard, but you’d have your age going for you–how many determined, analytical 17-year-old atheists are there? Anyway, just a thought. Would like to know your opinion.

8. Teen Atheist - January 4, 2008

Heh, I don’t think I’m capable of writing a whole book on it, and I’d probably be considered an insult to the “smart”/”militant” atheists out there, considering how little I actually know about the tenets of atheism. I would love to do interviews or contribute to the writings of other, more well-known atheists, though.

9. John - January 5, 2008

> Heh, I don’t think I’m capable of writing a whole book on it

Don’t sell yourself short. You’re a good writer.

10. Teen Atheist - January 5, 2008

It’s not so much a matter of talent but of material. To fill up a whole novel would be to stretch out a lot of my experiences, possibly exaggerate, and people would eventually catch on to the fact that I’m just a self-centered, whiny teenager who’s making mountains out of molehills. Really, if I were to write about what you said I should write about, I’d fill about ten pages at the most.

Good writers should know their limits.

11. jgrab1 - January 6, 2008

> people would eventually catch on to the fact that
> I’m just a self-centered, whiny teenager

Haven’t you caught on yet to the fact that that *sells*! In other words, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

Seriously, though, I think the perspective is that you, a 17-year-old, made this big decision so early in your life, for reasons not having to do with sheer rebellion. Now, you’ve filled many screens on your blog here with material about this decision and how it affected you. You could fill a book.

However, you *would* have to lose your anonymity, at least in some circles.

12. Teen Atheist - January 6, 2008

Haven’t you caught on yet to the fact that that *sells*!

No, no it doesn’t. People look for interesting stories, not oversized egos. My story isn’t that interesting, frankly; I’m just able to make it appear that way.

Seriously, though, I think the perspective is that you, a 17-year-old, made this big decision so early in your life, for reasons not having to do with sheer rebellion.

The truth is, teenage atheists aren’t all that rare, so I don’t think it’d be a huge selling point.

However, you *would* have to lose your anonymity, at least in some circles.

I think I’d rather keep my website and hold on to my anonymity.

I appreciate your vote of confidence, but it’s not really something I’d have my heart in. There are other things I would rather write (a dramatic television series, for example).

13. jgrab1 - January 6, 2008

> There are other things I would rather write
> (a dramatic television series, for example).

Okay, here’s one: it takes place in [country censored]. Fade in on our heroine, who’s a teenaged atheist. She looked up at God:

TA: Why have you fucking waitlisted me?!?!?!?

…And it goes on from there.

Sorry to hear about your situation. What does one do now? I’ve never been in a spot like that.

Maybe you do need to come to America.

John

14. Teen Atheist - January 6, 2008

Yeah, I’ve always hated authors who write self-inserts.

Sorry to hear about your situation. What does one do now? I’ve never been in a spot like that.

I listed three options in my blog entry. Probably one of those, and I am looking into American colleges (preferably in New York).

15. jgrab1 - January 6, 2008

You must hate Woody Allen then. 😉

New York is a blast. Hope you like an insanely-fastpaced lifestyle.

I’ll take the laid-back west coast any day. 🙂

16. Teen Atheist - January 6, 2008

New York is a blast. Hope you like an insanely-fastpaced lifestyle.

Yeah, I think it’s pretty.

You must hate Woody Allen then.

I never understood how someone who looked like that could land women (in fictional movie-verse) like Diane Keaton, Mira Sorvino or Tea Leoni. Though there were probably one or two films of his that I enjoyed.

17. jgrab1 - January 6, 2008

I never understood how someone who looked like that could land women

Two words for ya: Dennis Kucinich. 🙂

Google him if he’s not well-known over there. That tall leggy redhead who’s the Julianne Moore look-alike is his wife.

18. Teen Atheist - January 6, 2008

Yeah, I’ve heard of Dennis Kucinich. I took some political test that said he’s my ideal candidate. (Though I’d still probably vote for Obama.)

I think smart and witty guys are an exception to the rule (hell, I’d do Bill Maher), real-life Woody Allen included, but the dumb-schmuck characters Allen plays? Nah.

19. jgrab1 - January 6, 2008

Well, the dumb-schmuckness is part of the comedy. You know they’re going to fall for him.

However, Woody in real life also looks to be a schmuck, and a pervy one.

Still, Broadway Danny Rose–one of the damn funnniest films ever made. Zelig and Mighty Aphrodite also great.


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