Happy Thanksgiving everyone! As much as I would like to be cooking (stuffing myself with) food, I'll be working later today so it's income instead. One of my favorite bloggers, Garance Dore posted this today and I loved that everyone spoke about what they were thankful/grateful for in different areas of their lives. Below is a my take on my life:

Friends: Growing up without siblings (I'm an only child), I always wanted to visit other peoples' homes. Partially from loneliness and partially for just stimulation so I wasn't in my own head so much. I really didn't develop deep friendships with girls my age till about junior year of college. Some of those young women are my dearest and closest friends today. Having lived in NYC now for just over three years I've been able to meet some beautiful, inspiring and positive women who I am so lucky I can call my friends. My mother has always told me that friends are to be treasured. She's completely right. Loving and supportive friends don't come around all the time. Friends are truly the family you choose.

Family: The family I grew up with was very small. Most of my life it was just my mother and I and most of the time one of our family dogs. Growing up I'd visit my grandparents every summer in Japan. My maternal grandfather is someone I continue to admire and respect even though he's passed. Japanese grandfathers aren't much for bubbly affection but his actions spoke loud and clear. I feel so honored that I was his only grandchild. My mother is undoubtedly the most beautiful, strong, inspiring, loving and gracious woman I know. Without her I wouldn't be here and be the woman I am today. In my 20s I was able to get closer to my father's side of the family. With my Japanese side gone, I'm really try to spend quality time with my paternal grandparents. Grandparents are a blast! They've lived through so much and have such exciting stories to tell and lessons to teach. Additionally I've gotten much closer to my cousins, my aunt and my uncle. They've become such solid rocks in my personal life. I look forward to a continuously growing relationship with them.

Work: The restaurant industry is actually for interconnected and small once you're in it. Two to three degrees of separation I'd say. I've been working at Greek restaurant in my neighborhood since late August and honestly they're another family. Greek people are very family-oriented and that influence impacts my colleagues and I. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere and delicious food. With a smaller staff we can talk about so many things. What I love is that we all have different stories and upbringings, as well as interests which make for a dynamic group. So, although I'm sad I won't get turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes etc... I'm glad that I'll be with my little work family. Additionally I'm glad that I buckled down this year and got my jewelry business started. Entrepreneurship is in my blood and all the various work experiences I've had have led me to today. I'm thankful that I live in a country where a young woman can start her business freely.

Miscellaneous: As if I can't say this enough, I'm so thankful to be in living in one of the greatest cities in the world. New York City overwhelms me with its beauty, opportunities and challenges but I wouldn't have it any other way. My apartment, my neighborhood and the people I know and don't know make me so grateful to call this my home and my future.

Hope you all enjoy time with your loved ones. As the saying goes, "it is not joy that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful". Lastly, I'm grateful to those of you who read my blog. Promise I'll actually write more.