I'm thankful for: Friends
Because: I have been a gypsy a good part of my life. Born in Connecticut, raised on Oahu, back to the mainland as a 10 year old with 4 years in the south, 3 years back in Connecticut, several years in Europe (Spain, Italy) before university in Washington DC and my first job in New York City which I called home for 13 years. Now almost 20 years into my California dream, I have such gratitude for the friends who've weathered the miles with me as well as those new fellow journeymen and women along the way. This week I was whatsapp'ing with a friend in New Zealand I've known for 34 years with whom I'd lost touch, and the years melted away as we exchanged voice messages. Most recently, with the fire relief fund campaign we undertook in California for the devastating wine country fires, the circle of friends who contributed, shared, and spread the word about it, was one of the most touching things that has happened to and around me, in some time. One dear friend, Joy Sterling, of Iron Horse Vineyards, sent a case of her brilliant new sparkling wine from the Green Valley of Sonoma county, called Gratitude, to thank us for our efforts. She herself could have easily been affected by the fires, and I'm sure had a few moments when fate and winds could have turned unfavorable for her. Big hearts abound and my friends are my family. Grateful for much this Thanksgiving, but this year I've gotten into the practice of acknowledging little gratitudes daily before I sleep. I highly recommend it as an antidote to the troubling news that seems to be regular fodder in modern life
I am thankful for: The mainstream media
Because: Must I even elaborate? The media is called the fourth estate for an important reason: it's an acknowledgment of their influence as among the greatest powers that hold a democratic nation together. This has been a tough year for those interested in fact-checking, context, hard truths, and thoughtfully measured analysis, but journalism persists and so must those who support and subscribe to it. I would be lost without my daily dose of NPR, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and the New Yorker (and especially forlorn without my monthly dose of Vanity Fair). It is our patriotic duty to remain informed, and we must continue to receive our information from intelligent reporting and multiple sources, while always holding those sources to account as well. To the reporters out there making barely enough to scrape by while enduring sleepless nights, brutal competition, slashed budgets and a terrifyingly hostile sub-group of the electorate who thinks you are part of some vast left or right wing conspiracy - I am thankful for you.
I am thankful for: My best friend, Kadi
Because: Humility, honest generosity and genuine kindness are qualities that are becoming more and more rare in today's fast-paced, wild world. My best friend Kadi is one of those people capable of lighting up a room and making anyone and everyone feel important and special. To have a best friend always searching for (and successfully finding) the good - even in the darkest of times - it's truly a magnificent feat of character. She inspires me daily to be more positive and to always, always strive to be my best self. As an only child my friends have always been extra special and I'm truly blessed to have some of the most wonderful around. Cheers to 2017 and all the wonderful memories made, but glasses up to the upcoming year around the sun! May we all be blessed with a year filled with a little more kindness, humility and happiness. And also to a Dodgers 2018 World Series win!
I am thankful for: My support system
Because: Going from college to a full-time work life and from the suburbs to a bustling urban city, entering the “real world” has been a huge adjustment. I find myself confused and afraid about 10 times a week. However, with this, comes an amazing amount of human development in knowledge, strength, experience and perspective. I am learning a mile-a- minute and soaking up as much adventure as I can while I endure a transition into a new way of life. There are weeks when I struggle, but it is because of my amazing network of friends and family that help me pick myself up day after day and remind me of my determination and competence. I lost my grandfather this year, and something he would always tell himself and his daughters throughout life is this: "When presented with difficulty and strife tell yourself: 'This is not too difficult for me. Nothing is too scary or nerve-wracking for me. I can handle this.'” I hear those words in my head each day, and it is this inheritance of wisdom that I find so special. Knowing that each generation and each life has experienced fear/insecurity similar to one another is immensely comforting for me. So, this year I raise my glass to a year filled with accomplishments, new experiences, a great amount of change, and a group of people that believe in Hannah sometimes more than I do. That is a lot to be grateful for. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
I am thankful for: Graduating from San Francisco State University
Because: I didn't go to college after high school right away because I had to support my family. So, I almost abandoned the notion of going back to school, but I was inspired to get back in the classroom thanks to words of encouragement from a departed best friend. Through patience, humility, and sacrifice, I managed to survive SF State last year, and I'm ecstatic to graduate in Spring 2018. I am much wiser now, and I realized that had I gone to college years before, I wouldn't learn all the new and innovative technologies that has changed the media today. Also, I am grateful for all the new opportunities that college has provided, such as, reconnecting with Kimberly Charles and interning these past months developing video content with CCA. I am hopeful for my future in media, because of the greater knowledge I earned obtaining my diploma, and the greater confidence I feel to face new challenges.