the last few weeks have been a test of the best kind, and i can sincerely say that i am proud of myself for so many things. i'm proud that i volunteer my time to causes i believe in. that i do work that makes me happy. that i challenge myself in that work to do things that scare me. that i am building self confidence (slowly and steadily). that while i am building that confidence, i surround myself with people who are patient enough to keep insisting that it is deserved. that i'm not afraid to take a risk to follow what i feel is the right thing to do. that i have a feeling about which is the right thing. that, if it turns out to be the wrong thing, the people around me are there to hold me up anyway.
this isn't to sound conceited, or even to remind myself that these are some good points: i know they are and they are always with me. it's a thank you to the people and circumstances around me who have helped shape my experience to this point. like it or not, you're involved and i'm grateful (for the good, the bad, and the abhorrently ugly). i hope you can be proud of me, too, as i am proud to know you and to live with you through our experiences together. today, one of you called me a shining star. i hope you meant it. i'm starting to believe that it's true. be patient with me and we can shine together.