My heart is so full right now. A few things shifted into place in my head, and I'm feeling just stupidly happy in this moment.

I'm in a cozy, clean (well, mostly clean) apartment, looking across my desk at a sleeping dog, worn out from a long walk and a rousing round of fetch. I'm listening to music and hanging Christmas ornaments in my kitchen, since there's no room for a tree:

But I don't mind that. I'm just grateful to have a cute little home of my own where I can hang ornaments.

Tomorrow night my friend M. comes into town, and on Thursday we're driving up to Visalia to spend the holiday with his family. M.'s dad died a month before mine, and we've been friends since 1998. He was my best man at my wedding (well, unofficially - we didn't have a wedding party), and I've considered him my best friend for years. He's seen me through more heartache than I'd care to remember, and there's no one in this world who knows me better, and to whom I can more relate. I'm so, so, thankful for his friendship, and for the invitation he extended to join him this year. I'm extremely thankful for the fact that several of my other friends reached out, too, to make sure I wouldn't be alone on Thanksgiving. I'm stupidly blessed in my friendships.

I'm thankful for my beautiful, sweet dog, who makes me laugh every day, and whose awesomeness I often get to experience twice - once myself, and then again vicariously, through the joy he brings others. We've started taking nightly walks up to the fountains beside the John Ferraro building. I throw a ball for him, brush him, and then he just hangs out, enjoying the view while I mess around on Instagram, or catch up on email.

I'm thankful for the people who've helped me get through this year. I'm thankful for everyone who's been rooting for me, watching my successes and failures, and supporting me through both.

I'm thankful for the friends I have, near and far. I'm thankful for those I can walk to, right now, and hug, and those who'd have to wait for me to get off a train, a plane, or a bus. I'm thankful for those of you who read my blog, who give a shit, and who still like me in spite of the fact that I'm the most ridiculous, frivolous, self-absorbed, judgmental asshole on the planet. I'm thankful to those of you who've reached out to say hello, or to tell me you liked something I wrote, or to cheer me on, or to just be an Instagram buddy.

I'm thankful for every single person who's said something kind to me, or been friendly to me in even the smallest way this year. This has been, without question, the hardest year of my life. There have been many moments where I didn't think I was going to make it. Where I didn't know if I could keep choosing to make it. But every single kindness that has come to me is like a little, glowing ball of heat and light that I can put deep inside of me and use to keep the fire going, even when it's unbearably cold.

I'm really, really glad to be here, and thankful for everyone who's glad I am, too.