Being thankful and living in the moment are two things I've been working on the most this year. To help, a good friend reminded me to count my blessings. I did and it made me smile.
Every time I go home for the holidays, I get really nostalgic, I get the itch to move back and lately, I've been getting really inspired. I grew up in a small suburb of Pittsburgh called North Braddock - first ward to be exact (back then, calling out your ward meant something - maybe it still does.) It is the town that my father grew up in and his father and his father's father and his father's father's father...you get the picture. We've been occupying this land since the early 1800's. North Braddock represents just a few streets on the hills of Braddock - the "birth place of steel." And back in it's heyday, Braddock Avenue was compared to NYC's Fifth Avenue because the shopping scene was top notch.
But when I grew up there, it was a depressed steel town, there were few businesses and we had a bad reputation. As soon as I graduated high school, I got out of there as fast as I could. Over the years, things have changed and for the better. What I predicted in a fifth grade writing assignment about the future of Braddock (which hangs on a plaque in the mill) is starting to come true. The town is undergoing a revitalization and artists, craftsman and entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the rich history and cheap real estate. The same can be said for Pittsburgh as a whole too.
I decided to take my husband back to Braddock to show him a glimpse of my childhood. We went to Mass to hear my father sing in the choir, we visited the neighboring Catholic school where I spent nine years of my life and we stopped by my father's old job - the post office - a place I used to frequent often. The streets still look tough, but it's slowly turning and that's exciting. It's make me smile and it's inspiring and maybe one day I'll come home.
Facebook is a funny thing. I remember signing up back in 2004 at Penn State. There was no news feed, no wall, no drama. You could poke people and that was pretty much it. These days, Facebook is essentially a diary and you just don’t want anyone reading your deepest thoughts. Only let people that you respect join the circle. Do not prematurely friend or accept a friendship early on in the relationship. I would say you can friend after five, pleasant, in-person interactions because the last thing you want to do is un-friend, but sometimes it must be done. Parting ways on Facebook is just like drifting apart in real life. It happens. Why hold on to something/someone online when there’s nothing there in reality. It just doesn’t make sense. So if you ever happen to be the victim of an un-friend, it’s OK. Life goes on.