Today is Thanksgiving in the good ol’ USA.

I may be Canadian (and Thanksgiving was last month, silly), but I am still grateful.

I’m grateful for my family, my children, my mother.

I’m grateful for my home, my God, my kids’ schools.

I am grateful for my clients, my incredible design and admin team, and the stuff I do every day that I love and get to call work.

But do you know what I’m most grateful for this year?

Me.

That’s not arrogance, it’s vulnerability. It’s courage.

You see, I am more ALYSSA than I have ever been in 31 years.

I had always followed the plan set out by someone else (my parents, my church, or society). I was an honor roll student in high school who took all the art, math AND science classes she could, went straight to University after graduation and earned a bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Medicine, and was married three months after that. After a year of marriage, we had four children in four years, and survived three miscarriages together.

From the outside looking in, I had the life.

The picture-perfect life. A husband and four children of whom I adore.

But something was missing.

The first hint of this was when my littlest almost died at birth. Nothing seemed so scary as that, and the idea of doing what ALYSSA wanted became… possible? I cut off my hair and started a business, two things seemingly unrelated but two very poignant times where I was me doing me.

It’s now three years later, and I’m finally owning being me and doing what I want to.

It took a son almost dying, discovering I was bisexual, and separating from my husband.

But I’m doing it.

Thankfully.