It’s Thanksgiving Weekend!
I hope you all spent yesterday with family, friends, or customers and taking home that holiday pay. Enjoy the leftovers and the beginning of the (official) Christmas season!
This year has been spectacular for me and I wanted to take a quick second for gratitude. Next week my blog posts will continue as normally scheduled, but today I’m just giving thanks.
- I’m thankful for my family. My family is and always has been my rock. A year ago I was no where near where I am today, and I couldn’t have gone through the immense amount of growth I have in the past year without them, their constant support, and their unwavering faith in me.
- I’m thankful for my home. In New York City, I’ve created a home where I feel safe, loved, and joyful with my roommates. It’s so incredible to create and foster a place where I feel at home away from my family and where I grew up. Through them, I’ve learned that I can own my independence and foster my own community but that I don’t need to do everything alone.
- I’m thankful for my network of friends who have become collaborators and collaborators who have become friends. In the past year I have met an incredible amount of people on the different projects I’ve worked on. I’ve made friends and I’ve connected with people at festivals. Having a network that understands you you and your art is invaluable. I know that I can go to them with any question, any idea, and they’re the people I want to keep working with on everything. You all give me a sense of purpose and understanding — thank you for always encouraging & supporting my growth and bringing me into your growth as well, when you can.
- I’m thankful for the success and support of Nun Habits & Cheer Up, Charlie. In the past year, I produced two web series — Nun Habits & Cheer Up, Charlie. Each of these project have been recognized at over 10 film festivals, so over 20 altogether! The support from my friends, community, and from some genuine fans I’ve met along the way has been phenomenal. Thank you to everyone who came to a screening, contributed to our crowdfunding campaigns or fundraisers, or sent a note wanting to watch it! You are the reason I do what I do.
- I’m thankful for those who have encouraged me to find my authentic voice and use it. In the past, I’ve been scared, ashamed, or insecure when being vocal about my faith or my progressive viewpoints. Many people don’t understand how I can fit into both worlds and I have struggled with that question my whole life. The select few people who have encouraged me to share my voice are the reason why I’m writing what I write and sharing these deep, personal thoughts and opinions. I’m grateful to them more than they could ever realize.
- I’m thankful for those who have heard my voice, responded to it, and encouraged me to keep sharing. Sharing these things that I’ve associated with shame and insecurity in the past has been so much easier with all of the support from my friends, family, and strangers who are reading! There are still some people who respond negatively, but overall the support has been so encouraging!!! So thank YOU! The more I write and hear your how you’re connecting to the stories I tell, the more I know that this is what I’m meant to do. Thank you for sharing in my vulnerability and bringing me into your vulnerability too!
- I’m thankful for my relationship with my Creator. Every time I do something related to my art or my purpose, I pray about it. I meditate on it and ask the Saints and the trinity (usually Jesus) for help. My relationship with my creator is intimate and real and I know I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to. Nothing can take that intimate relationship away and I’m so proud to celebrate it here while also bringing my authentic self to light.
Thank you for reading! Happy Thanksgiving everyone. See you next week where I’ll talk about period shaming.
Monica Arsenault is a Brooklyn-based director and producer whose work addresses issues at the intersection of womanhood, sexuality, and faith. Her work has been internationally recognized at over 20 different film festivals. Her ultimate goal is to make a global impact helping women and people from marginalized communities step into the spotlight by highlighting issues that directly affect them, even if it makes others uncomfortable. Monica is constantly seeking new projects and would love to connect with you at monicaarsenault.com.