This Thanksgiving feels different. For one, I’m not spending it alone in a car for 9 hours driving down to the Redwoods. My Mom, Dad and baby sis are in Seattle, along with my uncles from San Francisco and I am over the moon that they are here. There has been so much growth and change in my life since last Thanksgiving, and I’m thankful for all the highs and lows that have brought me to where I am right now.
I am very close to my family, despite living on the other side of the country from most of them. My parents are incredibly supportive of anything I go after. I am thankful for their trust and confidence in me, as well as all the experiences in my childhood that have made me a self-sufficient person today. I am so thankful for my grandparents. My Grandma and I continue to talk weekly about politics, dating, travel and generational differences. Our talks and her continuous support have helped me grow over this last year. My Uncles from San Francisco are my biggest support on the west coast. They have always assisted in expanding my world and my perspective. I appreciate them more than they know, and I am striving to better communicate that.
I am incredibly blessed with the group of people I surround myself with. A lot of that responsibility falls on yourself. The energy you put out is what you attract. My friends are passionate, driven, supportive, sensitive and are always down for an adventure. My relationships with the friends I had this same time last year have only grown. I have made a lot of new friends this year as well. Each person challenging and inspiring me in a different way. I am very thankful for the friends that I left in Michigan that continue to support me. I am selfish in that I don’t come home very often. I greatly appreciate the time, money and energy they spend to maintain our friendship.
Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday. Our whole extended family would gather at my house and family members that were usually a bit more rigid would get a little wine drunk. Family was more expressive than usual in our fairly emotionless group. We would all pass out in front of the TV following the meal and then play games late into the night once we had our second wind. Once I left the house at age 18, it became a bit bittersweet. I was working 3 jobs to get through college. I often had to go into work just hours after our thanksgiving meal in preparation for Black Friday. I remember being so angry walking out the front door to head to my shift as pies were being pulled out of the oven and board games strewn over the table. This played a big role in fueling my drive to get through school as quickly as I could.
I am so fortunate now to have a job with paid holiday time. I am thankful to work for a company that made sure I knew I’d be welcome to join their families for Thanksgiving if I wasn’t able to spend it with friends or family. My job has provided me with so much security and opportunities to travel, even though I’m not passionate about my job.
The Good & Bad
There is always so much to be thankful for if you take time to reflect and look around you. It is easier to recognize the good things, like incredible friends and a loving family. I think we should also recognize the unfortunate events that have turned into blessings later down the road. I am thankful for the “bad luck” I had in my early 20’s, because it has shaped me into who I am now. My values and self-worth have changed dramatically due to misfortune. I think the most important thing I have been working on each Thanksgiving is expressing my thankfulness of those around me that have influenced and supported me. Words are a powerful gift.
I am thankful for everyone that has been reading my blog. I know it started as a Travel Blog, but it feels more and more like a supportive space for me to grow and express my thoughts on the world. I appreciate everyone’s different perspectives and experiences and love learning from Y’all. Happy Thanksgiving!!