Sorry for the hiatus, folks, I didn’t mean to leave you all hanging with that intense post-election post. It was a lot to process, and then my time was quickly eaten up by thesis deadlines, the start of the end of the semester rush, maid-of-honor planning duties I had totally neglected, and Thanksgiving break.
To ease you all back in from that last post, I’m not going to jump right back to the somewhat vapid, materialistic posts, but will start you off with a reflection on my Thanksgiving.
I hadn’t actually been home for Thanksgiving in two years, so I was really looking forward to the holiday (particularly since my Thanksgiving last year was spent in gray, dreary England eating a knock-off McDonald’s cheeseburger, which you can read about on my study abroad blog). On top of the romanticization built up in my head, we were also having several people over that normally don’t trek to our house for Thanksgiving, including relatives from D.C. and an aunt from the Philippines. With 17 people, two 6-year-olds, an anxiety-ridden behemoth of a dog, and a deep-fried turkey it was sure to be a glorious fiasco.
I slept for the first day, and followed my dog, Oliver, around the house to bask in his utter perfection and dog-ness (fellow next-level dog people, you follow). Mainly, however, my time was consumed by family time, and brief moments unwinding from family time. There was a lot of socializing, many questions about when I was going to get myself a nice man, numerous recountings of my escapes across Europe as a traveler and amateur archaeologist, and general, albeit slightly worried, inquiries about my plans for the post-graduation future (to which I cheekily, though truthfully, answered: “Life’s a basket of mysteries, let’s all find out together”). In not so many words, it was a pretty typical holiday.
Despite the fact that we all had to play a semi-humiliating, peer-pressure induced game which I’ve called “pie in the face roulette”, and even though I, and several other family members, had to spend half the holiday sporting glittery makeovers a la my 6 year old cousin (I’m talking neon blue glittery eye shadow, Barbie-pink lipstick, and and purple glittery stars all over our foreheads -- except the stars looked more like leprosy lesions, so…), despite all of this, it was nice to see my family all together after being away for so long. And also, the food. I mean, Thanksgiving is a food holiday after all. Thank the lord almighty for green bean casserole and pumpkin pie, am I right?
And while I always have a few reservations about celebrating on Thanksgiving, a holiday that is based in colonialism and genocide (especially since I’m part of a colonized people myself, and particularly given the situation with Standing Rock and the DAPL that was still ongoing at the time), I still like the abstract concept of coming together, and giving thanks, and everything short of gathering around the turkey fryer and singing Kumbaya, you know? I’m a firm believer in loving and appreciating things for what they are, with eyes wide open.
So here is a quick list of a few things that I’m thankful for right now:
-I’m thankful for my friends and family. I probably don’t say it enough, but you all keep me sane, you keep me happy, and I don’t know where I would be without you.
-I’m thankful for Cheezits. This sounds dumb, but I eat them when I am stressed, and they calm me down. Several boxes have gotten me through some long nights and intense projects this year.
-After several months of weird health things happening to me, I’m thankful for my health. You never know how much you appreciate something you take for granted until it suddenly decides to go haywire on you, so I’m glad I’m back to center there.
-I’m thankful for Moana, for finally having a Pacific Islander Disney princess. It may seem silly and extra to be putting a cartoon character on this list, but as someone who has pretty much only ever fallen between categories, and lacked any sort of representation her whole life, I’m thankful to finally, after almost 22 years, have something to latch on to.
-I’m thankful to have my thesis chapter draft essentially complete. It still needs a lot of work, but the hardest part, the pulling of words out of thin air, is over and done with. *Takes deep breath*
-Finally, even though it’s been kind of shitty, I’m thankful for 2016. Even though the world seems to have gone to hell the last few months (or at least down the rabbit hole), there are have been some pretty damn good moments for me. I finally got to travel all over the world and see things that I never thought I would see beyond a textbook or Google image, I got to spend a summer on an archaeological dig, I turned 21, I wrote two chapters of my thesis (that’s 80 pages so far people), and I got to witness some of my favorite people reach some amazing and beautiful milestones. I’m even thankful for the shitty parts, to be honest. It’s been a tough few weeks for a lot of us, and beyond that, it’s been a tough election cycle to swallow. Some of my own worst fears have been realized. But at the same time, I can’t help but think that at least a clear path has become clear. Many of us Americans have been given a goal, a purpose, a drive. We have stared our own failings as a people, as a Nation, and as human beings in the face, and now we have the opportunity to do something about it. People are saying they’re going to leave the country, or check out of politics, but I think that this year has given us a chance and a choice. A choice to give up, to concede defeat, to turn and run and most importantly abandon those who cannot jump ship, or to stay and fight and make this country as great as many of us want it to be, and believe it can be. We have been given a chance to be a part of, in fact to make, history, and for that I am thankful.
As always, please feel free to leave a comment! Let me know how your Thanksgiving went, or what you're feeling thankful for this year!