Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks!!!!

Today is one of my favorite holidays (besides St. Pat's of course). Family, friends, and tons of food, what could be better?! I mean I could practically eat stuffing and sweet potato casserole for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 
While most American families have their set yearly tradition, I've realized mine is to not have one. As I look back through the years the food is usually similar, but the setting and the people are forever changing. I don't know if this should be considered kind of sad or actually pretty special. While I'm all about family, traditions, and cooking mass amounts of food all day, it's kind of fun to never know what the following year is going to bring. A life of constants and certainty? Well, that's never really been in the cards for me. 

Some of my more memorable Thanksgivings have been spent:
-in Florida with my grandparents, holiday CD skipping and my grandpa so trashed that he spilled the wine in the mashed potatoes right before he passed it to me...yum....
-at my other grandparents house in New Hampshire secretly awaiting the lobster meal the night after Thanksgiving more than actual Thanksgiving night, and going fishing with my uncle gossiping about family on my grandpa's boat
-at my step-grandparents in Tennessee, riding around on the lake on their pontoon boat feeding the catfish
-cooking and drinking all day with my (ex?) step-dad, starting with mimosas and making the most amazing meal (minus my mom's TOFUrkey..yuck!) with some unintentional bonding along the way
-going to Ted's Montana Grill with my big sister in my sorority and her mom when they adopted me for the day while I was family-less in Tallahassee

and now this year at the fancy shmancy Equinox restuarant in DC, just my mom and cooking, no crazy extended family members, I think it will be actually pretty peaceful for a change

I feel so fortunate to have such special people in my life that have literally opened up their homes and offered to allow us to join in on their family festivities, but it will be nice to have a simple dinner with the one person who I know will never fleet in and out of my life like many of the others throughout the years, my mom. 
It's so easy to complain about all that is wrong in your life. I hate my job. I don't feel good. This person doesn't like me. Things aren't fair. My family is screwed up. I don't know what I want to do with my life.
...Those are my usual go-to's

The reason I love the holiday season is because it puts me back in check, and makes me really think and appreciate all that I do have, and it all so outweighs the bad. 

So here's the things I'm thankful for in different than 2010, and I can't even imagine all that 2012 will bring

1. To have such a close relationship with my mom and grandma. Our Europe trip really brought us together this year. It was the trip of a lifetime that most people will never be fortunate enough to experience. My mom and I haven't always had the best relationship through the dreaded teenage years, and now as a young adult she's my sounding board, biggest fan, and I would be so lost without her. 
2. To be back in Northern Virginia. I never thought these words would come, but I really feel like I'm back where I belong. My closest friend in the world and I are back together, and while Florida was a fun 4 year escape, it was never really home. There's something about driving down a familiar street, facing old memories (the good and the bad), and being around people who have known you from the very beginning and still love you anyways. I mean who else will get you huge penguin slippers for your birthday?! On top of that I have roommates who transformed from strangers into friends seemingly overnight, who have opened up their friends and families to me without a second thought. It is nice to be surrounded by such wonderful people on a daily basis. 
3. To have family and friends from a distance. When I'm not working or with people here, I am most likely on the phone. To all my cousins, uncles, best friends, ex-roommates, old friends, college friends, sorority sisters who aren't in my day to day life anymore- I am a better person because all of you are in my life. I love each and every one of you and am so glad that we keep in touch, and love it when we can visit every so often. 
4. Getting my dad back. My Dad took his last sip of alcohol this summer and hasn't looked back. I am so proud of him for sticking with this life commitment, and prioritizing his 4 beautiful children who amaze me more every time I see them. My parents even get along now. Perhaps a little too much, if ya know what I mean. It's a relief to have them on speaking terms after all these years, but the flirting and rekindling old flames is something I could do without!
5. Freedom. No I'm not going to go on some America rant, although America is great! I've learned so many fun facts after my 3-day 8th grade history DC tour ;). But what I mean in this sense is I have the freedom to do so much in my life. I am so lucky to have the financial support of my family along with a full-time job. I have the opportunity to travel, explore, and change career paths as much as I want. So while I'm not always in the most ideal situation which can be frustrating at times, I am so lucky to have the ability to change the parts of my life I'm unhappy with, and not settle for anything less than I feel I deserve and need to live a fulfilling life. 
6. And finally...I guess...sorry I've gotta go here. It still amazes me how things happen. Most of my college friends know me as the most happy, single, never-to-be-tied-down person they know. I never would have thought that I would  end up where I am now. Relationships have aways had a kind of negative connotation to me from past experiences and witnessing the rise and fall of my parent's marriage and second marriage's throughout the years. Putting your faith and trusting someone else is not only scary but seemingly a losing game. Brandon I am thankful for you. If for nothing else, restoring my faith in so many things. We somehow never run out of things to talk about, I am happier when I am with you, and I've never felt so comfortable just being myself. Even if this were to end tomorrow, you are such a special person and I am the most thankful for you being in my life this year. 
So that's that. A very lengthy, sappy, Thanksgiving post. I have nothing else to do while I'm sitting in my office this Turkey Day morning other than halfway watch the parade playing in the background. I am working REALLY hard on not complaining that I am here today and am looking forward to the rest of the afternoon! Eat well and enjoy your family, friends, or whatever Thanksgiving tradition you're taking part in this year!

yours truly :)


Anna said...


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