Well, in a blink of an eye, another year has gone by. It’s Thanksgiving already and before we know it, 2012 will be here. Thanksgiving isn’t really my kind of holiday. I wasn’t raised here, so some of the traditions of my adopted land are lost on me. But, I’m honest enough to admit that Thanksgiving might not be my holiday because I often find myself feeling as if I don’t have a lot to be grateful for.
Thanksgiving is nonetheless my milestone marker of life’s changes from year to year. I’ve had 11 Thanksgivings here in Los Angeles and I remember the events that marked most of those years through the Thanksgiving measuring stick:
Finding out that I hadn’t passed the bar; finding out that I finally had passed the bar; celebrating my first job as a lawyer; getting engaged on Thanksgiving surrounded by friends and family; being newlyweds; announcing that we were going to have a baby, only to find out a week later that it was not meant to be; and marking every year after that, waiting for our baby to find his or her way to us.
I look at Thanksgiving in terms of life’s journey and my location on the path that is my life. Along the way, I’ve nearly been taken out by some terribly hard blows. Along the way, I’ve also been blown away by some pretty amazing things. And even though my brain just doesn’t think about Thanksgiving in traditional American ways, I am very aware and so thankful of some pretty awesome things and people in my life.
I am thankful for be alive and for a year that has been my happiest in a decade. I am thankful for my impeccable memories of Thanksgivings past and for having had the chance to spend a few of them with my wonderful dad, whose face and essence are never far from my mind. I am thankful that this year I’ve been invited to three Thanksgiving gatherings by friends and loved ones whose presence has transformed my life and made me feel less alone in the world.
I am thankful for all the great things in my life, like my sweet Stella, the beautiful home I’ve built with my sweet husband, my rekindled friendships, Facebook, Skype and even Versace for H&M. I am thankful for finding enough strength to be still standing. I am thankful for finding my way back to my past lives and for the healing that has ensued. I am thankful for my new friends, who’ve been my staunch supporters, fans and guides through another year down the rabbit hole. I am thankful for my sweet childhood friends and the opportunity to find my way back to the beautiful girls I left behind so long ago, who’ve flourished into amazing and gorgeous women living in all the four corners of the world.
I am thankful for those who’ve reached out and held my hand when I needed it the most. You’ll never know how you’ve saved me. I’m thankful for the opportunity to go back to my home state of Texas and to return with beautiful and unforgettable memories, which have begun to wash away the tears and pains of the past.
I am thankful for having been the child of an extraordinary man whose wisdom and influence shine through me each and every day. I am thankful for having come full circle with my only remaining parent. I am thankful for all the lessons our relationship has taught me about life and myself.
I am thankful for my beautiful City of Angels. Every day, I remind myself that I’m a lucky girl to able to live in my dream city. And I am thankful that my day dreams transport me to another city of my dreams, Paris, each and every day. Someday I’ll be there again. I am thankful for having that hope, wish and dream to keep me happy.
I am thankful for being free to speak my mind and express my thoughts. I am always mindful of how utterly amazing it is to live free. So, as the city of my birth conjures fond memories and eternal love, I focus on my adopted country with devotion, affection and admiration. I am thankful to call myself an American.
I am thankful for my husband, who’s loving, respectful, supportive, and protective. He’s one of my biggest fans, and I am so thankful for that. He has been my defender and my rock this year more than ever. He has stepped up, done the heavy lifting and shielded me when I’ve felt weak, exhausted, vulnerable and unable to go on. I’m aware that it’s so rare to find someone like him in this absurd world and I’m so thankful that we’ve found each other and have not let go, even for one minute, after 15 years.
And I am thankful to be me. After years of wandering, meandering and struggling, I’ve finally come home and begun to see me for who I am. I am most aware and thankful for this discovery. I feel it’s the biggest and most influential realization of my life.
There are many things I’ve yet achieve. There are many goals left for me to reach. And my baby has yet to find his or her way to me after more than four years of struggles and heartaches. But, I choose to focus on all I have now and honor those who’re here with me. Tomorrow, I’ll go back to the challenges of life and I’ll start reaching out for the stars all over again. Today, I will sit with gratitude.
Surround yourselves with all that you’re thankful for and notice all that’s worthy of noticing. Be thankful in your own unique way for who you are and whom you love. Above all, allow yourself to feel lucky and fortunate because you are you.