I’m rolling up on my one year anniversary of being back in the United States. It is bittersweet, to say the least, but as are all things in my life, even the bitter is still damn sweet.
Yesterday I finished moving for the second time in less than above mentioned year and it occurred to me that I have a lot of stuff. As I huffed and puffed over multiple trips down and up stairs, lugging what seemed to be an impossible amount of material possessions from my past apt to my car and into my new place, I realized I had so much to be thankful for, material and otherwise.
I am thankful for material possessions.
I have things that are useful, things that are needs, things that are frivolous. So many things that are just things, but I am thankful for the way they make my life easier. I have been watching the news and my heart goes out to all of the people fleeing Syria. Though I have not left the US or Mexico because of an absolute desperate situation, rather a desire for change, I still can grasp the concept of knowing in your heart there is only one choice- and that is to depart. I’m humbled that I have two of the most amazing countries to call home, and I am given repose and sanctuary in both. As I was sweating, packing and purging all of my things, I started to resent the situation of leaving again, and the situation surrounding it.
I am thankful for two countries, two languages, two cultures, two worlds.
But because I want to be and stay in a positive mind frame, I decided to be thankful that the change was by my hand, and not forced. I was thankful that the change was for me, a positive one, and the current wasn’t life threatening, only irritating and inconvenient.
I began to think of my tribe, scattered gems across the world. I have friends and family in Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Illinois, Canada, Arizona, Texas, North and South Carolina, Colorado, Portland, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brasil, the Czech Republic, France, China, England, and Australia…
I am thankful- for places to land, for having met them, spent time with them, learned from them, grown with them.
Here in Lansing, I had so many homes extend so many invitations that ranged from dinner to a rent free place to stay. Since I arrived, friends bought me drinks, took me out to dinner, lent me books and scientific calculators to help me pass my classes, gave me perfume, trinkets I love, large pieces of furniture, clothing, and even a purse that inspired envy amongst our friends! (Frivolous, frivolous!)
I am thankful for safe places to sleep, good things to fill my belly with, the ability to get an education.
I requested letters of reference with fast approaching deadlines and was granted them. I was and am given an endless amount of love, pep talks, junk food, nail polish, laughfests, and songs.
I am thankful for the quick word of a friend, thankful for my happiness, thankful for beautiful things, thankful for my voice.
My parents are retired in Mexico and though sometimes I feel as though I am on another planet, all I have to do is call home and I can hear my mother’s joyful lilt and though I may cry, my sails are filled again with warm, sure, winds that drive me forward.
I am thankful for a family that loves me, thankful for the support and encouragement I have always been extended.
I had to move the last of the big things yesterday, and friend I made almost ten years ago helped me move it. We lose track of each other and come together so naturally and after we hung out over the weekend, she volunteered to help me move, tracking me down two days in a row to get it done. When another friend found out that I had moved the couch, her reaction was “What!!!! You didn’t even call me! Who helped!?”
I am thankful for friendships and strong arms and offers of hard labour, in return for practically nothing.
I caught a cold this past weekend, and still drudged up enough energy to go to work and school this week. I am exhausted, frustrated and full of phlegm. To top it off, I started my period and I am also sentimental, grumpy and bloated.
All inconveniences, all welcome.
I am thankful for this body that is working hard, fighting off germs, bacteria, infection or whatever else I throw at it, while at the same time it is telling me I can make a baby, should I chose.
At work, bags of tea were showered upon me, ibuprofen offered, home remedies suggested and dispensed immediately.
I am thankful for generous co-workers, for harvests of beneficial plants, for easy access to medication and clean water.
I called in today to let my supervisor know I would be in an hour late. She completely understood and sent me a smiley face and an ok. I overslept and was late being late.
I am thankful for a safe, quiet home, a comfortable bed and rest.
As the workday was winding down, I went to ask my supervisor a question. She ushered me into her office and asked me to sit. She told me she just wanted to tell me she was proud of me. LOL WUT?!
She said she see’s how I am hustling and how I am working and going to school and that she thinks it is great. She told me I was doing great at work and that she is my superior but is also a peer and just to see me out there, working, getting good grades and doing my thing makes her very happy for me.
I couldn’t help but feel a tear slide down my face.
I am working SO hard, I am trying to do things right, because maybe I did do things SO backwards, but now I am where I am and I am doing all I can to do justice to myself, the hardships that everyone leading up to me has gone through and to prove to myself that I can indeed do this. Nothing good is ever easy and nothing easy is ever good, or so they say. If that is the case, this pay off will be GIGANTIC, I would assume.
Or it may just feel like it should be that way, because I am investing so much that any pay out is good. Like tonight, I got my quiz from last math class back and I got a ten out of ten. I am only in basic algebra right now, but I about cried when I saw that big happy green ten on the quiz.
It seems so insignificant, but I am thankful. I’m thankful for that grade, for my classes, for my people, for my things, for my life. I have to do something more than just answer phones or file paper away. I owe it to every single person who believed in me, even for a moment.
I’m thankful, I’m humbled, and I will continue to be for the rest of my life. Even the smallest glimmers of light in my life are meaningful magic and I am in constant awe. I am sure I always will be.