Monday, December 2, 2013

negotiating thankfulness

The Great Gatsby used to be my favorite book and I wanted to grow into a lawyer, a pharmacist, a writer. We never told each other we'd be friends forever, but it was there, threaded into plans for the future: when I get married, you guys are going to be my bridesmaids, or, when huddled together on a double bed after college's first semester, we promised when we live in New York, come visit, we'll have an apartment and there will always be room for you on our couch. When I publish my first book, you can share my wealth, sleep in my basement, a space for you always in my life, no matter where we are or what you do.

Last Thanksgiving I counted what I was thankful for on one hand: thumb, my family, index finger, my friends who'd reminded me that there was something in me to love and miss, middle finger, my dog, ring finger, the blessings that my parents have given me, a home to live in, an education to acquire, and on my pinky finger, I counted the blessing of living in a country where I can more or less live freely. This year, I feel like even if I had ten hands, I still wouldn't be able to commodify my thankfulness.

I have friends like family from high school and a family that loves like friends. A year ago, I was a shelled out version of myself, hollow bones, now I feel my roots spreading much more certainly everywhere I go. There is no way for me to explain how I got myself out of my sadness. I spent all of my time alone on my computer, curled on my bed, facilitating between my television, Netflix and music every weekend. Homework somehow got done in the spaces between.

I had my anchors, though. My mom, always, my friends when they could, new friends on the Internet who, after daily Skype chats, became best friends and I could talk about this forever and ever, every single day, but that would be redundant. I am thankful for these people who supported me when I was impossible to support, feeling bodiless and loose, who helped purport me to where I am now, stronger, confident again, positive.

Everything changes and everyone changes but most things inexplicably stay the same. I still love The Great Gatsby but I've moved on and I want to go to graduate school and work in publishing and work with people every day, to make something worthwhile to send back to the universe to thank it for these countless blessings it has bestowed on me every day. Though last year was one of the most challenging experiences of my life so far, I am forever grateful for the obstacles laid in my path, for they have taught me how to orient myself, to see the other side of a problem, the positive side, the moss that grows on the edge of the boulders that demonstrates that life can grow from obstacles.


  1. "new friends on the Internet who, after daily Skype chats, became best friends and I could talk about this forever and ever, every single day, but that would be redundant." ZOO WEE MAMA love ya moon and as usual your writing makes me want to curl up with a plaid blanket with a cup of coffee next to a fire place <3

  2. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. You. Are my hero. Love you! Know that I will always be here to support you-and it's so easy to do so. You are my gift!