This is not at all how I envisioned Thanksgiving 2007.
It was great, better than great, actually. I spent the day with my friends the As, eating delicacies far surpassing that of any Thanksgiving in years past: roast duck, cranberry-orange relish, wild and basmati rice pilaf with orange and green lentils, green bean salad with goat cheese and fennel with a dijon mustard vinaigrette, The World’s Best Stuffing, country ham, yeast rolls, duck fat gravy, and homemade apple pie for dessert, all accompanied by spectacular wines. It was beyond delicious, and I am so much more than satiated. I am so grateful for being taken in as family by these wonderful people whom I met a mere ten months ago.
So, why do this year’s festivities differ so greatly from my initial vision for late November of 2007?
Oh dear, where to begin.
This time last year, I was freaking the fuck out about a 25-year-old boy who seemed completey into me, but who cut and run before I could even use up the small block of Grana Pedano I bought the first time I cooked him dinner. My life circumstances, my job status, those people whom I call my friends… My god. I never, in a gabillion years, could have envisioned the drastic changes that would befall yours truly from Thanksgiving 2006 to the present day.
I’m not going to say that today was easy; it wasn’t. Last week at this time, I was looking at cute little bungalows in which J and I might possibly raise some kids; today, I constantly fought the tears and reminded myself that I made the right decision. (J, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry to shine a public light on our private matters, but it’s my blog, and I’ll say what I want; however, I AM glad that you’re reading it.) Last month at this time, I still had a full-time job in the city of my residence, at which I made a decent living; come Monday, I’ll make the 70-mile trek to a job that’s well beneath my intellectual mark, hoping beyond hope to make the rent money. Six months ago, I renewed the lease on this apartment that I adore, with the understanding that my budding relationship needed the chance to flourish in the light that close proximity would shine; now, I would give up the space and the city I love so dearly for a decent job and a social scene that’s slightly more conducive to the 30-something yes-I’m-still-single set.
God, what the hell happened?
But really, honestly, truly… my life is sooooo much better now than it was last Thanksgiving. I have a much more realistic grasp on life and love, I know so much better who I am and what I want, and above all: I have met some incredible, earth-shattering people who love me no matter what color my hair is, or how much I’ve been crying, or how long I borrow their KitchenAid.
I never could have envisioned a Thanksgiving like this.
It reiterates the fact that we just don’t know what lies ahead of us. Next year at this time, we could be riding the coattails of a Democratic president-elect who knows how to bring our troops home without enabling World War III. I could be typing this from the depths of the Alaskan wilderness, where my new husband has located a honeymoon cabin with WiFi. And it’s entirely possible that I might not even make it to see Thanksgiving 2008; any manner of catastrophes could end my sojourn on this planet prematurely.
My point is this: we, as a race of intelligent, insightful folk, get so wrapped up in what’s happening this very goddamned second that we lose sight of the big picture. We forget that we have one life. One frikkin’ life. ONE CHANCE. We get so pissed that we got a speeding ticket, or that the neighbor’s been smoking in the lobby again, or that our pork sandwich came out with mustard on it and we distinctly ordered it without mustard because we hate mustard, that we forget that at this time next year, we might not even be around to see Thanksgiving.
So, what am I thankful for, on this difficult Thanksgiving Day of 2007? I am thankful for my life, because I gave up living it in 2004 and am running on some incredible bonus miles. I am thankful for amazing friends, who love me because of who I am. I am thankful for every sunrise I witness, every purr of an adorable kitty who just wants my love and affection. I am thankful for every step that brought me where I am today, even the tear-sodden steps of late.
I am thankful for LIFE.
I hope all of you are, too.