I won’t pretend that Thanksgiving has been some integral part of my childhood (though Snoopy was) or that I even think it’s an important holiday. I do, however, think it’s a good idea to reflect on yourself and your life and think about the things that you are thankful for. This is something I try to do on an ongoing basis, day-to-day, to keep my spirits up. It reminds me of how much I have and makes my problems seem very small and far away. These are some things that I am really truly grateful for, especially within the last couple of years.
The roof over my head
I try to keep this part of my life private because a) it’s embarrassing, b) it involves other people, and c) we are all still healing. But two years ago I was unceremoniously evicted from my parents’ house. I won’t unpack that statement any further because it’s not the point. The point is, I asked for help from a friend and within an hour I had another place to live. It wasn’t glorious by any means. I spent the first few months sharing a room and bed with my best friend. I started sleeping on the couch to give her some space. We eventually re-modeled the den to be a bedroom for Nana so I could have my own room (and Nana wouldn’t have to deal with stairs on the daily). Now I have my own room, sharing a wall with my best friend. I will forever be thankful for the open arms and generosity of this family that took me in.
Yes, the same parent(s) that didn’t want me in their house. Living away from them for two years has given me priceless perspective on how we survived as an uneducated immigrant family. It has made me understand that parents are imperfect and are fighting their own demons — sometimes it’s the same demon you have to fight. And suddenly I became a lot more understanding of all the things I hated about their behaviour. I understood that some actions came from a place of anxiety, and some words came from a place that only knows English as a second language. My parents worked so hard to give me the life that I have. The bravery it takes to drag a couple of screaming babies across the ocean to build a better life boggles my mind. Thank you, mom and dad. Thank you for giving me everything you couldn’t have, and thank you for continuing to be a wealth of cultural knowledge so I can catch up on all the Indian things I suppressed in order to assimilate.
My dumb cat
I’m putting my cat on this list not just because he’s cute and soft. I’ve never had a pet with legs before (honestly, fish are boring pets, don’t give them to your kids unless they ask for them). I got Hawksley shortly after I moved into Kim’s house. I grew up so used to being in total control of my environment and my things. I’m a horrible perfectionist that way. Getting a kitten was a huge adjustment in letting the small things go; throwing out something I liked because Hawks ruined it but it’s okay because he’s my friend and things are just things. Having a cat (and living with a number of others that I’m not financially responsible for) has taught me a lot about placing less value on material things.
She’s not on the list just because I have a doctor and those are a nice thing to have. I have a good doctor and that is a great thing to have. I hear horror stories of other people trying to talk to their doctors about their minds and bodies and it’s like talking to a wall. My doctor listens, she cares about my physical and mental health, she talks to me about what will work for me and how she can keep treatments as cheap as possible. I just can’t believe some people in Canada are being told harmful and detrimental things by their docs. I am so glad I’m taken care of the way I am.