Thankful Thoughts this Thanksgiving: 2

Last year, I penned a brief account of the things I was thankful for. I choose not to reread it and reflect on it just yet; rather, I’m looking forward with this second edition. I think it’s important to keep thankfulness in mind throughout life. This is my attempt at capturing things I really feel good about. Our culture is so determined to push us forward through “progress” and “work ethic,” but I want to enjoy life for just a moment.

This year I am thankful for:

Life. First and foremost, I think that’s something I’m growing to appreciate: Mere existence. It’s miraculous not only that I can type this sentence, but that existence is a thing at all. Talk about religious feelings. I think on the cosmic vastness of space-time and just drool with stupidity and wonder.  Amen to that.

Smokie. My cat is about twelve this year, and he’s had a few health scares that have made me really appreciate him a lot more than I usually have. He’s my pal, my comrade, my compatriot. He’s just chillin’ on the windowsill right now staring out into neighboring yards. Gotta love him.

Mom. Obviously, she’s my lifegiver. She has put me into this insane world and, though I think she’d have been wiser to abort me, I am very happy to be alive. I owe everything to her.

YouTube. Plain and simple, I spend a lot of time and get a lot of my information from this video-sharing website. It sounds silly to include this, but I don’t know what my life would look like without the existence of YouTube. The intimacy and communal aspects of the website aren’t understood well enough. It’s how I stay sane.

Books, of all kinds. Professors, for that matter. Anyone/anything that wants to challenge my mind. I literally get off on new ideas, finding out the truth, understanding the complexity of something. That’s damn important to me.

Bernie Sanders. Laughable to include him, but he’s the first politician I’ve ever seen who has made me feel great about America. If we can do what Sanders wants to do, I think we’ll be a much better off, more moral country. It’s amazing that someone like him exists. A true man of moral principle.

I’m thankful for my republican and religious friends. Without them I wouldn’t understand the boundaries of my own ignorance as well. Though i disagree with their conclusions about the world, they make me think harder than anyone who agrees with me could. I appreciate a lot of America because of them.

In that sense: China. My trip over there for six weeks this year wasn’t “profound” or “transformative” in the romantic way most writers and students who travel doll it up to be. But it was genuinely cool and humbling to be in the literal other side of the globe. To see the history blended with the urban modernity of the place was simply crippling to my superiority as an American. I realized a lot of what I valued in life by being away from it. Physically and Psychologically, I was changed a little bit. But I would never go back. Fuck that.

My garden. The Plant Ranch. Everything to do with plants is fascinating to me. I love them. I want the whole world to love plants. It makes no sense, I have no reasons or argument for why I think plants are cool and beautiful and important to care about. But I love them beyond words.

Becoming single. This is weird to be “thankful” for, but I broke up with my partner of 2 1/2 years this October. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the break up was necessary. I have a lot to work on about myself and I want to improve in multitudinous areas. I loved her and, frankly, still feel a deep-seated intimacy and trust and hopefulness for her. But being thrust out of that comfort zone was entirely beneficial to my personal growth. It was the stimulus I needed to get on with becoming “me.”

My friends who work at Bailey’s Gym. They’re awesome people.

My friends from UNF. The “Sextus Empiricus” crowd, as I have dubbed it. Casey, Emily, Joel, and everyone else. We’ve really formed a community and I love them. I haven’t made close friends in a long while but I’ve really opened up to them and they’ve really opened up to me. Cultivating that human centricity to my life is awesome.

My friends in general. Josh, Daniel, Zach (who came back into my life), Andrew, Trevor, Forrest, AJ, Tpro, Chris (who also reappeared), Jacqui (even though we never hang out), and fucking everybody who has stuck with me despite all my bullshit. Expressing appreciation for friends isn’t something we do enough, so I have to overcompensate here.

Anything else that I’d add to this list would spoil the magnificence of everything above, so I’ll arbitrarily stop here. Let it be documented that in the year 2015, everything above this text was awesome. I hope to live life even more next year.

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