This weekend was Thanksgiving. For the first time, I didn’t celebrate with family. Instead, I ate Thanksgiving dinner with some close friends.
Thanksgiving is something of an abnormality, as far as modern holidays go–it’s not religious, it’s not a day of national pride, but is instead a harvest festival like those that have been celebrated throughout the ages. But it’s kind of lost even that meaning these days–people refer to it as Turkey Day, and see it as an excuse for excess food and a day off. Even the tradition of giving thanks for something before the meal has lost its gravitas. Everyone’s thankful for good food, turkey, pumpkin pie, wine…
But every year, I find myself taking a metaphorical step back, and really thinking about what I’m thankful for.
I’m thankful for living in a society that allows me to celebrate a day of thanks, a day of excess and joy.
I’m thankful for living in a society that lets me follow my dream of being a writer, that doesn’t force me to fight just to live. I’m thankful for a society that appreciates the fine arts enough to have a school of writing that I can attend–despite the government cutting funding for the arts.
I’m thankful that I live in a time and place where I can live openly as a gay man, where I can express myself in whatever way I feel is who I am, where I can be truthful to myself about my feelings and love.
I’m thankful for a family that has not only accepted me for who I am, but has supported me every step of the way, in every way possible. I’m thankful for a family that is close and loving. I’m thankful for parents that have always been supportive, that have always been an important part of my life, that I will always love and adore. I’m thankful for parents that have always taught me how to live life well by example.
I think most of all, I’m thankful for my friends. I’m thankful for friends that love me and support me, friends that I can love back. I’m thankful for friends that I can have Thanksgiving dinner with. I’m thankful for friends I can go drinking with, friends that I can play games with, friends that I can share my writing with, friends that I can share my deepest desires and fears with.
I’m thankful for friends that have always been there for me when I’ve needed them, and thankful for friends that trust me enough to come to me when they need that support. I’m thankful for friends who have helped me get through the most difficult times of my life. I’m thankful for friends that have still been my friends after the storm has passed.
I’m thankful for friends who inspire my with their deeds, with their words, or just with their presence. I’m thankful for friends that accept me for who I am, flaws and all.
I’m thankful for friends that make me laugh. I’m thankful for friends that let me cry. I’m thankful for friends that warm my heart every day.