Friday, November 27, 2015

Giving Thanks To Who's There... And Who's NOT!

It has never, and I mean never, been easier to be thankful for me on Thanksgiving than today and not just because I enjoyed a wonderful dinner with wonderful company who chose for me to be in their midst. I may have had a happier day, or week, or month at some point in my life, but I never understood the meaning of filling my mind and soul with gratitude and the incredible effect that has on my life as well as I do now, and I therefore have thoughts now that match nothing I ever felt before in terms of blessings, and I'm not even religious anymore. Why? Because I know exactly what I have, and what I don't have, and both provide reasons to be thankful. The losses of almost 27 years on this planet are as much of a blessing as the things I do have. Being grateful is easy when you live this life like me...

Last year, I spent Thanksgiving surrounded with four people who I absolutely adored. Four people in 20 million in this city stood out to me, and we sat around a table thanking each other for existing. All four of them were not present today when me and about 15 other people spent the night eating, drinking and talking, having a completely different kind of experience. Without meaning any offense, I thought that today I would possibly have a harder time being thankful for the company then last year when the room was filled with romantic and friendly love. However, the thought of last year, and the contrast it provides to my current life, is exactly what I realized I'm thankful for. These four people are not in my life that much now, either due to expulsion of emigration, but I couldn't help but look back at the memory and be thankful for its existence.

My company for today's Thanksgiving Day was no less awesome than last year, and I still thought about last year and how the participants had vanished from my life. Yet, I was lucky enough not to get nostalgic today but feel blessed for having had this wonderful experience of actually being surrounded by people who truly loved me, and vice versa, thousands of miles from the people who had done so the previous 26 years. It was a day I will forever cherish, and even a year later I still feel thankful for having had these people although none of them are around anymore. The ability to take a nice memory and let it be a smile in my face rather than a tear in my eye was what made this Thanksgiving the best one yet because I finally learned how to appreciate, and not reminisce.

One of last year's dinner participants actually provided the biggest inspiration for my Thanksgiving speech today: I am not just thankful for those selected few people that make my life worth living, but I'm thankful for not having those NOT worth living for there anymore. This year, I am mourning the loss of a person that 365 days ago was the source of all my gratefulness. Today, I am thankful that is no longer the case. To know what's good in your life means more when you also realized what's bad in it, and it increases its quality. I am not unhappy for the time I shared a table, friends and a life with a person who effectively does not exist anymore, and I am not sad about the fact that these four people and I will never get back together like that ever again, but I am thankful for the time when that was my reality, and I am happy that it's not anymore because lives change, and we made the right decisions not holding on to that past.

This week is a testament to how lucky I really am, having my best friend fly over from Scotland to see me and being able to thank him for his existence today. Only last year our stories of all the good times we've had in the past six years would have made me want the past back. Talking to him about our amazing memories would have made me sad because those days are gone. Today, it didn't make me sad! I just can't believe that, six years later, I have this complete random sitting next to me at a Thanksgiving table that I literally shared the past with although I don't share his present. I have friendship and love in my life many would kill for, and I'm aware of it. I can be thankful for the memories, even though some of them caused a lot of hurt, and not let it affect my happiness of the present. I am so fortunate for this lesson, and I can give thanks to whoever put it there whether it was through acts of love, hate, loss or passion...

Living my life, it's ridiculously easy to be thankful. I have a lot of things to deal with and I for sure don't just sit down and wait for good things to happen, but for some reason amazing things happen to me despite my positive or negative outlooks on life. I get more than I ask from life all the time, and I definitely don't want to get used to accepting that and taking it for granted. Touché, some friends, lovers and acquaintances have departed from my life in the last years, but my heart is home to a group of winners that make my heart the most valuable place there is. Part of the reason why this posse is in such a good company is because I have learned to expel those who do not deserve to be there, allowing for my heart to be the mirror of what I want it to be. And what I see in there is more than an epic reason to be thankful for without even having to compare my life to suffering Africans to make it feel special.

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