i know that i am in a position of privilege. i have a job that i can choose to quit in order to pursue my dreams; i have the time to dedicate my energy to those dreams & map out a way to make them happen. i am privileged, even by comparison to my mother and many of my peers. even when i’m so flat broke that all i can do is pray that i can stay afloat until payday, i am still privileged & living a blessed life. because people sacrificed, people died, people worked so that i wouldn’t have to put myself through more shit to earn less.
i am thankful. i can’t articulate it all. i don’t even have full knowledge of all of the things that add up to my being here, afloat, & capable. there are ancestors, there are strangers, there are secret acts of support by people who know me . . . in short, my life is a blessing. i’m grateful. i know for a fact that i could be a lot worse off (that’s all relative to my own life experiences), but i’m not! i’m here. i’m blessed.
i give thanks for so much, so often. anyone who reads this blog or talks to me with any regularity knows that giving thanks is just the norm for me. even in my blind rage or worry, i seem to find at least one thing (big or small) to be thankful for. so, every thanksgiving when people give their lists of what they are thankful for, i have to ask: what is it about all this food & family drama that pushes you to a point where you feel comfortable giving thanks? is there not something to be thankful for every day? or, are you so caught up in the day-to-day bullshit that is your life that a pause is necessary in order for you to examine gratitude?
whatever it is, i want folks to remember that each day we are here we can give thanks, and should give thanks. venerate your ancestors, if you’d like. hug your mom every chance you get. reminisce with siblings, cousins, aunts & uncles. call your best friend & say “you’re an asshole sometimes, but i’m SO glad you’re my friend.” do something. be thankful, don’t just say you are.
the celebration of thanksgiving is actually based on a celebration by early colonizers who celebrated the slaughter of pequot men, women & children in what’s now called new england. all this talk of popcorn and cranberries and fun and love is a crock of bullshit. that doesn’t mean that we can’t be thankful. that means that we need to share truth with one another and inform honestly what the roots of thanksgiving are. we need to move past the lies & bullshit, the misinformation & passing on of untruths. (i strongly recommend that, if you don’t already know, you click the links i just put up.) who wants to live a lie? haven’t you, if you had the santa thing, ever wished that your folks had just told the truth from the beginning? lying to kids because they’re kids isn’t any different than lying to adults. it’s still stupid and a waste of time. yes, it’s a good idea to find a way to express truth in ways that meet someone on their comprehension level. but, be for real: simplifying the truth and flat out lying with glittery distractions are not the same thing.
so, be thankful. say yes to gratitude. appreciate the beauty & purity of the good things bestowed upon you, the things you’ve drawn to yourself. growing toward all of that beauty & wonder does open you up to the polar opposite. no, baby, you cannot escape the potential of hurt, pain, anguish and ugliness. it’s the balance of the universe.
i choose it willingly, thankfully, becoming more grateful with each step.