29 November 2011

Turkey is not just a sports term...

Yeah, it’s been a long time coming. Have been dealing with some things that are not blog-worthy, so I’ve been partaking in radio silence. Hopefully things will work themselves out and I’ll be able to keep you guys better updated. And you better your effing bottom dollar that I’ll be blogging the bejesus out of my Morocco trip with Mom (that is happening in… exactly 30 days!), so don’t fret. But for now, please let this cheesy, late, but rather necessary, list of things that mean the world to me. I hope that you all had bloody wonderful Thanksgivings, enjoyed spending time with your families, and ate fucking amazing food. [Seriously, I don’t know what it is, but I am going through MAJOR American food withdrawals right now. Would kill small parakeets for this exact meal slash combination of food: a piping hot bowl of my Mom’s homemade Chex-Mix, a whole gallon of cold, Skim milk, a chicken Caesar salad, either a: Pepperoni Lover’s pizza from Pizza Hut (with breadsticks) or one of my dad’s spiced pizzas, and a box of Ho-Hos. Yes, there would obviously be leftovers, which would suit me just fine. If I could get that, I would be the happiest of campers.]

So, without further ado:
Things for which I am thankful

·      My family – Without them, I would literally be a giant mess. Their unconditional love and support through of my crazy adventures never ceases to amaze me. You guys are legitimately the best. Could not ask for more awesome parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, fake families (Elliotts, this means you guys!) etc. And let’s be honest with ourselves, where else would I be able to find a family that would laugh hysterically at me as I spilled Coke down the front of my shirt ‘cause they get that I was trying to reference our favourite film?!

·      My friends, old and new – You all have provided me with countless years of amazing memories and inside jokes. I could NOT imagine my life without any of you. I wish that I had the time and brainpower to thank every single one of you individually, making sure to include all the memories we share, but I don’t. So, just know that I love and appreciate the bejesus out of you. And how flipping lucky am I to have so many friends from all around the globe? To know I’m always welcome (I hope?) anywhere in the world I am if I need it – Australia, New Zealand, Zanzibar, Kyrgyzstan (who would’ve thunk?), the UK, Germany, Sweden, etc… Thank you all for your relentless patience and for making me smile and laugh every single day.

·      My Peace Corps experience – Yes, there have been ups and downs about what I’m doing here, but I would not change it or give this up for the world! I absolutely, 100% made the right decision on that tiny island of Zanzibar over a year ago, when I wrote ‘yes’ in that email. I am only eight months in, with a year and a half left, and I have already met some of the most amazing, inspiring, and wonderful people; both American and Kyrgyz alike. The crazy kids have worked their way into my heart, where they’ll stay for quite some time and they have all become my family. When people have seen you at your worst (vomiting into fountains and sick as a dog with giardia), they start to become something more than just friends. I could not imagine getting through this experience without the kind words of encouragement from the 18s or commiserating with my fellow 19s. We’re all in this together (get it, HSM – Kathryn!). There are no words to describe how much I am growing as a person and how much I am learning about myself. Be prepared, more than likely, a completely different (although somehow exactly the same) person will be returning to the States during the summer of 2013.

·      Never having gone hungry in my entire life – One of the vols mentioned this as one of the things for which she was thankful at our Talas-giving this past weekend. And I’m really upset with myself that this isn’t something for which I am CONSTANTLY thankful. As much as I complain about food here (if I never have to eat the fat from a sheep’s ass ever again, it will be too soon), I am fed every day. The same can be said, if not infinitely more so, about my life back in the States. There are so many people on this planet that go two or three days, if not longer, without having a proper meal. If I cannot immediately remedy this problem of global malnutrition and impoverishment, the least I can do is be appreciative of every single thing that I put in my mouth [which right now includes a shit ton of Doritos my mom sent in her last package]. This also makes me want to work harder to rectify this problem in my future.

·      Useless and mindless pop culture/media – yeah, admit it, you knew that this was going to be on here somewhere. I’ll be the first to admit it, and I have before, I am a pop culture sponge and probably watch too much of it. However, that’s one of my personality traits and you get what you get. :) I will forever be that girl who can recall Colin Firth’s daughter’s hairdresser’s name (but really, I don’t know that one). Most of the time I’m proud of it. In this case, though, I am thankful for it ‘cause it’s strengthened one of the things that makes me me and gives me a chance to connect with other people. You KNOW that if there is EVER anyone who knows what the hell 10th Kingdom is that I am going to be one of his/her best friends. And I’ll be honest with you guys, all this stuff also helps one get through cold-ass winter nights when the power is off – that is, until one’s computer battery runs out…

·      Books – Firstly, if anyone is interested in interfaith relationships, pluralism in America/the globe, or social justice work, I highly recommend Eboo Patel’s Acts of Faith. One of the most amazing reads ever. Incredibly personable prose and it didn’t drag, which is always nice. Makes me want to be more active with social justice (possibly with his org?) and do more for the world. And obviously makes me miss Chicago like.it.is.my.full-time.job. With that being said, I am so thankful for the temporary escape that reading brings me. And that people have the talent to write such beautiful pieces (most of the time) of art and to share it with the world. Not only that, but the fact that reading books brings people from all walks of life together in order to discuss a specific one, whether it’s in a formal book club or drunken rant sessions at apartments on the weekends. I feel that reading reflects on life as well: there are so many different genres of books, all of which appeal to different groups of people. We’re all just a giant amalgamation of awesomeness. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

I wish that there were more my brain could articulate right now (there are definitely more things for which I’m thankful, but can’t think of any). I also don’t want to get too cheesy, sentimental, or preachy on you guys; that’s not why you check this out. Haha. With all of the above being said, I am so thankful for each and every one of you and all that you bring to my life. Would NOT be the girl I am today if it weren’t for you guys. Always thinking of you and wishing you the most amazing of holiday seasons.

PS – Hopefully a more coherent, work-like update will come to fruition soon. Fingers crossed.