Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Being Thankful

It's that time of year again. Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Time for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, football, Charlie Brown, and turkey. All the good things of life. But it's also a time to give thanks for all of the blessings in life, especially for the people who grace us with their presence.

First of all, I am oh-so-grateful for my family. All of them-- my family in the United States, who is always there for me with an encouraging word when I'm down and my family in Oman, who has opened their hearts and their home to me, just a young girl from America who has no idea what she's doing 3/4 of the time. And of course I am grateful for my Thai sister, who, even though she's not able to be with either of my other families, is so much a blessing to me. I also have to remember my extended family, American and Omani.

I am grateful to the friends I have. To my friends in the United States, who are always there with their love and expressions of how they miss me. I honestly miss seeing all of you so much. And my Omani friends, who have opened their lives to me with such honesty.

I am incredibly grateful for the YES Abroad program and everything it has given me. To the other YES Abroad students, in Oman and elsewhere, you have no idea how much you mean to me. All of your wittiness and overall fabulousness has just proved to me what an amazing group of people you are. Especially I am grateful for Quin, Bailey, Jaira, and Noah for being my number one support system here--no one understands me quite so well as you guys. I'm so thankful for everyone at AMIDEAST, especially Fatin and Sarah, for everything they do for us. And most of all, I'm thankful for the amazing opportunity that YES Abroad has given to me to be here, to be able to share myself and my traditions with Omanis while I learn about this wonderful new culture.

Having just been pulling through a hard month (every exchange student who has ever seen the u-curve of exchangeness knows that November is difficult), it's nice to just step back to remember how truly blessed I am. I am so thankful for all of the opportunities I have, and all of the people I've met, and the amazing support system I have. I'm thankful to get to share the Thanksgiving spirit with the new people I've met. Being in Oman has reminded me what Thanksgiving is about-- in the literal meaning of the word, it is about giving thanks. But Thanksgiving is also about celebrating how wonderful life can be. I think it took my leaving America to realize this. Over the past few months, I have realized that I am so blessed in so many ways, and I give my thanks to everyone who is a part of my life.

In the States, I find that we tend to, like so many holidays, over-commercialize Thanksgiving. It becomes about the food and the parade and the football, rather than about the true meaning. So I bid all of you, sitting down with your families for a Thanksgiving meal, to remember that meaning.

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.  ~E.P. Powell

Have a Happy, Blessed Thanksgiving, and may you remember the true meaning of the holiday.

I'll be posting another post later about my Thanksgiving celebrations here, too :) 

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