Canadian Thanksgiving was this past weekend, and I honestly don’t even know where to begin on my list of things that I am thankful for. Let’s talk about the fact that I get to spend my last year of university living in the most beautiful town I’ve ever seen. If that isn’t a reason to be thankful I don’t know what is. Every day I come across something in Exeter that makes me smile and I am so, so thankful that I’ve been able to take advantage of this opportunity.
Moving here has really been an adventure, and the next chapter in this study abroad saga has been what I have dubbed “The Great Canadian Thanksgiving.” It started as an idea between me and a few of my Canadian friends. Since we were all going to be away from home over Thanksgiving we thought it would be fun to cook a full Thanksgiving dinner for us and some friends. A slightly intimidating concept for all of us, considering how many times we had all watched our mothers spend hours and hours cooking turkeys at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Honestly, once we got the giblets out of the turkey everything went very smoothly (Just imagine, if you will, three 20-something women in a kitchen trying to take out turkey giblets, screaming anytime any of us had to actually touch anything that resembled guts). We were all pretty impressed with ourselves that we actually managed to pull off Thanksgiving dinner for 16 people. I took a cue from my old roommate Sheena (who hosted Thanksgiving at our apartment last year, to great success) and made everyone go around and say one thing they were thankful for. Unsurprisingly, my answer was that I was thankful just to be there, living in England, meeting such great people and just being happy. Sometimes I can’t really wrap my brain around all I have to be thankful for. I have amazing family and friends who support me; I have a fantastic life, and a bright future.
If you’ve seen me in the last couple of months you may have seen my tattoo that I got in honour of my time spent in Tanzania last year. I tattooed the word ‘asante’ on my arm. It means thank you. I wanted it on my body so that I could forever look down at the simple word and be reminded to be thankful.
I am thankful that I have now been able to live on 3 different continents and experience new ways of life. I am thankful for pumpkin pie and friends I can laugh with. I am thankful that my parents have helped me in every way they possibly can. I am thankful that I have had opportunities I know that not everyone will have. I want to always be grateful for my lot in life, because I have seen true poverty, and I hope that I will never take for granted the privileged life I live. I want to take every life experience I have had in my 21 years and grow on that until I become the person I hope to be.
Today, and always, I am thankful.