With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I’ve seen some people posting their “gratitude list” on facebook and what not. For my Argentinean crew, Thanksgiving isn’t just about eating as much turkey as you possibly can. There are lots of sides, too. Just kidding. Thanksgiving is (or should be) about being thankful and appreciating what we are and what we have. I like the idea, it’s a good “exercise” to focus on the good stuff and be thankful for that. So, here’s my list; these are the things I’m thankful for (in no particular order).
I am immensely thankful for my education. I’ve had access to very high-quality education at all levels, and I can hardly describe how important that is to me. Even better, I mostly went to public schools, so I am also thankful for not having had to pay for that awesome education. I am in debt with my country and I hope I’ll be able to repay it. My education has given me several opportunities, like being here in East Lansing learning even more. I am also thankful for my American education. And for all the informal learning that has happened thanks to it.
I would have not been able to pursue my education without my parents unconditional support. They’ve always believed in me, even when I was ready to call myself a failure. They’ve given me every opportunity they could afford (and I’m not only talking about money), and they’ve always encouraged me to go after my goals/dreams, no matter what. My being in EL is a great example of that: not even once they told me to back out or stay home with them; if this was what I wanted, then it would become their dream as well. Words are not enough to tell how thankful I am for my kick-ass parents.
I am also thankful for my friends. For all of them, those whom I completely lost touch with and those still around. Specially the latter I am very very thankful for having such awesome friends that are there for me despite the distance and the time zones (I’ve blogged about them before, so I won’t repeat myself now). And I am also thankful for the friends I’ve made here, because they make life far from home more enjoyable.
Nico is another great reason to be thankful for. I’ve been lucky to find a guy willing to try a long-distance relationship and really make it work, to turn it into a domestic partnership that is worth the wait. Yes, of course I sometimes wish he was more romantic, or more organized. I’d be ecstatic if he were to do his dishes after breakfast or not to leave his clothes scattered around the bedroom floor. Getting flowers more often would be nice. But you know what? We are talking about the guy that would walk to the library in the Chicagoan winter to chat with me before he got internet at his new place. The same guy that will pick me up from the lab around midnight when my experiments take for ever. Yes, the one that will hug me when he’s asleep and surprise me in the middle of the night (I find this beyond cute, but don’t tell him I told you, okay?). You want more, you say? He came with me when I ran my first 5K, last Thanksgiving, and he was happy for me even though he had to wait for me when it was freezing cold. And he makes me laugh. A lot. And he makes really good food. And I love him and he loves me. I am thankful for that.
And I’m thankful for our cats, of course! They have changed our lives in so many ways… they make me feel at home all the time, and they keep me company when I work (and when I watch movies too). I love seeing how happy Nico is with them, and even though I complain about it, I love that they sleep with us (mostly with me; mostly on my pillow).
I am thankful for my nephews. They came to my life when I had already given up my hopes of having babies in the family. I still remember the first time I held Joaquín in my arms, when he was less than 24 hours old. They have shown me a part of me I didn’t know was there. It is amazing how much you can love someone right the moment you meet them. It is amazing how much love they can give. I simply love them.
I am thankful for my family, which is small, and my extended family as well. Nico’s family has been a great addition to mine. It’s specially nice to have family here and be able to spend Thanksgiving with them. I am looking forward to our Argentinean-American dinner 🙂
Back to the education/work aspect, I am seriously thankful for my advisor. Jim encourages me and believes in me; he sees the potential I can’t see in me. I’ve learned a lot since I joined the group, and I know that I’ll continue to learn, and it is thanks to Jim’s guidance. No, I’m not being a brown-noser. I am truly thankful for working for him. And I am also thankful for my lab mates. I wasn’t so much at first, but now I can appreciate the great people I get to work with. They have helped me a lot so far, and I know I’ll abuse their kindness for some more years. It is nice to get to work and be greeted with a smile; it’s nice to work in a friendly environment.
I am thankful for my role models. Several people have inspired me to become a better version of myself [work still in progress]. Of course I’m including people like Marie Curie (oh, yes, she’s probably my #1 hero), but I am more thankful for those people I got to meet and interact with. People like some of my professors, my lab mates, my friends. Some of them are role models in many aspects, some of them maybe in only one thing, but all of them are an inspiration for me. It’s great to have people around you can look up to.
I am thankful for my students, the Argentinean and the American ones. You can learn so much by teaching! There have been ups and downs, but overall I’ve enjoyed teaching all of them, and I know they have helped me become a better teacher.
I am thankful because I’m braver and stronger than I think. Proof of that is that I’m here. But there are many other smaller things, and I am proud of them (although I tend to forget about them). I was brave enough to take up running, and even attempt a half marathon (it won’t be the last one, you’ll see). I was bold enough to get a tattoo. Every day I grow a bit more, and I know that it is in part because I am brave. Even when I forget and I think I’m weak, there’s some strength inside me that keeps me going. I am very thankful for that.
I’m probably forgetting something. I’m sure I’ll come up with more ideas in the next few days, but this will do for today.
Finally, If you’ve read all this, I am thankful for that.
What are you thankful for?