The pies are made, Theodore the Thanksgiving Turkey is thawing in the sink, and both of my sisters are starting Thanksgiving break today.
A lot of things have happened since last Thanksgiving. Heck, a lot of things have happened this year in general that I am thankful for. Some are little things, some are big things, but being thankful for a certain aspect of our lives doesn't mean that it has to be a certain size or shape or color or phase of matter. After all, most of the things I'm thankful for are things that aren't meant to be materialized, but it's important to remember that they are given life by the people, events, and lessons around me.
Life. I know, it may seem kind of silly to be thankful to be alive, but there have been a couple of times this year where being alive wasn't necessarily a given. Getting in a car accident was a big one, and every time I drive by that place I still hear everyone who told me that I honestly could have - and if I would have been going any faster probably would have - died that morning, I hold my breath.
It really hits home when I think about the brushes with death that have happened this month in the lives of my friends. One of my sorority sisters had an emergency liver transplant earlier this month, and thankfully she got the needed transplant (named Pedro) just in time as all of my sisters and I, regardless of where we were at the time, cried because we were so happy that everything came through.
Then, on Veterans Day, one of my classmates from college was killed in a car accident. He was 24, completely sober, and simply driving home from work when he went left of center and lost control of his car.
Without life, there would be no reason to be thankful for anything else because, well, it's not like I'd be able to be thankful for anything.
Family. No matter how much my dad annoys me with his attempts at trying to find me "real jobs," and no matter how much my sisters argue, and no matter how many times my mom forces me to be slightly more realistic, my family has been there with me through thick and thin. Without them, I'd probably be committed to a mental institution somewhere.
My family doesn't just include my biological family, though. Some of the most important people in my life, my sorority sisters and my closest friends, are included in my family. They may not be related by blood or by legal documents, but they are some of the most beautiful people I have ever been graced to know. They have become my shoulders to cry on, my cheerleaders, my reality checks when I'm thinking like a crazy, and a part of my family that I simply cannot put a price on.
All of the random material things. Even though stuff is stupid and most of my stuff is still in disarray from not cleaning my room since registering for the GRE, I can be thankful that I have warm clothes in the winter and breezy clothes in the summer, that I have a bed to sleep in at night, and shoes to wear on my feet. I have a car that's a little worse for wear (and possibly may need new brake pads) but it's better than nothing at all, and for that I am grateful.
Love. Love - the ultimate thing I am thankful for. I've done a lot of things that could push people away. I suck at answering or returning phone calls. I don't go out that much. I've spent too much time working my short life away and sometimes have neglected the people I love. Through all of my young stupidity, though, my family, friends, and boyfriend have stayed by my side and loved me all the way, even when I screw up and finally cry out that I need help.
It's love that makes me feel snuggly warm when I'm at home with my family. It's love that binds me to my friends and my sisters. It's love that still brings butterflys to my stomach when I even think of my boyfriend and it's the same love that makes me want to spend my life with him. Love may hurt, love may make me scream in frustration, but love ultimately is the reason as to why we're here, and for some, it's love that keeps us perfectly balanced in our current state. Even the Bible says, "Love goes on forever."
I have a lot to be thankful for this year. It may not seem like I've had it easy, and I know that I've had my rough spots, but I've learned a lot about myself this year and I've grown in ways that would not have been possible had I been forced to live paycheck to paycheck, had I hit a deer with my car, or had I been forced to reevaluate where I want to go in life.
So tomorrow, as I sit down with my family to chow down on Theodore the Thanksgiving Turkey, I know that I have been truly blessed this year. Hopefully, I'll continue to be blessed for many more years to come - and that is something to be thankful for.