Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving in China, or Life is a Crisp Apple

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Wishing so bad that I was back in the states eating turkey and stuffing with everyone right now. Boy, I do love Thanksgiving. Usually, at some point during the meal, I get to mention what I am thankful for, but since I have no turkey dinner, I will just mention it here! But before I do that, let me tell you a funny story.

On Thanksgiving day, China time, I went to class, and took a test, and then came back starving, and like wolfed down a whole bowl of hot clay bowl mixed rice in like five minutes flat. I didn't even think about it being Thanksgiving for like even a second while I ate dinner! Later while talking to a friend, she asked me what I was going to do for Thanksgiving dinner, and it dawned on me that I have just zoomed right on through it! It was so odd, do think that I had actually forgotten to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Anyways, despite the fact that I am a horrible person for forgetting thanksgiving, I was able to talk to my whole family that morning, which was such a treat. They called me on Skype, and I got to say hi to my mom and dad, sister, uncle, grandpa, and great-aunt. Very cool.

And now, I'd like to take a second to share all the things that I am thankful for. So many things, where do I start?

My family! How lucky I am am to have such an amazing group of people that I get to share my life with! How lucky I am that my parents love and support me enough to put me through school and let me go halfway around the world, and who help me navigate all sorts of stupid problems that I get myself into. Check bounces in a foreign country--call Dad. How to make pie dough--call Mom. Feeling tired and/or confused, don't know what to do, and need a pep talk--call my parents. For times to marvel in wonder at the universe--call my sister. Haha, it makes me sound like a baby, but I just really love my family, and I feel so blessed by them.

I feel grateful for the getting the opportunity to study and get an education, especially here in Nanjing. This experience has been absolutely 100% positive, empowering, eye-opening, fun, and challenging. I feel like my Chinese is improving, I am making wonderful friends and connections, and that I am getting to know a part of myself. Its as if this world is my home, and I am simply getting to know areas of my home that I have had yet to explore. I cannot express how important a role education has played in shaping me as a person, and is such a gift.

I am grateful for my healthy body. I wake up in the morning happy, pain free, fully abled. My body lets me walk to the bus station, lets me read and write papers far later into the night than is reasonable, lets me stay up late and have fun, and still doesn't keel over. I did recently discover that I have a cyst in my liver which I am being urged to handle as swiftly as possible, but oddly enough, these days I feel better than ever, and I feel like this cyst thing is just unimportant in light of all the good things that I have going for me. Maybe not the most practical though, but hey, I'm just saying.

I am thankful for my sweetest, nicest boyfriend, Will, who is working his butt off in SF, doing all manner of jobs, and films, and acting companies. I just couldn't be any happier for you baby. I am grateful that you are doing so well. I am grateful you haven't keeled over yet from all of your 18hr work days!

In short, I am grateful to be alive, to feel the cold air on my face in the morning, to get tongue-tied speaking bad Chinese, to dance Zumba class with all the onlookers looking-on, to drag my ass out of bed every morning and to the office, to eat delicious delicious chinese breakfast burrito that may or may not be cooked all the way. This life just couldn't be any more delicious, like biting into a cool crisp apple and crunching it all up with juice running down your fingers. I say, so what if it's getting a little sticky, to hell with it all, because this apple is just so delicious! And this apple is my life. So thanks Mom and Dad for having me, thanks SF State for teaching me, thanks to China for taking me in, thanks to my friends for loving me, and thanks to the universe for letting me exist here, right now.

Love, Rachel.