The history of Thanksgiving is not exactly a cheerful story of sharing and bounty. However, I am full of thanks, and I do appreciate the importance of sharing the things we cherish.
I am grateful for my friends, the ones who will poke and prod a Tofurkey into our dinner tonight, who won’t mind if the recipe for sweet potato casserole I’m cobbling together turns into burnt-yams-with-vegan-marshmellow-topping.
I’m grateful to Mitch, the ex-boyfriend-turned-best-friend who asks hard questions and has an easy smile. And Mitch? I’ve cried on your shoulder so many times it defies reason. Thanks for that. I owe you a tree’s worth of tissues.
I value my “anarchofems”–the group of secular leaders who became family to me. Who would have thought that a harebrained scheme to roadtrip to and from Texas for me would have evolved into the safest space I’ve ever been in, the people I trust most, the first ones I find when it’s all going wrong? I love you more than I can say–the English language is so limited when it come to telling you how it feels to know that you will always make the hurt better. You save me every single day.
I am thankful to everyone who has decided through history that the mentally ill were worth caring for. I’m thankful to the ones who made wrong hypotheses (I’m looking at you, phrenologists) in the quest to improve knowledge. I have gratitude for those who shook their heads at the bad theories researched and experimented and improved our understanding.
I’m grateful to every therapist who decides to treat their clients as more than The Other, who listens and smiles and has tissues on the table and takes careful notes. Additionally and importantly, thank you to every single therapist and psychologist and classmate who has ever come out about their own illness and made it just one iota easier for me to think I could do this. Here’s to you, Marsha Linehan.
I’m happy, lucky, and thankful for my partner, who makes me mix-tapes, who makes me feel overwhelmingly short and infinitely happy, and who, most importantly, makes a difference.
I’m thankful I know Miriam, for a relationship built on making sandwiches, and a friendship that grew out of that one time I asked her out for coffee and she brought homework. (And Miriam, when you read this? I concede. I probably brought up boys first.)
I’m grateful to everyone who’s given me a chance this year. To Mindy, the first one to take me on as a blog contributor, to S.B. Morgaine, my first interview, to Hemant, to the lovely Ashley Miller who gave me this chance, to everyone who shares and reads and comments and critiques.
I’m grateful to Lyz Liddell, who somehow has the capacity to care about every single secular student and I’m thankful for all of the students at the Academies I work with for explaining military bureaucracy slowly and repeatedly.
Most of all, I am thankful to be here, to be happy, to be healthy and loved and understood. That condition isn’t permanent or guaranteed for anyone in this life. Thank you all for being your lovely selves and for intersecting with my life in ways that make it richer.