I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! If you haven’t done so already, you should watch the seasonally appropriate “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” It’s one of my favorites, probably because when I was a small child, the toast-and-popcorn dinner seemed like a dream come true to me. (It still sounds pretty awesome.) Also, I remember at least one Thanksgiving at my house when the kids’ table was a ping-pong table. Peanuts just get me, you know?
Last year, I really wanted to be a slacker teacher and show my classes that movie on Thanksgiving, but i hesitated when I realized it has virtually no substance, not to mention spoken English. So instead I was the slacker teacher who taught them to make hand-turkeys (under the guise of “American cultural traditions”) and still managed to sneak in some Snoopy by showing the educational “This is America, Charlie Brown,” featuring Charlie Brown and the gang and also Squanto. I watched it 8 times (one for each class, baby!), so I could probably still recite it for you.
Last year’s Thanksgiving was a little different than this one. Last year, Em and the gang and I were slaving away to create a little Western culinary bliss. This year, I was back in my Minnesota homeland, with easy access to StoveTop stuffing (my favorite- don’t judge), cream of mushroom soup, and turkey (not available in China, unless you buy it imported at exorbitant prices).
I’m so thankful for both of those Thanksgivings, and the path that led me from the one to the other. A few years ago, I would have laughed in your face if you had told me I would spend a Thanksgiving in China, or that the next Thanksgiving would take place during my first semester of a journalism program. I had no idea those things would happen, and when I was trying to foresee my future, I often had mature philosophical thoughts such as: “Why are things not perfect this very second and why am I unable to plan the next 40 years of my life?”
But if things would have been my definition of perfect in those moments, I would never be where I am today, and let me tell you, I am LOVING where I am today.
So I’m just thankful. That I’m here, that I’m alive, that I’m doing what I LOVE, that I’m getting to experience my family’s new couch, the one we waited to buy until after my ever-shedding beloved dog died, only he was immortal, and lived a million years, out of spite for the couch thing, probably.
It’s been such a good year- in China and back - and I am thankful.