Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Count Your Blessings

that's the cliche of the day i wrote on the dry-erase board i recently hung over my desk. i saw 'motorcycle diaries' over the weekend -- the based-on-a-true-story story of che guevara and his trek through south america. he and his buddy just journey around the continent for shits and giggles. they see crazy injustice all over: homeless indigenous peoples and persecuted communists and muddied children with leprosy. and at the end of it all, che decides to become the revolutionary he became.

i did feel bad for what i saw, knowing that 50 years later not much has changed in south america, but those moments passed, the way moments do, and my sympathy amounted to nothing. i'll still go on my merry way, having to make those tough decisions about what type of new car to buy next year, while others elsewhere in places i don't have to see starve. i often forget this, probably intentionally, as i wade through the minor melodramas of my life. i wish i could be impacted enough to turn into a militant revolutionary fighting for others' causes instead of my own, just like che, but i'm not built that way, and that's the reality i must face. i'm just not that selfless.

but i don't feel guilty for what i have. in fact, watching this made me very, very thankful. it made my troubles seem teeny tiny, which is likely their actual size. and it made the good fortunes that have befallen me seem that much better. i try not to take what i have for granted, and i don't think i do. it's part of the way i was raised. i'm an immigrant, and that has made a huge impression on my mindscape.

so with this and the holiday season in mind, i began thinking of all the things i'm thankful for this thanksgiving. i began to count my blessings and saw that they weren't so different from the ones i enumerated in last year's December 1 entry. in short, i'm a lucky fucking duckie, and this knowledge will carry me through the many more trips i'll surely make to craplandia: that place -- whether real or imagined -- where everything just sucks. i've visited there many times this year, and a few key people/a dog have managed to pull me out every single time:

-- my amazing parents: they're the type of parents you'd ask santa to bring you for christmas when you were unhappy with your own. without their support, i might just live in craplandia. i can't say enough good things about them here, because there simply aren't enough letters in the alphabet and room on the Internet to do them justice.

-- my GIRLfriends: i don't understand women without women friends. i'm completely incapable of surviving without what i've affectionately termed 'my bitches.' they have been my life support system this year in a way i never imagined they could be. they have listened to my rants, wiped away my tears, smacked sense into me and have never once made me feel ridiculous for saying, thinking or doing any of the things i've said, thought or done. big BIG thank yous especially go to (in alphabetical order) demetria, kiana, raidis, sharon, zahra, zee.

-- juice: i've said it a million times before, and i'll say it once more: i love my dog.

those are the biggies of the year who really taught me the value and meaning of unconditional love. i don't mean to be redundant by again mentioning the things off last year's list, but most of those items i still count as blessings today: extended family, other friends (guys included), yoga, books, music, etc., and of course, my new boyfriend justin who showed me, among other things, the correct way to do a downward-facing dog pose and that there's good stuff to be had in the world of romantic relationships, a world i considered abandoning.

the other thing i'm truly thankful for might seem a little less obvious, but it's perhaps the most important thing of all: my self-esteem. after all, it's the one thing that's allowed me to feel worthy of embracing all these blessings, which could vanish tomorrow. and if they did, i would only have my self-esteem as a guide to know that i could and should keep going. it's my incombustible rock.

happy thanksgiving, everyone everywhere.

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