I am thankful for the things not in my life.
I am thankful for the jobs I didn’t take and the ones I wasn’t offered.
I am thankful for the men that left my life and those that I walked away from.
I am thankful for the cities I didn’t move to, the friendships that ended, and the opportunities I missed.
Because what I have now, all that currently makes up my life, is enough.
I am thankful for quiet nights and long phone calls.
In the last 24 hours I’ve talked to three of my dearest, my Basotho family and my mom. Sometimes life takes us away from the ones we love, but they are still there.
Tonight I made a great dinner and am drinking wine while watching a movie and my laundry spins. These are the nights fantasized about those nights in a cold but.
I am thankful for lost things
One of the best pre-Peace Corps pieces of advice I received came from a friend who has sort of a wandering heart, like myself. To summarize:
“Cherish the things you have with you because these things will be your home. But don’t hold on to too tightly. Things get stolen or broke. Be able to let go.”
I identified my new African persona with jewelry. Lots of bracelets, always earrings. Most of that came home with me and I used that jewelry to be the rope hanging on to my former life. If I wore big earrings and brightly colored bracelets, then everyone knew I had come from Africa and that it meant something to me.
Slowly I started to lose things. With more showers and clothing changes, I removed things more often and stuff got lost along the way. As I was losing earrings and bracelets, I was scared that I was loosing my African self.
Tonight I misplaced one of my favorite pair of earrings, bought in Madagascar. It fell off somewhere with bundling of coats and scarves. I was so upset for awhile – another token of my time in Africa gone – and then I realized that these material things do not define my experience, nor the person I became throughout those years. I can lose symbols, but I can’t lose that.
I am thankful for being busy
I have spent a great chunk of this year as the newbie in the office. It’s taken time for me to get my own projects, to feel as if I am not extending work out so that I have something to do. Four months into this job, I feel relatively busy. I am starting to understand my role and what I contribute, which makes the work day more exciting. I get to do things on my own while feeling like part of a team. I often have things left on my to-do list at the end of the day, but there is also lots of items crossed off, too.
I am stuffed with gratitude, well that and Ethiopian food.
I am thankful for focus
I am the person who asks a question and then forgets to listen for the answer. I am the person who some how links horror stories about the post office to the engagement story of a girl she met seven years ago on a train. I am not focused much of the time, and I degrade myself for that. I wish I could sit down for hours and concentrate, but it’s not who I am. However, there are times when I can focus, when I can put all of my attention to what I am doing. I love those moments because it often means I am happy. During my morning writing time, at work, and at dinner with a friend, I was all in. Focused, engaged, present.