Friday, November 28, 2014

Giving Thanks

Classic Thanksgiving post--for what are you grateful?

First, I am grateful for my family. I am very lucky that my parents value my education and future a lot and offer me their support in everything I do. I am also lucky that they put up with me, surly teenager that I am. And I am grateful for the unconditional adoration of my cat.

Second, I am grateful for my friends both old and new. Old: It is good to come home to people who knew you when and who have a history with you, who get who you are and have new stories to tell about their own lives. New: I've missed the late-night conversations in the hall, the camaraderie generated by collaboration on a time-sensitive project, the hour-long meals sipping tea at a table in the dining hall.

Third, I am grateful for the opportunities I have, garnered by both time and space.

Time: I am grateful that I live now and not in an era where my gender and race would be held against me de jure. Discrimination does exist and I'm sure I'll see it at some point, but society is becoming more liberal. Futhermore, these are exciting and important times and I am lucky to be part of a generation that still can, potentially, save the world.

Space: America has its flaws, and its governing systems definitely are not perfect--but I live in a prosperous part of the world, where I can get an education and form my own opinions without fearing that I will be murdered for doing so. Aiming a little higher and with more precision, I go to a university that takes care of its students, ensuring that freshmen get plenty of support and guidance in our first year, and where the classes are interesting and everywhere you turn people are embarking on extraordinary endeavors.

Fourth, I am grateful for the different forces that went into shaping my identity. In no perspective am I perfect, but I can work with what I have. I have control freak tendencies so I don't procrastinate a lot and I don't drink or do drugs; I find a lot of different things interesting so I'm motivated to learn; I don't make a habit of being satisfied with how I'm doing so I seek out ways to improve.

Fifth, I am grateful for the little things. Different kinds of tea; the warmth of my Stanford sweater; my bike light; my shark-shaped earphones; the way the sky looks in the evening; the fact that I can take a walk around Lagunita in 20 minutes; the way the trombone part goes in the LSJUMB arrangement of "Little Secrets"; the way my cat purrs when she sits in my lap.

Sixth, I am grateful for infrastructure. Without energy, water, and transportation systems, society cannot function on a very high level. As entities grow larger the need for lines of communication, vectors for resources, grows as well; and since I want to be a civil engineer it should be no surprise that I see this as a good thing.

Seventh, I am grateful for my health, mental/emotional/physical. Folded into this is my creative practice, although I have been neglecting it as of late, because it gives me an outlet for all sorts of mental energies. Being healthy is something people usually take for granted until it is gone, so I will say thank you for it now.

Eighth, I am grateful that I have this space on das Interwebz to call my own. Especially given the previous point about neglecting my writing--the obligation of posting twice here keeps me accountable for getting something down. It forces me to reflect on my experiences, and maybe on accident I'll hit upon something useful to someone else. I should probably start doing writing exercises and posting them here--that would be fun and a way to make sure that I'm producing. You know what the advice is--building and creating things is always productive.

And along with this space comes my readers, for whom I am grateful. Humans need to communicate, and I am glad that someone, out there, is listening.

Have a good weekend, and good night.

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