Throwback to this date last year. No Thanksgiving pictures but I posted this of my trip to Bali a week before Thanksgiving 2013.
Thanksgiving has always been a problematic holiday for me. It is a deceptive celebration of the union between the Pilgrims and Native Americans for that ~three-day feast filled with turkey and maize~ before the continual mass genocide of the Native American population. But, ya know, that’s never gonna look right in the textbooks, though I’ve noticed that American history is becoming less white-washed (actually, I have no idea what kids are learning today so they may very well be poorly cosplaying as Pilgrims and “Indians” [ugh] as I type this), and the holiday now focuses less on the facade and more on giving thanks and feasting with family and friends. So I will squirm as I think about all the natives who have lost their lives in this “cultural and political amnesia” (thanks Wikipedia) while stuffing my face with whatever we’re having for Thanksgiving this year, because being thankful with loved ones is really what it’s about nowadays. Because ultimately I strive to stay positive. But still—never forget.
With that being said though, I didn’t feel much like celebrating this year for a few reasons, number one being the disgusting outcome of the Darren Wilson trial. It’s hard to celebrate an American holiday when racism is still a HUGE problem and the system is working against Black Americans and ultimately, people of color. (Though I must add that some races are more privileged than others and we must acknowledge that.) RIP, Mike Brown.
Secondly, my American bff moved away and he was the only person I would celebrate Thanksgiving with. The holiday has always been rooted in family for me so if my family isn’t present, I kinda just forget about it. One of my colleagues had been telling me about buying a turkey all week and it didn’t click that it was Thanksgiving until right before my boss left the office tonight and asked what I was doing to celebrate. “Uh, nothing,” I replied slowly. She gave me a sympathetic face and wished me “Happy Thanksgiving” which I thought was nice.
I did wonder if I purposely forgot the holiday because I wouldn’t have anybody to celebrate it with this year. I was going to eat at any of my usual spots when, at my other coworkers’ insistence, I decided to treat myself to a nice dinner at Thai Basil. It’s my go-to place for special occasions as the prices are more expensive, but they serve my favorite green curry noodles and thai milk tea, a rari-tea (hoho) in Hong Kong.
While there, I was extremely content. Right before I left the office, my sister had contacted me wanting to talk. We had a bit of a falling out a few months ago and have been on better terms since her birthday about a week ago. She was telling me about our mutual friend, and I was just happy that she was talking to that friend now. She told me how excited our friend was for me to visit this year and I suddenly felt a lot closer to both of them.
During dinner, I was texting with a fellow derby mate. We were confiding in each other and it was such a nice feeling to know that there are people out there who are genuine and honest. The night before, we had a team meeting and I just felt really happy to be able to get closer to these women. It takes me awhile to trust people and truly open up and I felt that I was being more of myself last night. It was a great feeling.
I took a picture of my dinner and texted it to my mom and sister, telling them that I was thankful for them in my life.
I don’t think I’ve ever said that to them before. Aside from exchanging “I love you’s” with my mom, my sister and I rarely ever express any sort of endearment towards each other. It felt like a bold—and perhaps even insincere—thing to say, but it needed to be said. I hope they know I meant it.
The last few months have been less than ideal but now I finally have something to look forward to. I can’t wait to go back to LA this year to visit friends and family, and also, TO CHILL.
This year, I’m thankful for my family, all of my friends who’ve stayed, the lovely people I’m getting more acquainted with, roller derby roller derby roller derby, and MEEEEEE. And of course, my amazing breakfast from this morning:
Eggs benedict with chorizo and onions from Brunch Club & Supper in CWB. Perfect.