Well, what can I say? 2016 has been a whirlwind of a year. A gorilla took over the internet, memes exploded, violence continues to shake our world and Donald Trump took America by surprise (maybe the Aztecs meant 2016, not 2012). Despite all the craziness this year has had to offer, with a little over a month left until 2017, there is a lot to reminisce on. As an American, Thanksgiving is a truly cherished time, as it is for most people. Families and friends come together to eat lots of food, share stories and watch football. This one day lets us forget all of the ways life seems to get at you and can be a breathe of fresh air, reminding us that it will all be okay. So, if you feel like this year has beat you up, let's take a look at all there is to be thankful for.
Family. It doesn't matter if they are blood related or not, chances are there is a group of people in your life who you consider to be your family. These are the people that are there for you no matter what, and sometimes they are brutally honest and irritate you, but it's all for your own good. I am constantly grateful for my family, which happens to be quite a big one. My parents continue to support me in my choices and my brothers remind me to be a kid sometimes. My extended family also gives me so much love and support, I can't imagine my life without them.
Friends. Whether you have 5 or 50, life wouldn't be the same without friends. As someone who struggles to put myself out there and make friends, I am so thankful for the friends I do have. This year especially I have met so many wonderful people. I feel happy knowing my closest friends from high school are still there should I need them, but we are all busy and don't have always have the time to keep in touch. I am grateful for my friends in Humboldt County, people that took some time for me to find, but are always there for me to have fun with. I have also met tons of people in Wales. Some are just people I see on the bus, but my group of friends that I have known for almost two months feel like I've known them for years. Friends always come and go, but they are one of the greatest parts of life.
Significant others. For those of us who have a partner, it's a wonderful mix of someone who is your family, friend and much more. I've been lucky to have a wonderful boyfriend for the past 5 years. He supports me in everything I do and constantly encourages me to be the best version of myself. When times are tough, he's my shoulder to cry on, but also the push I need to keep going. I couldn't ask for a more loving man and am thankful for him everyday.
Education. Yes, maybe that is weird to be thankful for, but everyone should be grateful for the ability to learn. If you're in college, the world is at your disposal. A higher education opens up so many opportunities that we shouldn't take for granted. My education has allowed me to see the world differently and brought me to a beautiful new country. Even if you aren't in school, there is the chance to learn something new everyday. Cliche? Maybe just a little, but there are so many resources out there for us, just waiting to be used.
Those are four aspects of life I am most grateful for this year, but there is so much more that goes into life. This is the first year I won't be spending Thanksgiving with my family, but my American friends and I have decided to host a pot-luck style "Friendsgiving" and bring a bit of American culture to our friends who come from all over the world. Everyone is excited to celebrate our new friendships and, of course, eat lots of good food. Hopefully you are able to have a great Thanksgiving with lots to be thankful for.