It's that time of year again folks, where we sit down and stuff our faces, try not to claw the eyes of our unruly relatives out, and then start the consumerist, capitalist agenda that is Black Friday. But on a more serious and lighter note, I believe that Thanksgiving marks the beginning of winter and the last section of the year. With anything that is coming to a close, it's good to take time and reflect. Thanksgiving is a time where it forces you to ask yourself what you are thankful for. As I begin my reflections over the shitty-ass 2016, this list has reminded me that not everything is terrible and grim.

Things I am thankful for:

1. My mentors, past and present: Jonathan Cunningham, Sylvie McQuade and Roberta Fuhr

2. The good relationship I have with most of my family

3. Being able to afford a higher education

4. Growing up with both sides of my family having really good taste in food

5. The friends that I have made at school who make me laugh so hard that I cry

6. The friends that live across the states and the globe who are still in contact with me

7. My goddamn health

8. Growing up in an ethnically diverse and liberal part of the world

9. My mother never giving up on my stubborn ass about learning German

10. The people who have fought for the rights that I have today; the people that are willing to fight tooth and nail for others’ rights

11. To have been able to travel and see different parts of the world

12. To have met people from different backgrounds and with different experiences that they are willing to share

13. Small/local businesses that do well and don’t go out of business

14. The healing powers of a good cup of tea, a cat on your lap, and a good cry

15. Public transportation

16. Drag queens that have inspired my confidence and helped me become less anxious about everything

17. My mother’s strong will with everything

18. My stepfather for actively being in my life for the past 12 years and being the best father figure I could ask for

19. The relationships that have been rekindled

20. How close my family actually is, even though we don’t always get along

21. That I have clean water

22. Being able to see, touch, feel, smell and taste

23. To have experienced two different millenniums

24. The editors of UNHhhh, my favorite web series.

25. To having been exposed to powerful and inspiring characters, real and fiction

26. The ability to taste and be able to use food as a way to bring people together

27. I am lucky enough to have gotten to experience low-land snow growing up

28. That I have the strength and will power to keep pushing through hard times

29. All the resources my school offers me, even though I don’t use them very often

30. To not have experienced a World War in my lifetime