Once upon a Thanksgiving, a college girl visited her family. She walked into the house wearing a warm sweater, leggings, and boots - as if she walked right out of a Hunter Boots advertisement.
The semester is almost over and the stress of homework deadlines simmers in the back of her mind like the pot of gravy on the back burner of the stove. Thanksgiving has come up quicker than expected, but she can't complain. Just the smell of free, home-cooked food causes her stomach to growl. Good thing she wore those leggings!
She sits down with a glass of wine, ready to relax, and instead, she is immediately bombarded with questions:
How is school going? What is it that you are studying again? How are you and your boyfriend doing?
When are you guys getting married? Have you even talked about being engaged? What are you planning on doing with your degree after school?
Where are you going to live? Do you want to continue your education? Did you ever think of getting a degree in education as well?
Her answers out loud: Well. Music. We are doing well! I'm not sure. Yes. Music. California. No. Not for me!
What is going on in her head: Why in the world are you asking me these questions? Can't you tell that half of them are not appropriate for you to ask? Please, let me change the subject, my life is so much more than my college career. No? Okay... nevermind.
Then she hears half of these same questions repeated as new conversations with different people ensue. She has no idea how to graciously tell others that the onslaught of questions is not only frustrating but anxiety-inducing.
She is overwhelmed by the conversations and is allowed silence in between words of family prayer before the turkey is carved. The table covered in a variety of Thanksgiving foods including her favorite (stuffing) is decorated in leaves and miniature squash.
In that moment, amidst the chatter of family around her, she is reminded of all she should be thankful for - this. Love, family, friends, food, a roof over her head, and a warm place for the holidays.