Thanksgiving Makes You Feel Different When You Can't Go Home

Thanksgiving Makes You Feel Different When You Can't Go Home

It really makes you think of how thankful you truly are.
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Thanksgiving is usually a time where most of us look back over the past year or even our whole lives and think about what they are thankful for. This year is a little different for me. I will not be at any of my family's Thanksgiving celebration. I will not be seeing my aunts, uncles, cousins or grandparents. And seeing it written down makes it even weirder. But in a way, it almost makes me more thankful.

My whole life I have had this strong support system, otherwise known as my family. I have the type of family who doesn’t want to see you fail and even if they do not quite agree with what you are doing, they are still going to support you all the way. Not many times in my life has my family not agreed with what I have done, which is kind of nice. So, any given year I am thankful for having just about the best family in the world.

But this year I am thankful for not only that but for my family still being the best as I am 800 miles away from home. Every year I see people that go very far away for college or are in one of the branches of the military and they cannot make it home for Thanksgiving. I always felt bad for them, especially since they are missing time with their families. This year, I cannot go home because of the military. But I also have friends that go to school out of state that won’t make it home this year.

This year I am also more thankful for the time I have got to spend with my family. It has been 5 or more months since I have seen my family. Which for me, is completely out of the ordinary. But I am thankful that from January to June I got to spend the time that I did with them. I know that when I see them next I will be extremely thankful for that time as well.

This year I am more thankful than I ever have been for technology. While this time last year I was so happy for Skype so I could talk to my now husband, I am thankful that almost everyone in my family has some sort of Apple Product. This means I can ‘see’ just about everyone with one annoying dinging dialing noise away. Facetime means that my parents and brother cannot lose me that easy. But it also allows having ‘family time’ even if I am forever and a half away.

This year I am thankful for my husband who is here with me. I know some of my college friends that are out of state are not lucky enough to have their significant other, but having a friend there makes it better. While I am going to miss my family a lot on Thanksgiving Day, I know that I will get to cook a meal for us two, to my best ability. Also, I know that we can do traditions that I grew up with. Like we are going to watch the parade and put up the tree either that night or first thing the next morning. Once again, I will be thankful for that technology to be able to Facetime home and ‘see’ everyone.

This year I am also thankful for my friends. When you move this far away from home you find out who your friends are really quickly. Most drop you, but the good ones check in and make a point to remember you. I am also thankful for my new friends, while most of them have been through my online schooling, and my fellow Odyssey community writers, I am still beyond grateful.

I think that not being able to go home this year gives me some perspective on how lucky I really am. Some people are not fortunate enough to have a supportive and just all-around kind family like I do, same with my friends, and same with my amazing husband.

Not being able to go home for Thanksgiving makes you feel a different way, and it is called more thankful for what you have.

Cover Image Credit: PEXELS

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A Thank You To My Boyfriend's Family

Because you are so important to him, you are important to me.
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This one isn't easy to sit down and write because nothing I could say would do all of you justice in the way that I would hope I could. These are just words, but I hope that I am able to always show my thank you to you by treating him like the prince he is.

I can replay the moment of meeting each and every one of you all over and over in my head like it was yesterday. I was so extremely nervous every single time and I was trying to gather all the "right" things to say that would leave a good, first-lasting impression and that at the end of the day, you all would like me.

I think one of the most important basis and hopes in my relationship is that my significant other's family likes who I am. This is so important to me because whatever is important to him is equally important to me and your thoughts of me are crucial to our relationship.

The second I walked in the door, I was overwhelmed—overwhelmed with such a love. I had no idea at that point in time just how much you would all mean to me and how thankful I am for all of you!

Thank you for constantly making me laugh and feel at home.

Whenever I'm coming over for a family gathering or just to hang out, I know right off that I am walking into a world of laughter and good times are right beside that. You are all so entertaining and always have a good story to tell me. I can't name one time where I didn't feel like I was home.

And I appreciate the sweet, embarrassing photos and stories about my boyfriend that you all share with me! Even if it is by a photo, I have a glimpse of what his life has always been like thanks to each and every one of you individually.

Thank you for sharing your special moments in life with me.

You don't ever have to, but you invite me anyway. Whether it's just a family gathering, a birthday, or a holiday, I am thankful to have spent those times celebrating these moments in life alongside such amazing people. It's humbling and heartwarming to be a part of memories so unforgettable that you all share and that you have welcomed me to be a part of. They are days that I will never forget and have a place in my heart forever.

Thank you for always being there for him.

Since we have started dating, I have watched the way that you guys love him. I have watched the individual relationships and moments that you share with him make a difference in who he is. I have seen you all love and support him, no matter what he was doing.

With everything that comes along in life, this has been a simple reminder of an unconditional, loving, sacrificing family that is also the best support system. You are not only impacting him, but me, too.

Thank you for welcoming me in like your own.

Whenever you have to brave up and meet your significant other's family, I can say, for myself, that I didn't know what to expect. As I'm sure, none of you did when meeting me. Today, I catch myself wondering why I even worried in the first place. You all have welcomed me in your own ways and made me feel right at home. It is not always easy to do that with just anyone, but you have all taken the time to get to know me. And now I know that if I ever needed anything, I can call one of you.

Thank you for letting me date him.

I am most thankful for this. Thank you for sharing him with me and giving me a chance to show you all how important he is to me. I never thought that I would luck out and meet someone as special, kind, and wonderful as he is, but I did.

You have supported our relationship, given me a chance to love him, and welcomed me to new adventures in love and family. I have the upmost gratitude for each of you. You are the most wonderful, welcoming, and loving family. I am overjoyed to be able to experience just a glimpse of this life with him and with all of you.

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How I'm Surviving Long-Distance With The Friend I Didn't Want To Leave

Two friends who weren't ready to leave each other.

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Lani and I met right when I moved to a new town in South Carolina. I was ten years old and she was in my Sunday school class at synagogue. After my first class was over, I found out that our moms had become friends downstairs while we were upstairs learning. Soon after, I went with my mom to their house and our friendship began. Almost nine years later, we are less like friends and more like sisters.

We think that the thing that really made our friendship last was that we never went to school together, so we only saw each other once a week. Through the grade school friendships that came and went, ours never faded. We were constants in each other's lives — at least until she moved away. Her dad got a job in Ohio our senior year of high school.

She finished out the year and went back and forth between home and her new home all summer. I was so scared about what this meant for us. I thought this eight-year friendship had taken its last breath. She was living in Ohio and going to college in Washington D.C., and I was living in South Carolina and going to school in Alabama. No way we could keep that going. But we kept texting, and FaceTiming, and most importantly, we kept missing each other. We went ten months without seeing one another. The fact that we stayed close is honestly a miracle.

Since we weren't in each other's lives at all we had so much to talk about. We laughed about how her roommate had the exact same first and middle name as I do, and that she hangs out with my sister a lot since she also lives in Washington. We would reminisce about how cringy we used to be making little movies on her old laptop, and that we had no clue how lucky we were to be able to see each other whenever we wanted.

At the end of the school year, we promised each other that we had to meet up one way or another over the summer. We were rather reckless and bought plane tickets to San Francisco with pretty minimal planning. I felt my body bursting with excitement. I would say things to my friends like "Hey only 42 days until San Francisco," to which they usually didn't reply since they weren't the ones going and they really didn't care. But really, who could blame them; I was being very obnoxious.

42 days later finally came, and I speed-walked off my plane at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport to find Lani at my gate. We hugged, then immediately said, "Ew, we never hug." I didn't care though. I was happy to be with my best friend and felt such pride in the fact that we made it through ten months of separation and we could pick up right where we left off.

The trip was amazing, and I wanted to cry when it was over (partially because I was sad to leave Lani, and partially because I was taking a red-eye flight that took off at midnight and I was exhausted). We parted ways, fully knowing that it might be another ten months - or maybe longer - before we could see each other again. But this time, I wasn't so worried about us. I know we'll always end up in each other's weddings and at each other's children's weddings one day.

*Side note: In case you are worried about the length of our separation, don't be! We have plans to see each other in September.

Cover Image Credit:

Juliana Strobing

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