i wrote a beautiful post in my head while driving home from school and sipping a matcha green tea latte from urth caffe. of course i don't remember any of it now, so this will be a bit more fragmented. however, it's definitely all you'll be getting for the next two weeks, so please try to enjoy.
thanksgiving was pretty dang good. or shall i say all three thanksgivings i had.
1. our school feeds us a traditional thanksgiving meal for lunch on the wednesday before. one of the founders of the event, an alum, brings pie. LOTS of pie. as in even after everyone had had a slice, some people were walking away with entire tins and a fork. there was alcohol at the event. i may have been a little flushed during my presentation and crit (dang asian glow), but it made it a little more bearable. again, there was enough that people walked away with entire bottles to drink during class.
2. mother bear and father bear's church has service then a lunch on the day of. we dropped by, saw the bear's childhood friends, caught up, and had meal #2 for me. it's always good to see the in-laws and the bear's old, old friends.
3. we went to my mom's for a smaller, quieter dinner this year as she was leaving today for a long trip. just her, her fiance, the bear, me, a cousin who is in san diego as an exchange student for the year, and my international student friend from my studio. although it was almost too mellow, and we missed having a+k's family over as usual, it was nice to be so low-key for once.
and we have leftovers. all that weight i lost this semester? yeah, it's comin' back, baby.
so i gave my studio friend, banana, a ride back home this morning so we could possibly be back at school by 2 when we had an optional class that was meeting. yes, we had a class scheduled today. she was so sweet and grateful for being able to get outside of a few block radius of school and spend her first thanksgiving ever with us (she's living in LA without a car for this first year). she said a few things during our car ride that made me reflect on what i'm grateful for.
first, she said that the bear and me are a good couple. she said that staying with us this weekend has made her think she does want to get married one day, now looks forward to it, and hopes she can have a marriage like ours. i was so, so flattered and in total agreement that the bear and i are blessed to have what we have. last night, on the way home from my mom's, we fought in front of her in the car. awkward dorks are we (and i am so yoda, by the way, in my new brown slanket). anyway, we apologized, completely embarrassed, when we got home. at least. ugh, still so ashamed/embarrassed. gah. even after all that she paid us that compliment. yep, so i'm so grateful for the bear, marriage, and that even as a very imperfect couple, those outside of us can still witness the love and believe that a love like this exists.
she then asked how long i had worked before starting school, as she's fresh out of undergrad in tokyo, so i told her i had worked for almost exactly 5 years between. that got me thinking about how so much has happened in those past 5 years besides working, and i was overwhelmed with gratitude for how good life has been for me. your 20s are indeed a dense, eventful, identity-shaping time. these past five years have flown, but so much has happened. a list of some of what has happened:
1. i graduated from college.
2. my baby brother graduated from college.
3. i worked my first and last (so far) corporate-ish job. not for long, though.
3. i worked for the same company for five years.
4. i increased my earning potential exponentially (like beyond anything i had planned or dreamed) and learned the meaning of golden handcuffs.
5. my mom rid herself of a bad man.
6. my mom found a man who made her fall head-over-heels in a teenage girl sort of way for the first time. this time around, i was able to relate (you shoulda seen the bear and me, circa 2000...oh dear...falling in love like that is wonderful but crazy) and also give her my blessing unlike with her marriage to bad man not too long before.
7. i lived on my own for a few months. living alone is wonderful and definitely should be done for a period of at least a few months in your life at some point. well, that's my opinion, anyway.
8. i lived with one of the best roommates ever.
9. i reconnected with the bear.
10. i jumped back in with the bear for a lifetime of adventures together.
11. we got married. sometimes, i'm still amazed that it really happened.
12. my maternal grandfather passed away.
13. i dropped everything, including my 2-month-old job at which i had no paid vacation time yet, to take a 3-day trip to korea and back to see my grandfather right after his diagnosis and spend some last times with him before his health deterioriated. i got further into debt to do it. it was so worth it.
14. i got out of credit card debt.
15. i made a lot of new friends via work, the internets, and school. i am so blessed to have these friends in my life. i know i'm not the best at always being there and am around a lot less these days due to school, but i'm blessed to have the kinds of friends with whom when we do finally talk or see each other again, it's all g and like no time has passed. i love knowing so many intelligent, funny, strong, beautiful women.
16. i am still in touch with friends that i have now known for about 15 years.
17. i went back to grad school. full time. with the support of a husband who is feeding us, clothing us, and housing us rather well despite the lack of my income.
18. the bear and i traveled a litte bit together. vegas, rhode island, tahoe, st. martin/sint maarten.
19. i witnessed quite a few of my friends get married. have babies. begin wonderful families (with our without children).
20. i visited australia.
21. i got to go back to ny twice. wish it were more often, but i can't complain.
22. i've gained a little bit of perspective, even if i still panic/grumble/stress in the moment, my big picture outlook is a lot more trusting and calm. i'm really excited, even if still a bit scared and anxious, to see what He will do now and in the next few years.
and of course, i didn't do any of this of my own strength or aptitude. yes, i work dang hard and try too hard even. despite that, i have been so very blessed beyond anything i know is within my own ability.
i was going to write a paper and get a drawing done today, but instead i rested. yay for such a flexible schedule, even if it means i procrastinate. the next two weeks until semester's end are going to be cah-razy, so i'll see ya'll on the flip side. i can't believe my first semester is already over.
happy belated thanksgiving, all.