Today, as I was reading through some Humans of New York posts, I found one post that caught my attention. The photo-blogger approached a young man asking him what he missed. He said “Mexico.” Then, the interviewer, Brandon Stanton, continued on, “what about Mexico do you miss the most?” The man then recalled an experience with his parents in a McDonalds on his birthday. His best memory was there, because they didn’t get to eat there often. It was too “expensive.”
I think I needed to read this post today. I can’t begin to innumerate the things I am grateful for because there are too many. McDonalds, something we always dismiss as cheap food, means something way different elsewhere. As a result, Americans, in general, have it pretty easy. With this said, I think it would be demeaning to begin saying that life in America is BETTER. In fact, I think the whole “quality of life” metric is arbitrary. However, I will take the time to be grateful for all the opportunities I do have.
I am grateful for my sister. Beginning when we were little, she’d have her friends over often. It was interacting with people two years older than me where I learned how to behave. I learned my comfort zone and I learned how to be myself. When I wasn’t with my own peers, I could take more risks socially. Thanks for letting me interact with your friends. I know I wasn’t always the best sister, but you’ve helped me grow so much.
Thanks to my parents. Thanks for laughing at every bad joke (and good one too). Thanks for putting up with my insistence on going out to eat at least twice a week. It was at dinner tables with you guys where we’ve had good discussions about politics, life, family, and the importance of being humble. We may be hard on each other, but it’s ultimately for the best.
Thanks to my friends. Thanks to the one who helped me out freshman year in the big, scary high school. Thanks to the friend who never ceased to be imaginative with me. Thanks to the friend who is my secret twin; we understand each other with ridiculous accuracy. Thanks to the friend who calls me out when I’m NOT funny. (I know it’s not often that I’m not funny, but you have helped me improve my jokes). Thanks to the friend who I can talk to until 2 a.m. with, even when we disagree. Thanks to the one who pushes me to work harder, who tells me that I can’t expect success to fall into my lap. Thanks to all the wonderful friends I’ve made since coming to College Station at the humble age of 3. Whether or not we’ve stayed close all these years, you all still mean a lot to me.
Thanks to my cats. Thanks for being there to poop in my room at 1 am for a pleasant early-morning surprise. Thanks to my dog(s) Sparky( R.I.P) and Rose, for always having the stamina to run around with me.
I’m thankful for my education, and for the wonderful opportunities I get each and every day. Thanks everyone. In the words of comedian Jim Gaffigan, “It’s all just McDonalds.” In everything that’s happened to me, there’s something to be grateful for.