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clearly, this the greatest day of the year.

a holiday where it's completely acceptable to have three helpings of your meal? it doesn't get much better than that. other than all of the amazing food, i know that the most important part of thanksgiving is surrounding yourself with people you love and being grateful for all of the blessings you've been given.
want to know a secret?

every day since i've been here, i have celebrated a mini-thanksgiving. no, i didn't eat turkey and mashed potatoes each day--that would be silly, actually...that would be AWESOME--but what i have done every day is count my blessings and remember all of the things that i'm grateful for. you can't take all of the wonderful people and things in your life for granted. i think that we should be thankful every day of our lives, and thanksgiving just happens to be a thursday where we get to talk about it outloud and eat a few extra portions.

this is my first thanksgiving away from my family and in the past few days, i've become very aware of that. i think a little homesickness today is perfectly acceptable. on the plus side, seeing as my sister and i will both be home in december, our parents have decided to postpone thanksgiving until the four of us can enjoy it together.

so tonight, my parents dine on cornish hens (still a member of the bird family, just much smaller in size).

although i am thankful every day for my family, today is a day to reflect on just how special they are. i have parents who love me unconditionally and support me in everything i've ever wanted to do. they are the reason i'm here right now. it's because of them that this is my reality. i'm a walking cliche--i moved across the country all by myself to pursue my lifelong dreams of being an actress. it would have been very easy for my family to hesitantly wish me good luck and toss me onto the plane, but instead...

my sister flew to los angeles to help me find a place of my own and settle in. she even changed her flight back to hawaii the day that wilbur passed away so that i wouldn't be alone that night.

my mom made two trips to hollywood to spend countless hours in bed bath and beyonds, pier 1's, and targets to make sure that i had everything i needed and more. and then she spent countless more hours carefully wrapping plates and bowls to ship to me so that i would have some pieces of home in my new apartment.

and my dad hugged me as tight as possible and told me how proud of me he was as he dropped me off at the airport and watched me leave home for the first time. and then he said "how cool is it that this is what you've wanted to do your entire life, and today you're actually doing it?"

i couldn't ask for a more loving family. i'm also blessed with a grandmother who never fails to send me a card for every single holiday--even the ones people don't send cards for (halloween, thanksgiving, hillary clinton's birthday...) i'm thankful that i can still feel my grandfather around me every day and that i have pictures like this.

 there are also all of the wonderful cousins, uncles, aunts--norma and al will always be uncle al and aunt norma to me--and countless other relatives who are constantly showing their support and who love me and are proud of me for everything i do. this blog was a way to take everyone on my journey, and it's brought me so many more connections than i could have hoped for with people who follow along every day and leave me sweet comments like "i wake up a little early every morning to read your blog."

i'm thankful for recent additions to the family.

and i'm thankful for the fact that this upcoming year will bring even more additions to the family.

i'm thankful for the best friends who have been in my life and who i miss every single day. these are the people that know me better than anyone and love me for just being me. i'm thankful for a best friend who hates planes, yet flew in one all the way across the country to be with me for my birthday. sara, you are my rock. in a place where nobody really knows you yet, you grow to truly appreciate those who have stuck by you as friends. through elementary school, through high school, through college, through everything. these are the people that get my jokes. the people that know what's going through my head before i even open my mouth. the people who let me leave beer in their fridge and save it for the next time i come over. the people i know i will never "lose touch with" no matter what direction our lives take us. these are the people who i also call family. i'm also thankful for the new friends i've made here, like stella who selflessly furnished my apartment because she knew "i would appreciate it the most." or bryce, who crosses his big wrestler arms and tells the guy who appears to be bothering me that he's my cousin.

on this day where i'm one of those people who "didn't go home for the holidays", i'm thankful for every text or phonecall i received from a new friend here making sure that i wasn't going to be alone for thanksgiving. yes, i'm spending the first part of my day relaxing and watching movies on lifetime, but tonight i'll actually get to partake in a thanksgiving celebration. an old friend of my dad's very graciously invited me to enjoy a thanksgiving meal at a nice restaurant with her, her husband, and a few of their friends. seeing as los angeles is one of the food capitals of the world, i can't wait to experience what thanksgiving is like in a nice restaurant here. for those of you who are is the menu for tonight!

so today--as far away from my loved ones as i've ever been--instead of crying onto a delivery pizza wishing for home, i sit here with my holiday candles (pumpkin clove and fresh baked cookies) silently reflecting on this day and all of the wonderful blessings in my life. and i do mean silent...this is the quietest i've ever heard hollywood outside of my window. i'm thankful for the fact that i've only heard three honks all day. and in a few hours, i'll be thankful for the big plateful of food doused in gravy and most importantly, i'll be thinking about all of you.

i am also thankful for:

peanut butter
totino's pizzas
a refridgerator and pantry full of food
peace college hoodies
knowing that people everywhere are with their families and friends today
taco bell
watching food network early in the morning
stargazer lillies
the hollywood sign
coors light bottles
calvin and hobbes
my dad's twice baked potatoes
my new throw pillows
everything bagels
sunny days at the beach
eating at sansei with my family
catching a good movie on TV right when it starts
english muffins
vanilla soy milk
being able to come home in december
all of my four legged kitty friends (even you bubblegum! sara, make sure he reads this)
the impact that wilbur had on my life
back to the future
las margaritas cheese dip
every single picture frame, collage, and photo album at 20 warwick circle
my GPS
knowing what it feels like to be loved

1 comment:

Kate said...

I'm your newest follower and am so excited to follow your journey, as I went the opposite way. I'm from Laguna Beach, but just recently moved to Charlotte. It's a different world in the south and I miss CA everyday, but taking control of your life and fulfilling your dreams is what it's all about... Good luck in LA!