November 27th, 2014.
3 months.
THE American holiday.
Unorganized epiphanies that are probably too deep for a “travel blog”

Sometimes it’s just too easy and too normal to be so “used” to our lives that we don’t even recognize or appreciate all of the wonderful things we have been blessed with; I continue to learn this every day, especially since I’ve gotten un-used to all of the things that were so normal in my life.
Today is Thanksgiving, and it’s kind of a no brainer that holidays suck when you’re three thousand miles away from everyone you love. However, while drowning in my thoughts of all the stories of when my parents were in high school, the repetitive questions like “do you have a boyfriend” and “what are your plans for college,” and of course the laughs around the table which is covered with homemade pumpkin rolls and green bean casseroles and a turkey that takes up too much room that I’m missing, I’ve realized that although I’d like nothing more than to be with my family on my favorite holiday, I’m actually thankful that I’m not. I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to not spend thanksgiving as usual because I’m across the atlantic ocean instead. I’m thankful for my homesickness because it means I have people to miss who love me and whom I love.
It’s been exactly 3 months since I stepped off the plane in Paris, and the thing I’ve learned, more than anything else, more than french and more than how good the pastries really are, is thankfulness. Life is really so cool. We have so many opportunities to be happy, even if we don’t always take them.
We let our routines rule us and our familiarity ruin the beauty and just downright coolness of everyday life. Really think about your life. Really think about the good things in it without all the “buts” and “it’d be better ifs.”
I’m recently just so consumed and obsessed with how absolutely fun, or at least interesting in the least, life is. And not just here in France, but especially life back home. Simple things like how my dad will play a song he likes on The Voice over and over for weeks after it airs, how the ideal Friday night with my best friend is a marathon of any and all movies starring Rachel McAdams and a nights supply of zebra cakes. Frozen yogurt dates on the weekly with my 8 year old sister who has better control of how much sugar she can eat before she gets a bellyache than I do. And how my mom always wants to spend time with me whether it’s a 20 minute dinner or a snowed in weekend… And our next travel plans are always a hot topic.
Don’t we all feel a little guilty on thanksgiving? Putting on a small show for the world to name all the things we are thankful for… Once a year we feel compelled to think hard and be deep and crank out a thank you to the universe for “all it’s given me.” And every year we say “I’m thankful all the time for this, but especially today since it’s thanksgiving” … It took me moving to another continent to even realize my appreciation for my more than cool family and friends and my small town that I’ve spent years complaining about that, it turns out, I actually love more than anywhere.
I can’t believe how mad I’ve gotten over my mom posting an embarrassing picture on Facebook, my dad for not letting me go out 2 nights in a row, my sister for asking me to play a game “one more time” 5 times. Little nuances like that don’t even matter anymore. My heart has softened and my brain has matured in these past 3 months in ways I thought were out of reach in such a short time.
Love your life and laugh at stupid things you do and if you fail be happy you have a chance to succeed in something else and tell people you love that you love them even if they drive you crazy and remember that you’re not “stuck” in life. You can really choose the path you want. It seems out of reach, but the world is a plane ride away, and your happiness relies solely on a slight change of perspective.
Happy turkey day from my baguette, macaroon, and I.


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