Let me tell you a little bit more about my Thanksgiving, because it turned out so perfectly that I am still thinking about it. I'd been worrying about Thanksgiving since August, when my roommate and I decided we were both staying in Colorado and not going back to Ohio to celebrate with our families. I was worried I'd be homesick, and so to fight the homesickness I decided I needed to have a full-blown, awesome, wow-that's-a-lot-of-food Thanksgiving meal. And I would probably be the one to make it.
Surprisingly, though, I wasn't. I did find all of the recipes, and make the shopping list, and tell everyone what to do in the kitchen, but I had nothing to do with a couple of the dishes we ate, like the mashed potatoes and the stuffing. We ended up having dinner with my roommate's brother, and the three of us had a lot of fun. My roommate even got all serious and made a touching little toast before we ate. All the food I had worried about ruining? It all came out exactly the way it was supposed to.
I was listening to an old episode of This American Life a couple of weeks ago, and one of the contributors read a piece she'd written about spending Thanksgiving with her family. I was sad, at first, that I wasn't going to be able to spend it with mine, but near the end of the piece she said this: "It is curious that we Americans have a holiday, Thanksgiving, that's all about people who left their homes for a life of their own choosing, a life that was different from their parents' lives. And how do we celebrate it? By hanging out with our parents."
After listening to her say that, I was glad that I was spending my Thanksgiving out here, celebrating my new, different life. If you had told me a year ago that I would be spending my Thanksgiving with my roommate, his brother, and my dog (my very own dog!), I wouldn't have believed you. Especially if you followed that up by telling me I'd be spending the day in Colorado Springs. And so this year, I'm thankful that I tried something new, and that I am lucky enough to have such great friends to try it with. Of course, I'm thankful for my family and I'm still sad that I'm not celebrating with them. But I think it's important that I spent this holiday celebrating my choice to give something different a try. It's all working out wonderfully.