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On adopted traditions

Even though it’s not a tradition in this country, this culture and this language, we held a Thanksgiving dinner.

Nothing really fancy, though. More like “let’s have a light lunch and cook something fancier for dinner.” The menu: Fancy sausages, mashed potatoes out of a box, a salad with spinach, goat cheese and pears. Two glasses of white wine.

Again, it’s not our tradition, but the times are shitty enough that no one needs an excuse to celebrate something, anything.

Plates are served. We sit down. Mom says a small prayer. I, as usual, stay silent. Mom turns to me:

Do you want to give thanks for something?

I honestly didn’t know what to say. This year has been far from what I’d call “good”; easily some of the worst. I just said the first thing that came to mind:

I’m glad to be here, and to be alive. I’m glad that we don’t really want for anything.

Mom saw that I was nearly crying, so we started to eat and changed the subject. We hosted a video call with my brothers and sister, finished eating, had coffee, cleaned the plates.

Mom just went to bed, I started writing because I can’t shake the thought off of my head: Are things really that shitty that my only thanks is to be alive?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a big thing to be thankful for, but it seems to be the only thing going for me. I couldn’t think of anything to be thankful for. I’m glad that I’m surviving. That’s what my life is right now.

It’s not fair, because it’s not “real” struggle. I really don’t feel like I have anything to be thankful for. But here I am, trying to get back on my feet. I’m trying my best, I swear.

I hope that I really can feel thankful one year from today.