It’s Thanks Giving time, time to Give Thanks. I want to thank my people. Sure, I’m also “thankful” for my impressive leg strength, Chesapeake Bay Retriever hair, and keen sense of smell, but mostly I’m thankful for my peeps.
My family people are the greatest people. I have a mom who knows the sun doesn’t shine out of my butt, and she wouldn’t tell me it did if I wanted her to; she’s ruthlessly honest and she’s always been my source of personal checks and balances. I’m thankful for her saying, “OK, bye Nikki” when I’m being a brat because I have that tendency. I’m thankful for her not asking why too much when I just want to stay the night with her (but also being keen enough to know there’s a why). I’m thankful she cried every time I left the house to go back to Salisbury during undergrad and grad school. I’m thankful for her never, ever pressuring me to fit an idea of what she wants my life to be like. I’m thankful I bring home rodents instead of children and she spoils them and loves them and hangs pictures of them in her cubicle. I’m thankful she tells me my breath stinks when it does.
I’m thankful for my dad, who chose to be my dad when he decided to put up with my mom. I’m thankful he’s never made me feel like a step-child. I’m thankful he was bold enough to take me clothes shopping during my super hormonal pre-teen and early teen years, when nothing fits! I’m ugly! This isn’t black enough! and mom wanted to choke me. I’m thankful I always had an insomniac buddy on trips home from college who was willing to watch B-movies and The L Word with me. I’m thankful to share a love of late night binge eating, touring model homes, and talking about zombies. And I’m thankful he loves my mom… she’s a real pain in the ass sometimes.
My brother is one of the best people I’ve ever met. He’s kind, he loves helping wounded animals (people included), he does well with old people, babies, and people who are different from him… I’m thankful that we’re not alike in those ways. I’m thankful that he’s always done his own thing. I’m thankful he never counted Christmas presents and I never felt the need to count his. I’m thankful for all the hours he patiently watched me play Super Mario 64. I’m thankful for all the times he wanted to sleep all weekend but came with my parents to see me at college. I’m thankful he shaved that weird devil chin hair thing he had going on in high school.
And I’m thankful for my grandma, who is just amazing and weird and mean. I’m thankful for my dad’s family who, like him, has never made me feel like the step-child, but instead have been closer to me than blood. I’m thankful for my mom’s brother and his family for being so helpful and supportive of my mom lately. And I’m thankful for my boyfriend, who is amazing and definitely family and deserves his own post about how wonderful and good looking he is, and I’m thankful for his family.
I’m Thankful for My Old-School People
I’m thankful my best friend in the world has 2.5 babies that straightened her ass out. I’m thankful she’s happy and doing her thing, and thankful that it never seems like we were apart when we get together–completing each others sentences and all. I’m thankful all my old high school friends forgot how much of an annoying asshole I was and still want to hang out sometimes. I’m thankful most of them seem happy and successful, however they want to define that. And I’m thankful they don’t post a lot of old pictures on Facebook. I’m thankful for old bosses and co-workers who all seemed to have taken me under their wing and tried to help me succeed wherever I am.
I’m Thankful for My Salisbury People
I didn’t meet a whole lot of people in undergrad because I’m a recluse, but I lived with some amazing women and met some cool dudes. I’m thankful to this day my old roommate still thinks we’re soulmates and calls me out when I’m being boring or flaky. I’m thankful I went to grad school with the greatest cohort, ever. I’m thankful I got to be surrounded by and was able to soak up a little genius every day. And I’m thankful they didn’t sacrifice personality for their genius; I have never felt more a part of something nor like I belonged somewhere like I did with my grad school people. I’m thankful for people who I could laugh and cry with over theory and class issues. And I’m super thankful to have had such an amazing experience. And, of course, I’m thankful I got to be in a gem of a program with some phenomenal teachers who became friends.
I’m Thankful for My Students
They’re needy, they’re annoying…but sometimes, they’re brilliant. I’m thankful for the ones who care, for the ones who try, and for the ones who challenge me and force me to rethink my approach. I’m thankful for the ones who made a connection with me and became kind of like friends. I’m thankful for the ones who struggled and still kept going and made themselves proud in the end. I’m thankful for the ones who call me out on my BS. I’m thankful for the ones I would have never gotten to know otherwise who have made me less judgmental and less prideful. And I’m thankful for the ones who drop the class in the first week.
I’m Thankful for My New People
I’m thankful for my work mom who always takes care of me. I’m thankful for my ex-officemate who is a great friend and drinking buddy and was the greatest officemate in the world. I’m thankful for her kids who are just awesome and make me laugh every time I see them. I’m thankful for the front desk people at my gym for always telling me to have a good night. I’m thankful for the other women who lift weights, too, so I don’t feel as insecure in the weight room. I’m thankful for the friends-of-friends I’ve gotten to meet and the random people who like my pictures on Instagram. Yep, I still consider all these people my people.