As far back as I can remember, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. No matter how busy life might be, there is one day in the year which demands you take a deep breath, pour a glass of wine and share delicious food with your family.
Thanks to ridiculous airline prices and living on a student loan paying- about to switch jobs/take a pay cut-living in Manhattan budget, this will be the first year I have not joined my family for Thanksgiving.
I won't be there to make the pumpkin pie, lay around in my pajamas, whisk just-plated items from the kitchen to the table, open the wine and try to stay out of the way as Mum and Dad whip up a feast too big for just four people. I won't consume scary amounts of Daddy's mashed potatoes (a gut-bomb secretly disguised by delicious, if not unhealthy, amounts of butter and cream). And I won't be there to make just enough room to fit in some pie.
On top of all that, all those things that make me love Thanksgiving, I will miss out on selecting the Christmas tree, decorating the house for Christmas and turkey pie.
Needless to say, this year will be a bit strange - a depart for the tradition that I so enjoy. Mike's father generously decided to fly us both down to South Carolina Thanksgiving morning for a long weekend. I'm excited to spend Thanksgiving with Mike because, at this point, I consider him family and holidays don't seem the same without him.
I don't know what to expect, I don't know the Thanksgiving traditions of another family. I feel like an adult, about to embark on new traditions that will become my own.
As much fun as creating new traditions can be, I don't like breaking old traditions. So to keep one of my favorite traditions going, even though I won't be sitting around the table with my family, here is what I am thankful for:
I am thankful for my family. I feel so lucky to have a family that loves each other and supports one another no matter what. The values that my parents taught me have kept me grounded and focused on what is truly important in life. I am thankful they were behind me 100% when I decided to pursue my passion of baking. I wish we didn't have to be so far apart.
I am thankful for Mike and our relationship. He's been an amazing support this year as I have tried to balance work, school, internship and life. He was always ready with an encouraging word or hug when I didn't think I could keep up the schedule anymore. The time we actually have for each other is limited, but we always make the most of it. I'm thankful I can come home to my best friend every night.
I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given and chosen to pursue. Yes, my schedule sucks right now. But, when I stop to think about it, life isn't so bad. I live in a beautiful apartment in Manhattan with a wonderful guy, I am pursing my dream career, I have a wonderful family, I have money to pay my bills and usually a little left over. The things I would like to change about my life will change soon enough and this will bring a new set of challenges.
If I shut my eyes, I can hear Daddy pouring the first glass of wine as everyone waits anxiously to dig into the feast. I am home in spirit, always.