Happy Thanksgiving from France! As I was eating dinner with a friend last night, it dawned on both of us that the all-American holiday was tomorrow (today?). As a strictly American (and Canadian) holiday, Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated, recognized, or even known in France (which is why I spent so much time teaching about it at work this week!). In France, this week is just another work week, which is why the holiday (literally) just crept up on us all. But, it won’t stop us American expats from celebrating it here across the pond, even if we had to search high and low for a turkey and cranberry sauce.
While teaching the Thanksgiving lesson to my French high schoolers, we reviewed the story of the first Thanksgiving, what a modern-day Thanksgiving looks like, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (in which I marched in 2004!), Black Friday, and the National Day of Mourning (seriously, please take a moment to remember all of the Native Americans who lost their lives and who have suffered on our behalf.) But most importantly, we also talked about what we are thankful for.
Above all, most importantly, I am thankful to be here, in France. I’ve been wanting to come back to France to teach since I left Caen three years ago. And I am so, so thankful to have made it happen for myself. I am thankful for the wonderfully kind people, both expats and Frenchies, I have met whilst over here in France. I am also so, so thankful for the people here in France who have gone out of their way to help me and make me feel welcomed, and am equally as thankful that I have amazing family and friends who support me while I am off across the globe trying to build a different sort of life for myself. I am thankful to be healthy, and to have grown up privileged with the resources to make these sort of dreams reality. I am especially thankful for you, the readers, who motivate me everyday to keep this blog going. Even though it takes a lot of time and I don’t get paid, I love creating posts and sharing the world through my eyes– I’m thankful to have people like you who listen. I am also thankful for my Bachelor’s Degree, my ticket to the world, and to be almost one full year out of college. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to start my career working in a great school district earlier this year. I am thankful that In my (almost!) mid-twenties, still have all four of my grandparents, and that I have been able to enjoy and cherish holidays with them. All-in-all, I am thankful for holidays abroad, and the new friends I get to spend them with. This experience is one to truly savor and appreciate, because it won’t last forever– nothing does. I am just thankful. I am thankful to be me and to finally be comfortable in my own skin, and to be in France. I am thankful.
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
Happy Thanksgiving and Chanukah to all! Thinking of friends and family back home today. 🙂