I don’t support the colonialist holiday taking place tomorrow (we only celebrate Lā Kūʻokoʻa in this household), but it would be a mistake to not recognize how lucky I am every day and acknowledge everything I’m thankful for, even when I’m struggling. I definitely benefit from a great deal of privilege compared to other people around the world, especially when it comes to health, familial connections, and basic living necessities. This year, one of the main things I’m thankful for is the health and wellbeing of my family and friends. I always write about the people I love most on my blog being I truly am grateful to have such incredible people surrounding me and that we can celebrate everything together. I’m extremely close to my family on both my mom and dad’s sides and I have multiple groups of friends whom I dearly love. Many people around this time of year struggle emotionally due to their lost loved ones and/or severed ties between them. I’m lucky that I get to celebrate the holidays with most of my loved ones, but I still remember and miss my grams and papa each year. Sometimes I think about how remarkable it is that I’ve had the same group of friends since elementary/middle school and that I’ve added new friendships at Baylor and each person has contributed so much to my life. I would be a fool to not notice that not everyone has that type of friendship and connection with other people. Although my student loans cripple me with anxiety every month, everything would be a lot worse if I didn’t have the full time job and freelance income I do. Of course, it’s been a really difficult transition into working as a real adult, but at least I have a job and other sources of money that keep me going as I prepare to pay the government forever and move to New York!
Every year, I think about the people in prisons and jails across America who are locked in cages instead of with their families and the people they love. I can’t imagine how devastating their holiday season (as well as every other day) is when they’re separated from their loved ones. While it’s nice to share everything I’m thankful for today, I also want to draw attention to the different bail funds that help release people from cages like Mass Bail Out and organizations like the Bronx Defenders who work tirelessly to keep clients out of the system. I hope you’ll all join me in acknowledging what we have and trying to help others who are fighting for their lives.