Thankful | 2017

While I recognize Thanksgiving as a purely colonization holiday meant to ignore the strife and struggles of the native American people, I appreciate the idea of giving thanks for the people I love and appreciate. Today I’m thankful to have so many people who love me in my life, including my family, friends and boyfriend. When life is difficult and I want to spend all day in bed, I know I always have someone I can call who will be there for me.

I have the most loving and supportive family with whom I genuinely adore spending time. We’re always eating meals, watching tv shows, traveling and relaxing together and they constantly boost my self esteem because they laugh at everything I say (making fun of Megan and dad gets the most laughs). They always push me to do my best and love me even when I fail. I’m incredibly lucky to have a family like that.

My friends and I have been close for years (Kaiʻolu and I are at 11 years of friendship and counting!) and despite the distance and time apart, we always come back together as if no time as passed at all. Although we’re all getting older and our priorities are shifting, we still make time for each other a few times each break. I’m lucky to have Mikayla who understands everything I say and provides me with understanding advice and selfie tips. Brandon causes me the most stress and laughter of the bunch. We have the best time eating and going to the beach together when we’re not arguing about his bad life decisions. He always tells me the truth even when I don’t want to hear it, but that’s a type of friendship that everyone should have. Kaiʻolu has been my life partner for over 11 years and she’s never left my side no matter what. Whether I need a shoulder to cry on, a lunch buddy or someone to drop everything and meet me if I’m having a difficult time, Kaiʻolu is there.

Jacob and I have been best friends for the past three years and the past four months as a couple have been some of the best days. Although doing long distance is the hardest experience I’ve ever gone through and we’ve got our fair share of problems, dating my best friend is worth it. He’s given me the most love, laughter and cuddles and I can’t imagine what life was like before him.

As millions of people around the world suffer in poverty, hunger, war and natural disasters, I’m the most thankful that my family and friends are safe and lucky enough to have everything we need. We have houses, food, clothing and education, which so many people would die to have. I will never understand why I can have so much and others have so little, but I try to mend the gap by providing for any homeless or impoverished person I see. We should all give a little thanks today, but never ignore the struggles of others in history and around the world.