What am I thankful for? Well, it’s a long list, and Thanksgiving tends to bring this out of me.
We didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving where I came from. I didn’t know what to make of it at first, but went along with the festivities anyway, year after year. Over time, I eventually acquired my own meaning of Thanksgiving. I learned to make a list of my blessings. Over the years, the list grew. I’d like to share some of them in the hope that it may inspire you to do the same.
So, I’m thankful for:
- having a working mind, that my brain is still working fine, that I can think still and function in my daily life.
- having a working body, that I can still walk, run, jump, get up on my own, function on my own without having to rely on somebody else to help me all the time.
- my family in Indonesia and in here, including my parents, my two brothers, my two sisters-in-law, grandparents (may they rest in peace), uncles, aunts, cousins, and the rest of extended families.
- Mikey, of course, my best friend, for his patience, support, and understanding; I can always rely on him for these and many more.
- the whole Coppage family, my father and mother-in-law, my sister-in-law and her son and significant other. I am particularly thankful for her son, the newest member of the Coppage family.
- having a place to stay and not being homeless.
- having a source of income, even though it’s not a lot for now since it’s still an internship.
- doing well in school, and yes, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. The light is slowly getting bigger and bigger each day. There are still quite a lot to do before I can get to the tunnel.
- having so many friends all over the world, and these are friends that continue to inspire me, day in and day out. They are my heroes, even though they do what they do without expecting recognition. Their rewards are solely selfless. Kudos to social interest and social action!
- having professors, supervisors and colleagues in my field that also continue to inspire and support me. I’ve learned tremendously from them and will continue to do so. I hope that I can have the courage to be of a positive influence to them too.
- having the opportunity to have the kind of life journey that I think is somewhat unique, I must say. I think my experiences have helped me tremendously to be who I am now. I would not be the person I am now without those experiences, no matter how difficult and challenging some of them were during some years.
- having so many additional families that have taken me in and helped me at different times in my life. To the Bledsoes, the Dolbys, the Clementes, the Emanuels, and the Coppages, it’s an honor for me to know all of you and your kindness.
- meeting and having the opportunity to work with the many clients that I have encountered in a variety of working environment. As much as they probably learned or did not learn anything from me, I have surely learned a great deal from them. Whereas my professors at school provide me with skills and knowledge about how to work, my clients, on the other hand, teach me about the true life and what happen in life. They are a constant reminder of why I do my work.
- having the opportunity to do advocacy work with TASSC and other organizations. People that I’ve met so far through these organizations have reminded me that my work should not be limited to providing therapy in the office, and that there are a lot that I can contribute to in the field. Injustice cannot be fought behind the door only; sometimes we in this field of psychology need to go outside of our comfort level. We will not know what and how our clients experience their pain and suffering unless we venture out from the comfort of our office and see their fight for justice.
- having the opportunity to live in a country where the majority of its people believe in having the freedom of speech and democracy. I know that there are people in this country that still try to stifle the freedom of speech and other rights of certain groups (i.e., immigrants, refugees, women, children, etc.), but that is exactly what we need, an ammunition to continue to fight for justice.
- having Indonesia as forever to be my homeland and country of birth (tanah air). My wish is to be buried there in the end, to go back to my birthplace in the end. I can be so far away in so many years, but deep inside in my heart there’s a place called loyalty, and it belongs to…you know where. I’ve learned to appreciate the U.S. over the many years I’ve lived here and I’ve learned to be thankful for being able to associate deeply with two countries, but I definitely associate passionately with my primary country.
- being acquainted and identified with human rights philosophy and democracy, and I tell you what, how empowering! But with power and knowledge, also comes more realization. They should be accompanied with responsibilities, sacrifice, courage, and a sense of humility. So now I’m facing with the question of what should I do with my power and knowledge?
- having (some) money.
- having access to a (running) car.
- having a good overall health, if I can only keep this borderline high blood pressure down continuously.
- having access to food and water.
- being able to feel safe and live in a pretty safe place.
- having friends from childhood that would like to continue to keep in touch with me…:), which reminds me of another one to be thankful for,
- THE INTERNET, especially for the existence of FACEBOOK, email, skype, twitter, etc. What would I do without them (now)? I must say, though, that I do miss the action of writing letters, sending them out by mail, and waiting for days for any letter. Some of my friends from high school in Indonesia probably still remember this. I used to write and send at least one letter per week during my first few years in the U.S. I still remember exactly the excitement of opening the mail box (the real mail box, that is) and seeing a letter with Indonesian post stamp on it. I truly miss the art of writing letters. About a year ago, I was talking to a 17-year-old Indonesian girl here in Chicago, who came from Indonesia recently and still has family and friends there. She said that she often felt bored at the place where she was living at that time because she had a limited access to the internet. So, I simply said, “What about writing letters to your friends?” What a joke, which I soon realized because she looked at me with such a bewildered look in her face, saying “What? How? People still do that?”
- having all of my five senses still working fine.
- not having an addiction (if you don’t count facebook games, ha ha ha…).
- having the (decent) ability to write.
- not having any chronic mental illness.
I can probably continue the list, but I think I will leave it there for now and continue it another time. If you have any suggestion, feel free to leave me a comment.
So what are you thankful for?