thankful

[Note: This note is very long. Very, very long. Read on at your own discretion.]

Today is Thanksgiving Day. This isn’t really one of those holidays that Filipinos really adapt but what the heck, I’ve been working in BPO company for more than five years now and we’ve always treated this as a holiday since we don’t normally work (at least no the usual taking-in-calls type of work) on this day so I might as well indulge.

I think I do have alot to be thankful for, I mean, don’t we all? But sometimes we actually forget to say thanks to that big guy upstairs (no, not the boogeyman) for everything that we have. People always tend to ask for more sometimes, not fully appreciating the things that they already have and enjoy. But this year, in a conscious effort to be a better person, again, don;t we all try to be or say we are trying to be at one point or another, I wish to give thanks for a host of things that I think I have neglected for so long but have always been, so to speak, instrumental in making me the person, better or not (hopefully not worse), that I am right now.

Here are twenty-six (God, now that I think of it, that does sound like a very big number, and I am really already that old) things that I am thankful for and why (in no particular order, just like how my mind exactly works):

1. I am thankful for my parents. When we are young, we used to think that it is hard enough that we can’t really choose our parents: we don’t really have that choice. In a slight way we envy those other kids whose parents would give them everything they need and aren’t really that restrictive. But as we grow older to a certain age when we get to prepare to become parents ourselves, start our own families, or try to get setup with a life on our own at least, we realize that it is actually our parents who never really got the choice in the first place. They can’t really choose their own children or how they’re going to end up. In as much as they would have wanted their children to be better people as they grow up, they have us instead. My parents got me instead. And still in spite of that they’re still there.

2. I am thankful for my friends, those who I think are my friends, those who think they’re my friends, and those who think they’re my friends but I end up proving them wrong. I don’t think I really have a lot of them anyway, so I am thnakful for those who’ve stayed throughout the years. There are some friends that I’ve had in the past that I’ve fallen out of, one way or another, but at the back of my mind, I still consider them my friend. Or maybe that’s really just me and my affinity with not letting go.

3. I am thankful for the internet and Facebook and Twitter, and all the other forms of virtual inter-connectedness available to me, and how they often dilute our messages and distort our perception of society in general. You can only imagine how much time it wwould actually take to connect to other people back in the day when we didn’t have technology to bring us together. Today, we can stay abreast with what’s happening to most of the people we know just by going on line, and maybe throw in a comment or two with whatever their status is, just so we can sort of remind them that you still know each other. On the downside, nothing still beats actually spending time to talk face to face and actually touch the person. (Hmmmm… touch.)

4. I am thankful for my work, for whatever it’s worth or will be worth in the future. I have a few reservations on staying at my current company, still I am thankful that I have learned a lot of things so far during my stay here. I kinda thinking of it like school… Umm, okay. Looking back, that might not actually be a good idea since I did not finish school. But the point is all the learning that I have acquired through my stay here at my company is still something. (For fear of saying anything that might cause any confusion or undue assumptions, I am now shutting up about work.)

5. I am thankful for my co-workers, past and present, my supervisors, past and present. I’ve learned how not to act your age, because no one can really tell your age anyway, or because you’re not required to do so unless you can tell someone else’s age just by the way they act. I’ve learned that being good at your job is not enough to get you ahead at it, although it does get you ahead far enough to actually notice it. And finally, I’ve learned that it is not all about work in the workplace anyway, at the end of the day it’s just another job. The real point of work is the people that you connect with, directly or indirectly, and how you can

6. I am thankful for all the schools I have attended. And those whom I have left unfinished. I know one of these day’s I’ll be back in your hallowed halls of learning again, but for now, I pick to slug it out in the real world first.

7. I am thankful for Fitness First and the thrill of running on the treadmill. I was thinking of owning this as my sport, but given that it has become most of a fad already, I think I’ll pass on actual marathons until I can actually run better while on a treadmill. At least, I get the benefits of running, without having to interact with the whole sweaty hoarde.

8. I am thankful for mornings, really early mornings, and late nights. Mornings when I come home from the office, I love how I counterflow from the people traffic, same thing when I go to work at night. I am thankful for not having to go with the flow. One think that sucks though is that since everyone else is just on their way to work while I’m already on my way home, I stink and they all look so… fresh. Oh well.

9. I am thankful for all kinds and mixes of alcohol, and everything else that happens in between when I am under their influence. Yes, who isn’t, right? Often just the right level of kick can get you to sleep or spark a whole new level off enlightenment especially when you’re with the right kind of people. Good conversations often happen when all communicators are slightly buzzed. A lot more courage, a lot more truth. But sometimes, a little too much truth for everyone else to handle.

10. I am thankful for food, especially that corner joint that I have been frequenting a lot lately. I think they got the bet caldereta my Php40 can buy. And they kinda know me by face already since it’s been almost a year since I started eating there almost everyday. They already know what I usually get and it’s a comforting fact for me that there are other people who know your routine even though they don’t really know your name. Somehow they provide some sort of consistency or normalcy in my life that I somehow can’t explain. For all I know, it maybe just me.

11. I am thankful for cigarettes and that inner calm that I get when I smoke. Yes, I know I will quit smoking. Eventually.

12. I am thankful for leche flan. Like, who isn’t?

13. I am thankful for sex, and how it is often such a wonderful thing, but sometimes it is just what it is. I am also thankful for those things that are related to sex but not really, foreplay but not really, friction. Don’t all guys love friction? I appreciate all the

14. I am thankful for color, those that I see and those that other people think I don’t, those colors that I can’t recognize, and those people who think that I don’t recognize them just because I say I am color-blind, but they can’t really tell if I am.

15. I am thankful for disappointments.

16. I am thankful for knowing when to quit. Conscious incompetence. Peter principle. Failure of imagination. We get the picture.

17. I am thankful for blank pieces of paper, bound and unbound, those people who appreciate the potential of blank pieces of paper, and those people who gift me blank pieces of paper, knowing how much I appreciate them. I used to be addicted to the smell of fresh, blank pieces of paper as well as that crisp and warm scent of newply photocopied readings. I guess my appreciation for paper really stems from having spent more than three years in a paperless environment. I am all for saving the trees but that’s what recycled paper is for, right?

18. I am thankful for shoes and all kinds of footwear, for all the walking and the places they let me take them, all the miles I’ve covered in them, and all the shit I’ve stepped on unexpectedly along the way. I think somewhere on this blog, I have already pointed out how I haven’t bought any pair of shoes in such a long time, I think even too long by my standards ove the past few years. But, the good thing is that I am able to use my other pairs of shoes a lot more frequently these days, shoes that bring back memories, both good and not so good. Yet still, another pair wouldn’t really hurt. maybe sometime next month…

19. I am thankful for long awkward silences.

20. I am thankful for the loves that I have loved and lost.

21. I am thankful for my own pride, how much I think I belieeve I am better tham most people, those people who I know who think the same way, those people who are my fans who reinforce that belief, and those people who don’t really realize the truth that I am better than them.

22. I am thankful for family and my brothers. (I know it’s kinda odd that they’re way down the line but this actually comes in no particular order. I just put the numbers on there so I’d know how many I actually got.) We’re civil as a family, that’s my official press release, so I don’t take it personally when other people point out how disconnected we are as brothers from the outside looking in. But the thing is, I think we’re all pretty much psychic now, we can read each other’s feelings and thoughts without having to discuss them out in the open. We don’t even ask each other for help sometimes because we know eah other too well that whenever help is needed, we’d just be there for each other. I know it feels kinda weird when you actually see us together but I am grateful for my brothers, yes, yes. My psychic siblings.

23. I am thankful for music and those songs that stick in my mind for a very very long time. Those songs that keep me sane. I have grown to appreciate a lot of different kinds of music, more than just sticking to just one genre or type. But I am not really anything of a fan of any particular artist, though there are a handful whom I anticipate hearing new music from, I make it a point to explore other kinds of music as well as other kinds of artists. The sweet thing is, you never know when you’re going to stumble into a song that exactly fits the way you’re feeling and your situation. Hearing the universe somehow explain or validate your personal biases and rationalizations to the tune of either big bass beats or scathing guitars somehow makes this slightly pretty fucked up world a little more bearable.

24. I am thankful for lowered expectations. Lowered expectations almost always yields exceeded expectations, and a lot fewer disappointments.

25. I am thankful for fear.

26. I am thankful for roadkill, those poor cats and rats that I encounter as I walk my way home, with their innards sprawled on the street, with their eyes reflecting the last glimmer of light from the corner streeet lamppost before they succumbed to that rolling rubber of death. They always remind me how life is fleeting.

I know somehow I would have missed a host of other things I am thankful for. But that’s the point.

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