This morning I woke up from a dream where I was wandering around a grocery store with my mother and little sister. We were in Korea, but we had found a Safeway and had found oatmeal and canned pumpkin and all the things I miss when I’m wandering aisles upon aisles of seaweed and kimchi and ramen. In the dream, my mother was walking and not limping and my little sister was happy and not scared shitless to be in a foreign country.
Today is Thanksgiving. In a few minutes, I will scramble some eggs and hurriedly throw on some clothes and I’ll tip-toe my way through the snow and ice to school. But in the meantime, here is everything off the top of my head that I can think of that I’m thankful for right now.
1.) I’m thankful for ondol that keeps my apartment warm.
2.) I’m thankful for the language exchange group that I’m a part of and the friends and warm faces that I see when I go there.
3.) I’m thankful for my three American (Canada is in North America) co-workers who laugh with me, and get frustrated with me, and are there for me when things go wrong.
4.) I’m thankful for the opportunity to travel and see new and beautiful places.
5.) I’m thankful that I have a job where I can finally pay off my school loans.
6.) I’m thankful I haven’t gotten fired yet….
7.) I’m really thankful for Jenji and Nick and all my Cheonan friends.
8.) I’m thankful for Lucy and Juliet and Lily and all the kindergarteners that make me little love-notes on a regular basis.
9.) I’m thankful that there’s coffee in Korea.
10.) I’m thankful for all the friends back home who still message me when they think about it, and who still respond to the messages that I send. I don’t know if anyone could accurately express how much that means to someone living overseas.
11.) I’m thankful for my sweet Korean co-workers that help out where they can.
12.) I’m thankful for the jimjilbang.
13.) I’m thankful that my kids stopped trying to do ddong chim on me after my first day.
14.) I’m thankful that I was able to dumpster dive a beautiful red couch which is now in my apartment. Also, my milk crate bookshelf…
15.) I’m thankful for facebook and all the positive encouragement I get from my friends through that social media. Especially the loving and supportive words that come from Julia Young.
16.) I’m thankful that Ai checks in on me on a regular basis, and messages me when she hasn’t heard from me in a few.
17.) I’m thankful for all the packages and things I’ve been sent from back home.
18.) I’m thankful for Michelle. She’s really been there for me during my first three months in Korea.
19.) I’m thankful for Bob.
20.) I’m thankful for snow.
21.) I’m thankful that somebody once taught me that God had a plan and a purpose for my life, and that I’d be fulfilled once I followed that plan. It isn’t always straightforward, and often it’s complicated and confusing, but I would never have come overseas if I didn’t believe this one thing.