för tre år sedan.

För tre år sedan. Three years ago.

In 2012 I had a different blog, and on it I maintained a (short-lived) tradition of writing a gratitude post. I haven’t done this since using this particular URL, but I thought I’d bring it back, as today, on Thanksgiving, I am in Sweden, where it is not celebrated, and I feel weird. And thankful. And weirdly thankful. And, thankfully, I am weird.

Okay, that’s enough.

Anyway, I think I will go back and look at the last gratitude post. What was I grateful for at seventeen?

(If you’re interested, the post is http://ceri1341.edublogs.org/2012/11/18/gratitude-2012/)

My dad

Still true. I receive significantly less help from him on math homework, and we have shared giddy nerdy glee about stats and Japanese. I don’t quite see him as my only political influence anymore (thanks Uncle Craig, Ronja, Sweden and lots of time spent in my own head), but he taught me the most important things I know. And over the last two years I have learned a lot from him about how to be someone’s child. And I am very grateful to have him after the events of last Christmas.

My mom

As ashamed as I am to admit it, much more true even than it used to be. I am sad that it took 4,000 some miles between us for us to get closer, but in times when turning to other people was not possible, my mom was there when I needed her. I’ve read that mother-daughter relationships are complicated, so perhaps it’s logical for it to all be illogical. Either way, I am glad for her existence. I have learned much about being someone’s child from her, too. Also about being someone’s wife.

My medium sister

Most of my doubts about my relationship with my sister exist in my head. Still, they exist. Three years ago we worked together on the newspaper staff. God those days seem long ago. Now she asks me about scholarships and I try to offer advice that won’t make her feel like she doesn’t know anything. I am grateful for her. And impressed by her. She is amazing.

My baby sister

“She is a wonderful kid and I am so proud of her,” I wrote three years ago. I didn’t know what she was going to do in the next three years. She is amazing. A wunderkind. I was not half so savvy or hard-working or driven at her age. She has her shit together. I am grateful that she exists.

As a side note: The other day I started a group chat with both sisters. Medium typed, “Never had a sister group chat, this is legit,” and, later, “I feel like we will have this group chat for a long time,” to which I responded with, “It’ll be, ‘Oh my gosh, guys, putting Mom and Dad in the old folks’ home today.” We’ve been having fun. They text me separately while sitting right next to each other. I’m grateful that I did that.

My friends

Still true, though it includes a wider cast now, thanks to reconnecting with old Sjölunden pals and branching out (slightly) in college. Derek, Hannah, Ronja, Helena and Photina, despite being very far away from me, are still a part of my daily life. I love them dearly. They are wiser and funnier than I am, but they inspire me to be wiser and funnier than I am, too. It’s a good dynamic. And since we’re on the subject, I suppose it also includes the cast of characters with whom I regularly hang out here in Umeå. All of whom are rollicking fun.

My newly acquired bravery for being friendly

Interesting. Still using it.

My driver’s license

Hahahahahahaha. I’m sure I will be thankful for it, when I use it again. This year I’m more thankful for bikes and buses.

My new red converse

How I loved those shoes – until they died a weary death a year later. I haven’t owned a red pair since – and this year I’m more thankful for snow boots.

Success and challenges

Let’s have the explanation for that one.

Calculus. Being an editor. Photography. Spanish and German – and Swedish. Driver’s license. Applying to colleges. Cross-country. The whole being friendly to people thing. I’m conquering or have conquered all of these things. And I am confident that I will continue to kick butt in most if not all areas of my life.

Oh, those were good, productive days. I don’t do half as much these days. And yet, I am still thankful for ‘success and challenges.’ Thankful for bus systems, getting out of bed, cooking my own food, making friends, staying in touch with those friends, schoolwork and re-exams, speaking Swedish, traveling, staying in touch with my loved people back home, the art of having a long-distance relationship, and all the other small things that go into deciding to build a half temporary, half not life in another part of the world.

Will Lindstrom/My awesome imagination

I am ashamed to admit this. Here goes. In high school, I created the entire character of an imaginary boyfriend. We don’t need to go into why. But this year, I am much more grateful for the following:

My silly, darling, real-life boyfriend, and the first of many Thanksgiving oatmeal breakfasts.








And that is what I am grateful for, in 2012, and in 2015.


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