If nothing else, the last six years have shown me you have to be alert and look out for the often vague and obscure signs pointing you in the right direction. Life presents unexpected twists and turns and if you spend too much time looking in the rearview mirror, you're kind of missing the point. I was led back to Boston, my hometown, a move I never would have made had I not been paying attention to the signs. It's been an interesting transition, trying not to cut the tethers of a former home, maintain them from a distance, while beginning anew in a changed place that I remember loving so much.
With the dust of the move settling and with the world's spin slowing down, I find myself nearly upon Thanksgiving, living in a new home and not having to travel very far to break bread with my little family for the holiday. My house has been warmed with the constant presence of family and friends and I have a new job that I love and am challenged by everyday. Nearly every year that I lived in Washington, I made the trip back to Boston for Thanksgiving. I traveled sometimes by plane, sometimes with a U-Haul in tow (much to my parents' chagrin), needing to off load stuff that wouldn't fit into a studio-sized apartment. This year, however, I will travel an hour by car to my parent's home, with one of my favorite people, Ryan, and a heart overjoyed to be here. I have a lot to be thankful for.
Looking back to 2009, with overloaded plates of my mother's delicious meal, my family and I toasted to our well-being. There was my divorce and my Dad and Stepdad had each had their respective surgeries. And though none of us were quite out of the proverbial woods, we were getting there, inching toward regaining our health. It was a good holiday - we had each other and life, which had proven to be turbulent during that previous year.
One year ago, in 2010, I spent Thanksgiving in Washington, with my dear friend, Keith, and his wonderful friends. It was well-attended by a prism of people with varied histories and colorful lives. We all came together, many of us not knowing anyone but our hosts, to share a holiday of incredible food (three types of turkey), wine (copious amounts of wine), and many laughs. Washington can be a cold and transient place but even if for just one day, we were family. It remains one of my most treasured memories of living there.
What strikes me most about looking back at the unexpected events of the past is having the ability to cherry pick from it the lessons learned. Of course, I have the luxury of distance and hindsight and with that comes a certain philosophical outlook. Admittedly, when you're down in the trenches you aren't thinking how wonderful it will be to know what lessons you will seemingly pirouette out of the quagmire with. Friends of mine and I talk now about where we all were only one year ago and how in 2012 things will be evermore different than they are today. I find that rather exciting.
For me, there is very little I would change about my past. You can beat yourself up for the mistakes, but what good would it do? What's the saying about life giving you lemons...add vodka? No wait, wrong adage. It'll come to me.
Life ain't perfect. And I am so thankful for that.