TEN BEST THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR
TEN BEST THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR
I wouldn’t try and list people because I dare not minimize the importance of the whole. It’s certainly clichÃ©d to include friends and family on this list, but I am consistently struck by their generosity, humor, deep convictions, encouragement, dedication and thoughtfulness.
Especially when millions of people in this country don’t have health coverage or are denied access to crucial and affordable care, I am appreciative of my good health and insurance. Healthcare is a right and not a privilege, but I am still thankful that I am covered under my parents insurance (being under 26 and covered by Obamacare, I should mention).
This goes beyond all the delicious homemade food I ate with my family while at home for Thanksgiving to include a wide array of new restaurants and dishes I’ve tried this year. The copious amounts of pizza we ate last week only turned me off briefly. I am already looking forward to next year’s mac-and-cheese fest at the Old Winston Social Club, plus a vegan restaurant that is coming to Greensboro.
I consider myself incredibly lucky to have landed this gig in an industry that, in many ways, is falling by the wayside. In two years I have learned a vast amount from my editors as well as the countless people I’ve interviewed. I’m thankful for those people who’ve helped me along the way, from my Guilford College journalism professor Jeff Jeske to Donnie Turlington, whose tireless work in public affairs for the city of Greensboro has made my job significantly easier and more pleasant.
The immeasurable power of sticking together is one of the most important things I can fathom, especially in the face of repression. Examples abound, from workers at Wal-Mart who didn’t back down after the company threatened them over a Black Friday strike to communities that celebrated Trans Day of Remembrance and Resilience rededicating themselves to the struggle for a different world.
In spite of the overall nature of the verdict, I am thrilled that charges were dropped against one defendant and three were found not guilty in the Latin Kings trial last week. Saying their victory is bittersweet would be an understatement, especially for Samuel Velasquez. After erroneously spending five months in jail on other bogus charges, Velasquez was released after a year in jail awaiting this trial. The whole thing is sickening, but I am overjoyed that he and three others can walk away from the case.
THOSE WHO STAY
One after the other, my friends have ditched Greensboro for bigger cities, and it’s easy to get caught up in the exodus and forget those who stay. Be they friends or people holding down various projects and initiatives, they make it worth staying here and improve the city in small and grandiose ways.
THOSE WHO HANG IN
There are incredibly important people in my life who are mildly and deeply depressed. Some are hopeless, others feel like a burden and most have a mix of complicated things embedded in them from a callous world with upside-down values. They remind me of the saying that “existence is resistance,” and I am thankful that they hang in there despite their very real hardships and pain. You are not alone or forgotten.
I think I have always been curious, questioning dominant narratives and holding a strong interest in exploring. It’s no surprise that I put the words “question authority” over my bedroom door at a young age. My curiosity and inquisitiveness leads me to do more than sift through tens of thousands of pages of public records requests — it’s also introduced me tons of new places.
I do not want for material things, be they a pair of shoes that fit or a warm apartment. My inherited class privilege, educational background and solid work ethic and gainful employment help me keep my head above water and live in relative comfort. I’ve got a room of my own and an incredible roommate to split rent with, and while I may technically live in a food desert I’m glad I have a means of transportation.