The world has beautiful countries with long histories, stories much older and longer than ours. We travel to admire the art and architecture, the cultural achievements. But there is something that we have that they don’t. We have that unique sense of possibility. Of unlimited potential. Of optimism in the darkest moments. You may not realize it, but our feeling that we can be anything if we work hard enough is not normal in the wider world. In much of the world it isn’t possible to rise from your circumstances, no matter how you try.
I am grateful for this country, for all it has given me, daughter of an immigrant. I’m proud to be the first person in my family history to go to university. I’m proud to have a dream job working with inspiring people at a wonderful company that I believe in. I’m proud of my beautiful family, my children who will grow up to be anything they want to be. Everyday as he gets out of the car, I tell my son, who is in middle school (the worst of all moments of a person’s life) to go and shine his light on everyone. He’s a naturally happy person and I want him to spread that light on the kids that aren’t as self-assured as he is. Kids at that age struggle so much. Everyone is worthy of and craving for kindness and acknowledgment. A smile can be enough. I feel like we are all in middle school right now.
It’s a day to hug your family, friends and neighbors, no matter who they voted for. Let’s be our best selves. Smile at the other people in the grocery store. Let someone cut in front of you in traffic without giving them the finger. Buy a latte for the person behind you in line, hopefully it will be me. Be the goodness you’d like to see in this world. There is so much to be grateful for.
Personally, I am grateful for all of you. This blog has become more successful than I’d ever dreamed it would. I love this community of adventurers, you have really saved my sanity and given me a space for my voice. Thank you for that. I hope my advice and occasional sense of humor has brought you some light. I hope we can expand this adventure together and bring light to other travelers in this world.
I cannot hug you personally today, so I’d like to send you a present. Some of you know that I like to paint and draw, and make block prints. Last year I sent out about 200 prints, this year I want to send more. I’m not sure how many I can do, but if you want a handmade art print made by me, I’d like to send you one for free, as an act of service and gratitude to the community that has given me so much positive energy. It’s a thank you and a reminder that the world is a fundamentally good place and we have many adventures ahead of us.
If you’d like a print, please send me your name and mailing address. If you received a print last year, please tell me which one so that I can send you a different one this year. I’ll use my blocks from last year plus some new ones, they will be sent at random. If you’d like to help defray the cost of mail and printing, please make a purchase from Amazon at some point this holiday season using the links on my page.
Email your mailing address and name to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Art Print” and I’ll take as many as I can. Let’s set the cut off date as Sunday, November 13.
Hugs to you all, thanks for reading, commenting and sharing!