Monday is Thanksgiving in Canada.
Even during my four years in Toronto, it could be a lonely holiday. Kind family and friends generously invited me to their homes, and I was always very happy to spend time with them. However, it was still thousands of miles away from my own family; I still felt very alone. And that was in a country where everyone celebrated. The university shut down, businesses were closed, anyone who could left the city. Today, I went to work, as usual; the students all showed up, because it was just another day; my Thanksgiving dinner consisted of an admittedly delicious frozen pizza. Many of my friends and family were thoughtful enough to send messages via Facebook and other electronic avenues. My cousin and his wife even sent me a short video of their new baby, whom I have not met yet. So it's not been a bad day, all in all.
This has been a trying six weeks, and I'm only about a fifth of the way through the year. I've been pretty negative lately - about work, moving, all that jazz. So here, right now, I'm going to list the things I'm thankful for.
- That I'm in Russia at all.
- That I have a good and interesting job and am earning a steady income.
- That my co-workers and boss have gone out of their way to be friendly and helpful.
- That I am falling into a steadier and more confident pattern with my classes.
- That I am healthy and have enough energy to do an 8-hour day in heels.
- That my Kobo is full of books, my hard drive is full of television shows, and even at home I will never be bored.
- That I get to blog and be creative to let off steam.
- That one of my Toronto friends came to Moscow at the same time, and is good enough to hang out with me and reminisce.
- That the Internet exists, full of resources and support in a new and sometimes overwhelming experience.
- That the transition into a new culture has been more or less smooth, and I'm feeling comfortable with my surroundings.
- That people back home love me and care about me, and that it will be there when I choose to return.
- That I've survived the first six weeks!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and if you are an expat Canadian like me - an extra special wish.