Friday, November 23, 2007

For You (And Me)

My mom and I were discussing how she believes that there is an openness about her, a frank way of putting herself out there when in general she is closed down. She only lets people know what she wants and therefore comes off--in her mind--of being open and honest.

Well, it's Thanksgiving, a holiday that asks of nothing but eating and sincerity. The hack thing to do is to make a list of all the things you're thankful for on Thanksgiving. The cheap way to go about it is to discuss all of the things that you're thankful aren't happening, so you can put something up, feign being clever, and not give anything away. The real way to do it is to be raw, bare, open, and (unfortunately, probably) unedited.

I am thankful for the fact that I come from a middle class home and that I didn't have to struggle for anything. Whatever I wanted, if it was reasonable, was mine. I'm thankful that I have never been forced to have a job, or had to deal with money issues strictly on my own. I'm thankful that where I went to school was always an academic issue and never a monetary one. I'm thankful that my dad has probably taken years off of his life to work for this to happen for me. I joke that because of my spending, he'll be working til he dies at 90. I have few goals, and one of them is to make god damn well sure that he never has to work again as soon as I possibly can. I'm thankful that if this never happens, he'll love me the same.

I am thankful for the blessing and the curse of living and growing up in such a small town. I am thankful that I can walk down the street and have the comfort of knowing someone at almost every other house. I am thankful that I grew up not having to worry about violence, or bullies, or dealing with bullshit peer pressure. I am thankful that there were teachers who gave--and still give--their time to a school that is criminally under funded, improperly cared for, and never get their due credit (like any teacher anywhere, really). I am thankful that I had the opportunity to learn from everyone and everything around me, and that I became wise enough to indulge and appreciate the experience long after I first soured on it and right before I left it, probably forever.

I am thankful for friends who have become almost innumerable. Everywhere I turn there is someone that I can trust and love and, even more importantly, joke around and be stupid with. There is such an incredible diverse and special group of people everywhere I go that it astounds me. Kids in high school, kids in college, adults who have gotten married, filling every inch of the spectrum. The only problem I seem to have is that there aren't enough hours in the day to appreciate all that they offer, all that they so unselfishly give out, seemingly unaware of how special they are. I am thankful that they can take me at face value, and the special ones that can see right through my "happy jokey guy" bullshit and see me for me, that I don't need to perform around. I'd run out of space for names, but I love all of you. I am absolutely nothing without you. Nothing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I am thankful for the gift and ability to write something like this out. I'm not thankful that I'm far too much of a lightweight to go around and tell people this stuff face-to-face, but, what can ya do? Write about it on the internet, I guess. I am thankful that my parents always encouraged me to be creative. Fuck, they let me be a film major without a blink of an eye. I am thankful for my mom for giving me a vast vocabulary; even though the word I learned from her the most is probably "fuck" (which is my fault, and not a lack of due diligence on your part). I am thankful that I just wrote and directed a 10-minute short film. I'm a filmmaker. An actual, bona fide filmmaker.

I am thankful that I have been able to use a keyboard and a varying succession of keystrokes to let my frustrations, tears, anger, surprise, glee, thoughts, feelings, and fears in such a safe and cathartic way. I am thankful for the fact that people actually read this, enjoy it, and sometimes even taking something from it. I am thankful that when I write about topics, I'm not alone. I am thankful that my bullshit can actually be used for something other than letting off steam.

I am thankful for my apartment and my roommates. I am thankful that I can live with two people who are essentially on opposite sides of the coin in many respects, and are linked in the most basic ways. I am thankful that I can walk away from college knowing full well that I got an education in life at the very least for two years. I am thankful that I can talk about films, writing, comedy, and anything else on the radar with Zack. I am thankful to grow as an artist off of him, and I hope I'm pushing him, too. I am thankful that Ben is a fucking rock, and reminds me a lot of my dad in so many ways. I am thankful that there is someone who always has two feet on the ground, who keeps me earnest. I am thankful that fate put us in that apartment, because it's meant the world to me.

I am thankful for a dedicated family who refused to let me down, or feel unloved, or insecure, or push me in any other way than positively. I am thankful that this extends far up and around the tree, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandmas. I did not know how to be a son, my mom did not know how to be a mother, and my dad did not know how to be a father. It took a while--and a lot of work--but we all came through swimmingly. Of course it could be better; when can it not? We are once again going to hit a new transition with me leaving, and I am thankful that I do not have to worry about it. At all. We're all going to be ok. We're going to make it.

Finally, I am thankful that I can say thanks.