Thanksgiving has been pretty much non-existent for me in the last 3 years. Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday after Christmas, but it just didn’t seem right to stuff my face alone in front of the TV. This year though, I do feel like I have a lot of things to give thanks for.
(And yes, I am a Canadian who celebrates American Thanksgiving because I grew up in the States.)
A while ago, a reader, albeit a little rudely (tough love, baby), pointed out that homesickness was all internal and that things would never change if I didn’t change myself. While I don’t agree that homesickness is that simple, he was right that I needed to change the way I was thinking.
Back in Toronto, a lot of foreigners complained about living in Canada. I always thought, why didn’t they just go home? I was ranting away on the phone with my mom when I realised I was such a hypocrite. I had become one of those annoying people who complained about everything, while having the freedom to leave whenever I wanted.
The truth is, would my life have been higher quality in Toronto? Yes. I’m not saying that to be pompous. It’s just a matter of fact that I had higher disposable income, more modernity and convenience, and a plethora of products and multicultural cuisine to choose from thanks to globalisation. But I was never particularly happy in Toronto either, and in some ways I suppose, it’s because money isn’t everything. While Dublin may not have all the bling that money can buy, it offers its own friendly charm. Comparing Dublin to Toronto was simply not fair, because they are like apples and oranges – both with their respective pros and cons. At the end of the day, what I had in Dublin was a handful of amazing friends and a life I built for myself from scratch… and that had a hell of a lot more meaning than a bank account with six digits.
I decided to stop comparing my life with the life I gave up back home. I decided to stop being so pedantic with money and be grateful for the fact that while I may not be rich, I have enough. As a result, I feel like a completely new person. I’m able to appreciate the things I have and the people around me, and not get so offended by little things.
I chose to come to Ireland, perhaps not for the best reasons despite what I told myself, but here I am. Even if I was complaining, I don’t think deep down I really wanted to leave. There’s something about the place that settles into your heart and doesn’t let go. It may not be perfect here, but nowhere is. You just have to make it perfect for you.
So anyway, even though it’s coming a day late, Happy Thanksgiving! And not long now until Christmas!