Hope you’re all having a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones! To those of you who may not be able to celebrate surrounded by love, for whatever reason, know that you’re in my thoughts and I’m sending so much love your way.
While we’re celebrating this day with delicious food and surrounded by love, I hope that we can decolonize the tradition of Thanksgiving by remembering the Native Americans who lost their homes and their lives. Thanksgiving was actually declared a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln as an effort to bring the country together during the tensions of the civil war. The story of the ‘Indians and the Pilgrims’ was not associated with the holiday until the 1890s. And the story of them eating together peacefully and celebrating this newfound friendship is completely false – the Native Americans living on this land were displaced and killed (either directly or by the European diseases the pilgrims brought with them). This video by MTV does a pretty great job of summarizing the issues with the ‘history’ of Thanksgiving. And if you’d like more details about how this tradition came about and would like to see facts to debunk the stories that we’re told in grade school, this article does a pretty rad job. So while we celebrate and think about what we’re grateful for this year, let’s keep those who suffered at the hands of the European immigrants in our thoughts and prayers and remember to be grateful for their sacrifice.
Let’s also keep in mind that the European immigrants who came to this land were also refugees escaping from what they believed to be unfair treatment. Since the Paris attacks, I’ve seen so many hateful things said about the Syrian refugees and it truly makes my blood boil. But as John Oliver stated in his show earlier, “Let’s be honest here, every generation has had its own ugly reaction to refugees – whether the are the Irish, the Vietnamese, the Cubans or the Haitians. And those fears have been broadly unfounded. In fact, there was only one time in American history when the fear of refugees wiping everyone out did actually come true and we’ll all be sitting around a table celebrating it on Thursday.” Let’s not let our fear get the better of our humanity and let’s be grateful that we’re in a position to celebrate while so many around the world are struggling for basic human rights.
The celebration of Thanksgiving has always felt problematic for me because of all the things I’ve mentioned above but the message of thankfulness is something that resonates with me. I think it’s extremely important that we adopt an attitude of gratitude throughout our daily lives. This is something that I’ve been trying to do a lot of recently – shift my perspective to the blessings in any given moment that I’m upset. Posting on this blog and on Instagram has greatly pushed me in that direction because I’m so grateful to be in a position to write about this journey and, hopefully, inspire others & help them realize they’re not alone in their struggles. Two of my favorite doctor bloggers, Vania and Laura, have posts with tips on how to maintain an attitude of gratitude every day of the year!
Here are some photos of my outfit and make up for today! I used most of the make up products from my favorites post.
So this year, I’m thankful for all of you. I’m thankful that writing about this journey has helped others. I’m thankful that someone actually wants to read my random ramblings. I’m thankful that I have a wonderful family who loves me unconditionally. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to do what I love. I’m thankful for my wonderful baby brother, someone who inspires me daily to be the best version of myself, who turns 18 (how even!!?!) today. And I’m thankful for all the blessings in my life that I’m not even aware of because Lord knows there are probably millions.