The aromas of roast turkey, baked pears and pumpkin cheesecake are wafting up the stairwell, along with fits of laughter, as my housemates work on cooking up a feast. It’s Thanksgiving day here in the US. Walk down the street and, just like on Chinese New Year in Singapore, you’ll find 99% of all stores closed. Folks travel far and wide to be home with their families. The dishes and conversations may vary across the country, but the basic human love and warmth remains the same. I’m a million miles away from home, but am fortunate to still be surrounded by friends.

As I venture through my 24th year on Earth, surrounded by fellow young adults all on uncertain paths, I often find myself either engaged in deep conversation, or lost in deep thought about life. Who are we? Where are we going? How did we get here? I know, without a doubt in my mind, that I have much to be thankful for.

  • For the ability to pursue my social issue documentary filmmaking dreams & make a decent living from doing it
  • For the mentors who guide me and look out for my well-being – Maria, JJ, Ines, folks at Kartemquin –  you know not how much you inspire me.
  • For the kindness and generosity of Seth and his team at Innovations For Learning, who’s sponsoring my work visa.
  • For the opportunity to spend all 4 of my Thanksgiving Days so far in great company. With Sam’s family in Wisconsin, Jane’s family in Maryland, friends/housemates at 1101 Garnett, and this year with Maria’s family.
  • For the friends I still get to see every so often, you keep me happy, grounded, loved and sane.
  • For the friends I don’t really get to see, because you’re far far away… you’re still in my heart. Wish I’d been able to communicate as much as I’d like to.
  • For my family. The unconditional love and support means a lot to me. It’s been 2 years since I’ve been home and I can’t wait for the next opportunity to visit.
  • And, of course, for you.

What are you thankful for?

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