Elastic Waistbands and “American Football”

So it’s the night before Thanksgiving and I’m sitting here wallowing in self-pity in a similar way that I do after a break-up: cookies, sweatpants, the only thing that’s missing really is an Adele soundtrack (yes, I’m one of those girls).

Not going to lie, I’m pretty bummed that I won’t be spending Thanksgiving at home with my family, taking part in our annual traditions: watching the parade while making Christmas lists, over-indulging ourselves at dinner, taking a nap directly after dinner (not together, mind you, we’re not of those families).

But this time, instead of feeling so bad for myself that I post  Adele lyrics on my Facebook or reach for another French fry dipped in ice cream, I have caught myself from making a terrible mistake and continuing to feel bad. This year, more than ever, I am able to realize just how many things there are to be thankful for.

I hate to sound like a pop star accepting an MTV Movie Award, but I truly feel blessed.

Here are just a few of the reasons why:

-American football…..man, do I miss you. I try so hard not to hold France’s love of soccer against it….I mean every country has some weakness, right? Like how the U.S. continues to let Tyler Perry produce movies and television programs with his name in the title or how Canada continues to be…Canada.

-A loving mom who looks creepily like me (or I guess the other way around technically). The number of people I told of my mother’s arrival in France before she came to visit – including, but not limited to, friends, teachers, and liquor store proprietors – is probably crossing the cute Gilmore girls mother-daughter line into a more Dina-Lindsay Lohan-like creepiness. But truth be told, my mom is one of my best friends and I’m so thankful not only to have her consistently keeping up with my craziness, but that I got to share this wonderful experience in France with her. Plus she brought me a pumpkin candle so now my room doesn’t smell like French cheese all the time!

-Social norms that make it completely acceptable for me to walk down the street eating a sandwich. Say what you want about the French, but just know that they completely support the consumption of baguette sandwiches in almost any situation it seems. How many times have you been walking down the street and thought, wow, if only I was eating a sandwich right now, life would be so much better? What’s that? EVERY time, you say? Well, me too, which is why I will be ever grateful to the French.

-A dad who cares enough to scold me about questionable profile pictures 2 minutes after they’ve been posted. For better or worse (just ask ex-boyfriends), my dad has always been involved in the lives of my brother and I, and given us guidance all along the way. This past week, he was honored with the Bobcat Award, an award given by my hometown to those who have contributed to the success of the district each and every day. Between coaching, teaching, radio announcing (seriously), and much, much more, my dad has been more dedicated to our community than anyone I know. If only he would have done a LITTLE bit more that would have prevented him from keeping such a good eye on me during my highschool days (although I should probably thank him for that too).

-Three awesome, infuriating, abnormally athletic brothers. Yeah….I like you guys, I’ll admit it. You guys don’t like the mushy stuff so that’s all I’ll say. Just know I brag about you out the wazoo in France – so much so that I start using words like wazoo.

-Amazing, amazing people who show me how good the world can be. Being away has made me realize what an awesome support system I have at home, from family members who stay in touch to see how I’m doing, to college friends who message me to tell me who they made out with on any given weekend. Truly, I love you all and appreciate all the support that you have given me.

-The ability to follow my dreams. I have wanted to study in France for such a long time, and there were a lot of moments when I thought it wouldn’t happen. But I am HERE and it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, from all the close friends I have made to the fact that I can buy pastries for a fraction of the price on almost every street corner.

I leave you with this, the most adorable picture in the history of the world. I may not be in the U.S., but I can take part in the time-honored college tradition of posting pictures of your pets when you come home from break.

Alright, that’s enough thanks for now. If I WAS giving some kind of acceptance speech, the band would be playing by now and I would be scanning the room for Justin Timberlake and getting ready to make my move – I know he’s technically “married, but I still haven’t given up.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Eat a piece, or seven, of pumpkin pie for me!

I’ll be updating soon with all the juicy deets of my Thanksgiving in France! (be intrigued).

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