Thanksgiving 2014

Ya esta en el aire girando mi moneda…y que sea lo que sea

I am thankful to be here, in Maryland, with my mom and Sharon and Marinos and Kevin.
I am also thankful that I live in Seattle. Distance has given me confidence to start figuring out who I really am, and who I want to be. And how I want to be. And I am thankful for that.
I am grateful to be sitting with my best friend Jeffrey, and I am also thankful for my friends in Seattle: John, Ben, Quinn, Morgan.
I am grateful that I have a good job, a stable job. That my work is recognized by my peers. And I am glad that I usually can leave work at a reasonable hour, and do other things outside work.
I am grateful, that when I can’t leave work at a reasonable hour, even if I come home really late, there will usually be someone to talk to, someone to listen and to listen to.
I am grateful I am finding how to express myself better, less ashamed of being myself. I am grateful for LessWrong and the rationalist community, I am grateful for Non-violent communication, I am grateful for  improv, I am grateful for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.


I used to be so embarrassed, of everything. When I started practicing Non-Violent Communication, I was so scared my family would find out. Karen accidentally mentioned it, and I quickly motioned to her to not say anything more. Mom and Sharon each approached me separately later and asked me what was the course Karen said I was taking. I am ashamed that I made up some non-sense about eastern philosophy or something. But.
I am grateful I am now saying the truth.
It is hard for me to feel emotionally safe enough to be open, a lot of the time.


I am grateful for Karen. The way Karen really appreciates me for who I am, the way we talk and make each other think. The way we love each other and support each other. The way we kick ass together. But especially especially grateful for the way she hears me.


Ya estoy en la mitad de esta carretera…y que sea lo que sea


I am sometimes not grateful. I am sometimes full of other emotions, some “nice” and some “not nice”. All of them actual feelings I feel. and I am grateful I feel them. I am grateful for every moment I am alive, for every breath I take, even the times when life sucks.
And I am grateful that many of my friends also feel this way, and so are helping me create a holiday, a ritual for precisely this reason.


The thing I miss the most about religion is the rituals. The songs, the dances, the greater purpose. Ritual is powerful.
We, who live in the secular world, we have some good holidays. A holiday for expressing thanks, with a beautiful ritual where the whole family gets together and expresses gratefulness. and Isn’t that wonderful?
But there’s also darker parts to life, that need to be acknowledged. And that is the secular ritual I have been working so hard on with my friends, a Secular Solstice event, where we, as secular people can have a solemn, moving ritual where we consider how far humanity has come, and how far we still have to go.
How the universe simply doesn’t care about us, but that’s ok. You know why? Because WE care. There is light in the universe, and it is us. It is this. It is family and friends. It is caring and warmth, and food, and medicine and every other great thing people created that didn’t exist before.
And for all this, and a lot more, I am grateful.
Thank you.

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