29 November 2005

perspective and thanksgiving

My turkey masterpiece!
Probably should've taken the picture before carving...oops!

This past Thanksgiving week, I went back to good ol' Buffalo Grove - (child)hood home of Vince Vaughn and Buffalo Restaurant & Ice Cream (aka "Buffalo's"). Thanksgiving break usually isn't the most exciting, but it's generally characterized by a sense of ambivalence: initial eagerness to go home and spend quality time with family and friends in my hometown which steadily declines into intese dysphoria for Suburbia and an even more intense eye-twitch, thanks to family-induced stress.

However, this year's trip felt a little bit different. Maybe because I finally felt like I have roots somewhere outside the Chicagoland area. New York feels more like my home than an unwelcoming, alien land. I'm no longer a vagabond-like student temporarily living away from home, coming back for breaks to a place that serves as my homebase....My homebase now is the City and transient times now belong to Illinois. Have I finally adjusted to New York living? Is this the transition from adolescence to adulthood?

Whatever it was, I am thankful for the perspective it has given me. My exposure to different type of environments has helped me to appreciate the tranquility of the suburbs, the joys of driving alone in a car, and the behmoth of creativity that is Jo-Ann Superstores...while at the same time helping me to be grateful for New York's rich cultural diversity of people and experiences, the selection of goods at Fairway supermarkets, and so much more.

More importantly, I feel like my experiences moving into adulthood in Evanston and New York have englightened me about what's most important in my life: my family and other loved ones. I have enough distance to see that the reason why my parents are the way they are is because they love me so much. Being so far away has also helped me realize that I shouldn't take my loved ones for granted...And I am now able to better understand that this whole time, my family has meant more to me than I was ever willing to admit.

My newfound perspective is like when you have something so close to you that you fail to recognize that it's there...and once you step farther and farther away, it comes more clearly into view and only then can you see just how great it is. Yet, if you step too far away, the image diminishes, until it is just a memory and an aspect of the past taken for granted. I hope that I never step too far away from the people, places, and experiences which are most important to me...and that if I start to stray, that someone can help me back on the path and keep what I'm most thankful for in sight.


Diana said...

Isn't it great when we are comfortable in our new homes? I also think that true settlement into independent adulthood allows for the perspective, like you mentioned, of appreciating your family more, in addition to appreciating your separateness! Glad to hear you are liking NYC so much--I just had a dream about the city last night!

Susannah said...

I love your postings! You always have something reflective to say...it makes me realize how shallow my world can be!
Glad to see you got home safely for the holidays...

Steph said...

Great to hear from you Diana and Susannah! My life seems utterly dull to yours, judging from your blog writings. Take care!