Giving Thanks – Day Three

November 24, 2010 at 9:30 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Let freedom ring!  I’m grateful for my independence every single day of the year.  I know there are many things that this country could stand to fix but you have to admit, relatively speaking we’ve got it pretty good.  There are women (and men, yes, but possessing two x chromosomes tends to make me relate to other females a little more) in other parts of the world who can’t even dream about leading a life where they are self-sufficient; a life where they are able to live alone in relative comfort and express their opinions, religious and political beliefs and even sexual preferences to anyone who will listen.  And here I am, doing that every day, in both the real world and this here blog.

By the way, I’m aware that in many other parts of the world I wouldn’t even have access to such a thing as a blog; I’m also aware that some of the things I’ve written about here could actually get me killed in other countries.  It’s chilling to think about but it’s the truth.

Sometimes when I sit in my apartment, enjoying a nice glass of wine after a fulfilling day’s work and/or play, I think of those women.  I think of the places where a girl as young as 10 is forced to marry and begin bearing children and of the places where surviving genital mutilation proves that you’re a woman.  I think of places where rape is used as a way to intimidate and control women who are already completely powerless.  I wish there was more I could do to help these women and I know that, but for chance, our roles could have been reversed.  So I feel like I owe it to them to fully appreciate my freedoms every chance I get.

If you know me at all, you know I have a bit of an independent streak.  I’ve been working since I was 14 and every car I’ve owned I’ve paid for myself.  I continue to take care of myself now and am proud of and thankful for the things I’ve accomplished on my own.  I graduated from a university, have traveled all over the world, get paid to write and now get to hang out at the Field Museum as a pseudo-employee.  I’m realistic enough to know that I couldn’t have done most (any?) of these things without the support and mentorship of my friends and family but when it boils right down to it, I get shit done on my own.  And I’m thankful that I live in a place that allows me to do so.

Also, on a slightly unrelated note, I’m thankful that I live in a place that allows me to travel so freely.  I know that the new TSA security measures cause us to think about our rights as flying passengers and trust me, I’ve got opinions on that.  In fact, walking through the new body scanners just this morning provided inspiration for a future blog post.  But the reality is that I can wake up in Chicago and be in the deep South before dinnertime, which is not something I would be able to do without flying.  I only get to see my southern family once a year and as you can imagine, every moment counts.  So I’m thankful I have the ability to get myself where I need to go and I’m even more thankful that I can do it on my own!


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