You'll never get over it, you say. You'll never forget the pain.
You'll never leave it behind.
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I can think of nothing more American than a whole day dedicated to stuffing your face while surrounded by your favorite people. I always appreciated that there was no expectation of gifts, though capitalism has found a way to creep in during the 21st century, as Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year and which was once reserved exclusively for the day after Thanksgiving, has now slid into Thanksgiving itself. In 2020, some retailers started offering Black Friday deals as early as October. In the old days, Thanksgiving was that last reprieve before we threw ourselves into the most consumerist part of the year.
Every year I say I'm going to participate in the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on November 2. And every year I forget to prepare. 2020 was no different.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing the whole “human experience” thing right. The concern usually arises when I'm expected to reminisce and recall specific memories. Ones that some people take for granted.
The catalyst is often an innocent question.
“What's your earliest memory?”
I never know how to answer such a question. I have only the vaguest recollections from kindergarten, let alone anything before. Is there any utility to pushing myself closer to the beginning of my own timeline? I don't see the point, but am I alone?
These days Thanksgiving, once my undisputed favorite holiday, is a bittersweet experience. But this holiday will likely have extra bitterness as the day marks the eighth anniversary of my mother's death.
It was lunchtime on November 28 before I realized the significance of the date. The revelation was discovered due to an innocent conversation with a co-worker. Details about certain family history were questioned. I considered my answer, did some quick math, and then realized what would have been obvious and dreaded by most in my situation: It was the seventh anniversary of my mother's death.
Over many moons now I've asked myself that existential question that every writer asks him or herself: “Why do I write?” Or maybe even more specifically, “Why am I writing about this?” And I've definitely been asking myself that question in regard to this blog and how it's evolved into something deeply personal, something which may turn some people off. Something which at times may concern me. Maybe even scare me a bit. Though hardly anyone reads this blog, it's out there to be found if anyone seeks it. These posts are now public record for anyone to see. This site makes me vulnerable in a way to which I am still adjusting.
Though I am a bit creeped out by data collection, I do look forward to Spotify's end-of-year summary email. The summary always gives an interesting snapshot of the listener's year in music. How much time did you spend listening to music throughout the year? What songs did you listen to most? These questions and more will be answered.
I guess I'm not so bothered by the practice of data collection as long as I get something cool or interesting out of it. Let's face it, everyone's a hypocrite at times.
It seems that my blog has mostly become a medium for me to write about revelations from troubling events I endured a few years ago. This was not intentional, but little in my life has ever gone according to any semblance of a plan. Therefore, I suppose my best strategy is to just roll with it, so I'm going to take a page from the Nike handbook and Just do it.