Why I Voluntarily Spent Thanksgiving Alone (and Loved it)
The food is cooking. The white wine that I used in my stuffing is waiting for me in the fridge. I have the apartment to myself (with the exception of Sadie, my feline homie). I’m in sweats. And I am so overwhelmed with gratitude. I made the choice to spend Thanksgiving alone this year, and although I thought it might break my heart a little, I’m so glad I stuck with that decision. Holidays always seem to creep up. Once Halloween comes, it seems like everything happens so quickly. Sometimes too quickly. I figured I’d make Thanksgiving plans a little in advance, but because I’m newly single and in a bit of a transitional place in my life, I just didn’t have anything set up. As the day got closer, I wrestled with a few different options. I could accept my roommate’s invitation to spend the day at her friend’s boyfriend’s family’s house (that’s a mouthful, I know :)). I could find a last-minute volunteer opportunity. Or I could take the day for myself. I wasn’t sure I wanted to spend the day with brand new people, and by the time I went to sign up for volunteer opportunities everything seemed full (not a bad thing at all!) or far away. I volunteer every week already and rarely have a whole day to myself, so I figured I’d take advantage of the quiet time. My roommate and I went on a nice hike this morning, and then once she left to go to her friend’s boyfriend’s family’s house (there it is again!), I got to turn my music up loud and get cooking! Now I’m just waiting for the food to be done so I can eat (more like devour), drink wine, catch up on TV shows, and let myself healthily reminisce and feel through my emotions. A handful of people told me, “Don’t be alone on Thanksgiving. Don’t do that to yourself.” But, in all honesty, I feel totally fine. I’m happy. My mind is taking me through a lot of bittersweet memories, but I’m genuinely happy. Still, it’s a little weird knowing that on this day last year I cooked a full Thanksgiving meal for the first time and celebrated the holiday at my apartment (where I am now) with my soon-to-be-boyfriend. I remember that my roommates were both out of town (a rarity), and I was so excited to be spending the day with a wonderful new person in my life after being unattached for so long. It’s crazy how much can change in a year. I was just talking to my roommate, Haley (the one I went on the hike with), who is also fairly newly single, about all the seasons of our lives. Sometimes one year ago feels like it was yesterday, and other times it feels like another lifetime. I was in a great place on this day last year, and I’m in a great place this year. A lot has happened and shaped me, but I was happy then, and I’m happy now. So, I’m going to enjoy this peaceful night to myself, put things in perspective…aaaand stuff my face with lots of stuffing and sweet potatoes and only slightly less wine. Cheers to the highs of life, the medium highs, and the lows that make the highs so worth it!