It’s easy for me to say, ‘oh this is an American holiday, I’m not American,’ but in reality, I am. I’ve gone through extensive steps to become an American. Eight years and $22,000.00 to make my way, to get my green card, to get my citizenship, and along the way helping my ex husband and some of my staff members get theirs too. After all that effort I am finally an American and I should celebrate the holiday right?

So here it was, coming up to Thanksgiving and I had decided I was going to go to Miami where I wouldn’t have to worry too much about whether I was going to celebrate or not. Where I could have some sunshine, play some golf and get away for a couple days. So what did I decide to do? I invited one of the members of the gym to join me. This was a woman who was my client, but not one of my regulars, and really someone I didn’t know very well at all. What possessed me to invite someone along on what was supposed to be my escape I don’t know. I’m not a girl’s girl, I’m not the type to have girlie holidays, I’ve never even so much as done nails with a girl. Any way, I suggested it to her on a whim, and she said yes! Before I knew it she had booked her ticket and was coming down. At least she was just coming on Friday morning and I was leaving on Saturday afternoon so if we had nothing to talk about all we’d have to do is survive those two days together.

In the meantime I had decided that for Thanksgiving I was just going to just lie in the sun, play some golf, go back to my room, order dinner and that would be that. The next day it would be over and I wouldn’t have thought too much about it. So that’s what I told people I was doing and much to my surprise they didn’t like that idea at all and they told me I should make an effort and see if I could meet people and go celebrate. Well that wasn’t my plan and I intended to stick to my plan so off I went determined to just spend some time to myself. The night I got in to Miami I went and met up with a friend for drinks and before I knew it he had invited me to his home to have Thanksgiving dinner. As much as I wanted to call up on the day and say something had come up and I couldn’t make it, I thought to myself maybe I should just go. And of course, after all my effort to spend it alone, I ended up having a wonderful time. I am truly thankful that I made the effort and I was amazed at the way everyone embraced me and how thankful people were that I had come. It made me even more aware how thankful I am for everything that has happened to me since I’ve come to this country. The people I’ve met, the generosity I’ve received beyond what people would ever believe. The way I’ve found success, not just because of my personality and drive, but because of all the people along the way who have helped make it happen. I’m thankful to the people who even when I resist, insist on trying to teach me how to have friends and to be a friend. And as hard as it is sometimes, I am learning. But what I’m even more thankful for is the woman who came down to Miami with me, how amazingly easy she was to be around, how gracious she was, how she was just so thankful for me for doing something that, to me, just came naturally, even though I had no idea how it would turn out. As we say if you can’t bake it you need to fake it, but actually I didn’t need to. I just took each moment as it came, and I had a wonderful, wonderful time. And in her making that effort for me I have found a new friend. I am truly thankful that the universe taught me how to be thankful and embrace that wonderful American tradition.