A very distant (yet not disconnected) canuck Thanksgiving.

I woke up on Sunday in paradise. A little earlier than I anticipated waking, I laid in bed listening to a light tropical rain spattering the window. The usually raucous birds were still and silent; the only audible nature sounds the wind in the palms.

As the sun started to rise, casting perfectly pink hues all the way to the clouds in the West, I sat contemplating where I was, where my loved ones are, and the fact that the day, and the long weekend, back home in Canada was all about being with, appreciating, being thankful for and celebrating the connections and individuals in life that make it so much sweeter.

Then I started to cry.

Now, I love me some feelings. I’m a pro-tears human with an ‘UP AND OUT!’ mentality when the feels start to swell and the saltwater gets all welly in the eyeball region.

AND. That silly Sunday morning, the salty outpourings started with a poor-me-I’m-away-from-my-people-and-don’t-get-Turkey-day pity party. Instagram pics of family dinners to friends-givings to orphan dinners—and everything in between—had me doing the lonely dance. I started thinking about being the only Robson in Vancouver and had all the sads about not being geographically closer to all the people in my family. I even went so far, like a real jackass, as to get a little shitty that I HAD to be on this island and away from my people on such a special day of thanks and gratitude and all the other juicy feelings of love and appreciation Thanksgiving has come to mean to me.

As the pity-party was playing out, I did what I’ve always known to do: went to the water with pen and journal in hand. It took a few minutes of letting ALL the saltwater—waves and tears—come and go. Regardless of their source, feeling everything I was feeling was all I knew to do. But the best part came when the tears started slowing and the volume went down on the noise between my ears.

The best part was perspective. And a shit ton of gratitude. Then the laughs. And all the joy.

Here’s what I needed to remember to get out of the ‘Blarg, womp womp, poor Jess’ and into the ‘Fuck yes. And also whoa. #blessed’:

I have healthy parents who are both travelling the world. Here’s to able bodied and adventurous folks, and the resources so they can take planes, trains and automobiles to see some really neat stuff.

I have a man in my life who makes being away easier than how it really feels, and technology exists where we get to see eachother’s faces from opposite ends of (pretty much) of the planet. Ten points, Apple, and thank the cosmos for you, Vol.

I have some of the very best friends in the entire world, and they’re one text message away. Also, another technology win. iMessage. Emojis (specifically, the Turkey). C’est bon. AND I'm travelling with some incredibly sweet, open, hilarious, insightful, thoughtful (list goes on) women that, while we just met on Sunday, entertained my Thanksgiving dining table interview and celebrated with me (and some rose/sauv blanc). 

I get the privilege of being on the go and on the move for the thing I do as a job. Three years ago when I started freelancing, that sounded like the furthest thing from possible. Living it today is in itself something to sit and look at with big time appreciation.

I’m surrounded by a plethora of good for every cell of your body food. Yes, missing the stuffing sucks, but the post-dinner bloat… not so much.

Ultimately, and most importantly, I remembered how connected this wide world is. How all the different oceans are all one ocean. And they touch all the shores of all the continents and connect the most distant countries. Somehow that brought everyone back home so much closer.

So with less salt in my eyes and more on my skin, and from the very bottom of my re-upped on thankfulness heart (and just one day/morning late), Happy Thanksgiving, my fellow Canucks. Here's hoping that every moment of this whole weekend was met with as many seeing the good in all life throws at you and in feeling ALL the feelings, as it was filled with laughs, drips of gravy, multiple toasts and all the other things to gather together around.