What I’m thankful for this year.

In my post last Thanksgiving, I gave props to my mom. This year, I want to extend my gratitude to the aggregate of my relationships. Without them, I’d be a completely different person today. In no particular order, I’ll be going down a list of people/groups/things I’m thankful for until I want to take a shower.

I want to give thanks to the Captain. If I hadn’t met him, I wouldn’t have been such an adventurer. I wouldn’t have experienced ocean waters. I wouldn’t respect the ocean and Mother Nature as I do now. I wouldn’t have the father figure and the role model I see in him.

I want to give thanks to the people of Ehrman 7. These were the floor mates that I grew as a Berkeley student with. The closest friends I’ve made this past year. If it wasn’t for them, I’d have few people left to confide in. To seek comfort in when feeling vulnerable, when weak.

I want to give thanks to my roommate and friend Jason. For taking pride in caring for the apartment with me. For throwing bomb parties and providing hospitality to our friends. Coming back to our apartment to see him alive and well. Cooking less-healthy-but-more-delicious foods for me.

I want to give thanks to the best school in the world in UC Berkeley. For providing me the opportunity to study abroad in China’s premiere school. For establishing the foundations for my maturing process these past two years. By being imperfect and allowing the students to find ourselves in such chaos, the school is actually perfect. For providing the battlegrounds called “campus” to allow me to meet the people I’ve met, avoided the red-flags I’ve avoided, and moving on from the mistakes I’ve made.

I want to give thanks to my friend Crispin. For being a loyal friend, a confidant, and a positive influence. For introducing me to crew. For the endless meals at his apartment or at the school dining commons. For being something to aim for: to be caring, unselfish, genuine, and hard working.

I want to give thanks to my best friend Susan. Who is the most influential person relative to distance: I’m still listening (or not listening) to her half way across the country or world. Who, despite the distance, has always provided an open, logical, rational, and objective ear. Who I look up to as an ideal for self-actualization: remaining true to oneself.

I want to thank my rowing teammates. For suffering alongside me every morning and afternoon practice. For growing with me as disciplined rowers. For tolerating myself and each other for the mistakes we all make. For helping make crew as enjoyable as it is for me.

I want to thank my crew coach Charlie. For waking up with the rest of the team at 4:30am six days of the week. For remaining patient and unwavering despite obviously frustrating situations. For putting forth the effort to be a relate-able person instead of permanently holding an authoritative position.

I want to thank my friend Justin. For being the mediator of my love for UCLA. For introducing me to the world of what UCLA students do. For being one of the few reasons why I still love my home in SoCal. For being a confidant. For providing sound opinions, the angel to counterbalance my occasional devilish moods.

I want to thank my friend Terisa. For being a rational friend, someone to count on for sound advice. For being loyal and supportive in times of need. For joining crew with me. For keeping me sane with random messages that give me a break from the grind.

I want to thank my Chong cousins. For the nice conversations we have over Thanksgiving and winter break. For hearing their stories as younger folks, telling me about the same stressors they went through that I’m going through now. For being constant motivators by their very presence.

I want to thank my homegirl Jen. For introducing me to a fun side to opposite sex interactions. For being supportive and real. For giving big-sister advice. For setting the bar on what I should aim for.

Thanks for everything!

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