It’s really difficult for me to be grateful.  Not because I’m not humble, or because I don’t believe in it, or because I’m that selfish. I’m sure I’m all of these things, a little bit. We all are.

It’s because I’m overwhelmed.

I’m ridiculously anxious about going to my folks’ house for the holiday tomorrow. I haven’t spoken to them in almost two months. I had made a deal with myself that I would limit contact with them until after the election, for one. And for two – I realized that anytime I interact with them, I feel like less of a person, and certainly less of an adult.

This morning my partner was encouraging me to say out loud three things I was grateful about, regarding my parents. I could only come up with two – but hey, it was better than zero. I believe that sounds have consequence, and that the words you say reverberate through the universe in a specific way, so I try not to say out loud anything I don’t mean.

And gratitude in general falls into a category that it is really difficult for me to mean. I don’t want it to be wasted or untrue. When I’m really, truly grateful, I can’t stop talking about it – but those times are fewer and fewer these days as I just feel harried and pressured by the pace of life. It’s not supposed to be like this.


I’m grateful that both my parents are still alive.

I’m grateful that my father’s health is improving.

I’m grateful that my mother is happier than she was three years ago.

I’m grateful that I grew up with two sisters who taught me about the world, each in their own way, even if we don’t speak much now.

I’m grateful that I have a partner who is willing to lie in bed with me in the mornings and listen to my worries.

I’m grateful that I understand my fear, so that I can move out of it’s control.

These statements are going to be my armor for the visit home. They are the armor against the discussions of my wardrobe, my haircut, all the usual nonsense we gender-non-conforming folk have to deal with from those who don’t understand or who are afraid of the simple fact that we are living as we please regardless of what they think. These statements will be my armor for any discussion of politics or religion, any leading questions about why my acting career isn’t further along, why I don’t make more money.

I will be grateful for the company of the people who raised me. I am grateful the love me, even when their love feels more like pain.