9 years in the US

The best part about Thanksgiving is that I always have something to be thankful for.

9 years ago, on Thanksgiving Day, I set foot on American soil after leaving home base, the Philippines. I never knew what kind of opportunities America would offer me and little did I know, America would give me so much in the last 9 years. 

I never imagined myself being able to drive. I've always imagined walking from place to place or taking a public transportation whenever I wanted to go somewhere worth more than a walk. 

I never imagined I would be able to travel to Europe, travel within the continental United States.

I never imagined the friends I would meet when I first moved here will become family over the years.

I never even imagined dating because it was technically frowned upon by my family unless you're done with college.

I never imagined I'd get a dad I've always wanted and longed for.

I never imagined I'd get along so well and build a relationship with my mom who was absent my entire young life.

I never imagined getting another set of grandparents who would love me unconditionally and talk with me over the phone about everything. 

I never imagined I would be blessed enough to turn 22.

I've also never imagined how homesick I would get and how hard it is to deal with.

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The past 9 years was nothing short of a roller coaster. To say it was a breeze is a lie. It has been a hard 9 years (emotionally) because of homesickness, but it has also been incredibly worth it because of the people I've met throughout my time here. It has definitely been more good than bad to say the least. 

I'm so thankful God was with me through and through. He provided when I doubted, He loved when I felt lonely and homesick, He just knew exactly what I needed at the right time. 

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus
1 Thessalonians 5:18

I'm so thankful for my dad and mom. For always providing and loving me. I've definitely been more of an American than a Filipino the last 9 years and boy, was I a challenge. Thank you for pushing me to pursue my dreams, thank you for believing in me. 

I'm so thankful for my sisters & their parents. I don't know the odds of moving into a new city and instantly meet a family with the same exact family structure. I don't know what I would do without you. Y'all are the best and I can always count on you. 

I'm so thankful for the past relationships I've had. Every one of you was an experience I needed. I wouldn't be who I am today if you never made an impact in my life. 

I'm so thankful for George and his family. Dang, how did I get so lucky? I can't believe I get to experience life with you, George. I can't believe I also get to be involved in such a big and great family. 

I'm so thankful for my mentors. I would have probably dropped out of college if you never cared to intercept. Thank you for believing I could do Computer Science and thank you for teaching me how to get excited about it everyday. Thank you also for being there to talk with when times get rough. 

Thank you to you who is reading this right now. I wouldn't be sharing this if people like you didn't read it. 

9 years is so long and before I know it, it will be 10 years soon. 

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LifeDianne S