It’s 11.06.2016 and it’s midnight. The date of my last exam for a long while. I’m supposed to do some more revision but I need to write this.
This afternoon I will be wearing my subfusc, my red carnation and a nervous smile on my face as I try to recall details of American politics in a three hour examination before freedom.
An end. A beginning.
I could claim that this is all me, but that would be such a lie.
Man is not an island. Anyone that tells you the contrary is lying to you. We all need a support system to get us through the hard times and to cheer with us during the good ones.
That support system is your anchor, but too often we forget about them, we take them for granted, or we simply forgot to be their support system, too focused on what is going on in our lives. Once in a while we should take a break from whatever we are doing and thank them, show them our gratitude.
That’s exactly what I’m doing in this post: thank the people who have made an impact in my life. It’s like a sort of Thanksgiving but in June, and no turkey.
1. Mom and Dad
Thank you, mom and dad. A long time ago (almost 23 years ago) you had me, your little bundle of joy. You did not know yet what I would become, but I was there, your dear little Asta who just looked a bit ugly (according to mom). That Asta is a part of me. That Asta remembers playing and laughing and crying with you as she grew…as our family grew up together.
We have changed so much. You could once pick me up, and you guys have grey hairs now. We have grown together as a family -spiritually, ideologically and etc. We have had our differences – like when I decided that I was going to move out as a child (LOL when I think about it) but I’m grateful. I’m grateful to you. I’m grateful that I still have you in my lives. And I know that I don’t say it often but I love you so much and you are my guides. What I do, I also do for you. I hope I’m making you proud.
This is for the friends who have been a fixture in my life, and for those who have come and gone. I thank you. I thank you for landing me a ear, for not making fun of me when I cry because of a movie, or for hugging me (despite the fact that I can’t do hugs most of the time) when I was upset. I thank you for being there for me when I didn’t have the strength to even get out of bed and I would just spend days crying. I thank you for not judging me. I thank you for being patient with me and my weird friendship hierarchy.
Shout out to the ALTS who were there for me when I felt the most lonely. Shout out to Federica who has been around since I was almost 7 and she still is my best friend. Shout out to Qi because she knows that she’s my homie (Descendants of the Sun is crying out our name) – and Essi, you know you’re my college wife and you’re awesome so much so that I went down on my knee for you. Shout to Georgia who believes in me just as much as I believe in her. Shout out to the friends I have rekindled with recently, and to those who gave me moments of kindness before disappearing from my life. Shout out to the people who are on the way of becoming my friend. I’m grateful for the experiences we have shared, for the time I got mad, for the time I got called out on the bullshit. I’m grateful and I love you.
3. To the teachers who have changed my life
Thank you Rita and Antonella, my primary school teachers. My parents tell me that you’ve always been in my corner from day one believing that I could make it into uni. You never discredited my dream of becoming a doctor (LOLS I’m definitely not studying medicine). Thank you for being tough on me, as well as kind when my family went through bad times. Thank you Rita for making me fall in love with reading.
Thank you to the tough and rigorous education that I got from my liceo. Thank you Prof Sesino for being tough and fair, for teaching me that literature can be about history, geography and about the human condition. Thank you Prof Gentilini for encouraging me everytime we meet up for coffee. And thank you to all the other teachers that I had before I set forth for London.
Thank you Lucy. Thank you for being the teacher who wanted to be called by her given name and goodness gracious that just made me mad half of the time. Thank you for going on a journey with me and my fellow Dead Historians. You nurtured me, you made me want to learn more and I’m so grateful. Thank you Rick because you’re hands down the best teacher I ever had in my life. I will always remember fondly the conversations we had about philosophy and history and etc. If I’m here now, sitting in my Brasenose college room it is also thank to you. Thank you Jamie: hated your politics but loved your fighting spirit. You pushed me so much and you had high expectation of me. You set the bar high and for that I will always be grateful.
Thank you to the tutors here at Oxford that have made my life easier and at times harder. I know it wasn’t easy at times dealing with me and my 300 issues but I’m grateful. Thank you Abigail for your fairness and the time you spent helping me and advising me about my stupid annoying wrists. Thank you Alan. Thank you Jay for making me fall in love with 19th century American history. Thank you Gareth for supervising my thesis and for your criticism and your encouragement. Shout out to my politics tutors, yay!
4. To those who have believed in me
Ian, it’s been a while. And I don’t think I ever took the time to tell you how much I appreciated you. I remember the trips to Canary Wharf for the Pembrooke Program seminars. And I remember vividly crying after I didn’t get the grades I wanted for my AS. You talked to me. You encouraged me, just like you always did. You’re amazing and you’re doing amazing things and I hope you’re still able to leave a lasting impact on people just like you did with me.
5. To those who are no longer here
Ma. Dha. Baba. My amazing grandparents who are no longer here with me. I miss you everyday and I wish I could just pick up the phone and talk to you. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you (literally of course, but also figuratevely). You carried with you the history of ancestors, a tradition made of laughs, and griots, and aspiration to better opportunities. You’re now gone but you inspire me to work hard, to do better, to be better. I miss you so much I can’t—-
I still remember your voicies, your words of hope and encouragement and I hope there is a heaven because I really want you to look down and see that I’m thinking of you. I’m grateful I even got to meet you, extraordinary people.
Gosh. This turned into a really long list and quite sad and teary. Yeah.
If I missed anyone I’m sorry, but this is rather a long post already.
Anyway….it would be lovely if you took the time to thank someone who has been there for you.