Mil Gracias – An Overdue, perhaps never-ending, thank you note.

by pvakil91

I am thankful.

More than you can imagine. This post may not be completely grammatical because I am just writing from #allthefeelings, so I hope, if you’re reading this, you can see/feel my gratitude because, if it’s not overflowing in my words, it’s overflowing in my heart and in my head.

I am safe and sound at my final destination (the process and the journey will soon be written).

Like my grandmother says, no one comes before your parents. It’s a very common belief and it is the truth in a lot of different cultures, but recently spending time with her and watching these old VHS style Hindu Puranas/Vedic stories on tape, I’ve been reminded time and again, that parents come before everyone, even God.

So, THANK YOU to my parents. They are awesome. They make me work hard for everything and even though it can get to be extremely tense and unfailingly chaotic, they back me up 100% all the time. They will pester me with questions, they will doubt my decisions, they will make me change my behavior, they will not speak to me in kind words, yet they will follow through with me every ridiculous dream I want to make tangible, whether it’s taking piano classes (that I never finished) or making sure I’m prepped for my year abroad. We fight and we argue and we are candid with each other. According to my dad, there is no need for formality with your family – you say it as it is. When I’m upset, I don’t agree, but always after some distance, his words ring true. And my mother says even better that like pots and pans that are stacked in a kitchen – or for that matter any kitchen items – when you go to remove one, they always clash and bang, but they are still always placed together, they are family, so it’s only natural for family members to have this noise, to have these arguments. It is because of my parents sincere and strong love that I can sit here and realize and act on my dreams. I am privileged. I carry this privilege and I move through the world with it, every single day. And if I have ever taken it for granted, I was being a small person. Mom and dad, I will only make you proud, that is my promise for the whole of my life. I also want to let you know, y’all have done an AMAZING job as parents, especially within all the constraints, idiosyncrazies (new word), and unfortunate events. I can’t even begin to comprehend how you did that when you were adults and parents at my current age. I hope I can be a fraction of awesome, as you guys are. Also, I love love love you and please don’t worry about me (ok I’m sure that won’t change but still, you can try), all your best has been invested in me and your ROI (return of interest) is only going to be the best.

Dear Mansi, thank you. You are a wonderful sister and your support is immeasurable and I will thank you appropriately with hugs and cuddles and love and games and parks and playdates and other things you like. I won’t write a paragraph for you because you probably won’t read I’m sure you know I love you and I’m always going to thank you.

A huge, huge, shoutout to my supportive network of friends and colleagues. I was going to write out your names but since I have no idea how blog privacy rules work, I’ll send you each a personalized message (and don’t worry it won’t be long) soon. But to my friends who know me better than I know myself and who have unabashedly always supported me and my crazy ideas, thank you for anchoring me and making me commit to myself. I don’t really know how to be selfish, especially when it comes to putting myself first. So without your support, your kind words of encouragement, your constant excitement of my future plans, and most importantly the constant, ever-present reminder (verbally or otherwise) of how much you believe in me leaves me speechless. And I LOVE to talk. Whether it’s my inner demons and anxieties or my weird little pity-party tantrum thingies, or my endless jaded philosophical questioning of what life means or how we determine anything, you lot are always there to listen to me. I am going to practice a lot (and have been for a while) to become a better listener, so that I can hopefully be as good of a friend to y’all as you have been to me. In addition to listening to me, you are always there to practically help me sort out issues and work on things so I can get to that next stage. You are nothing short of family. You mean the WORLD and more to me. Without you as my companions, who read and edit my cover letters, who take 3 hour too long coffee breaks, who accompany to quaint little, expensive bars, who readily get excited to go new places, who will spend hours escaping and exploring with me, I would not be here. I am here because of you. I feel so, so loved – even though there are times I will say I don’t. Don’t listen to me (by now, I know y’all don’t). And this is a shout out to my friends ALL OVER THE WORLD. So in whatever corner we met, whether it’s that awesome Australian chick from two years ago or the Island guy who plays the guitar or the sweetest twins from Mexico or the girl who sat next to me in Civics and Economics, or the girl(s) I spent hours talking to in car driveways, please know I love you and please know how much you mean to me and please know that distance is no match for our friendship.

My cousins – I’ve got to tell you, that y’all are my equals. Basically in the same boat as I am, navigating your own personal waters of hell, uncertainty and murkiness of life. Yet, you never hesitate to answer my bazillionth question or tell me what you think unabashedly. I’m 23. I’m young and I don’t know a lot and whatever wisdom you gain, especially since you and I share the same spaces of this world (not necessarily physical) I learn a lot. And y’all know that you are the people that I love and that your advice is priceless but so are your stories of struggle and triumphs. It makes me feel less alone, especially since we share the same family. If I can ever, ever be there for you, just let me know.

My family – never ending support, constant encouragement and dher saara pyaar (tonnes of love). What more could I ask for? I can’t. I physically can’t even begin to start my thank you because the network is so old and so strong, that again, I find myself privileged and I hope you know that all your wisdom and advice and care packages of Indian food are what keep me going.

Special, special shoutout to my Spanish family in Barcelona – in emergency and when I was personally going through a rough time (the first time I visited you all), I am forever grateful for you. At a time when I needed to feel at home, you three were there. Who knew I’d be getting to meet another sister? I don’t know how to show my appreciation but if you ever need anything ever from me, and if it is in my ability to make it happen, you can count on me.

My colleagues. You wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, people. For a first year professional experience, I have been extremely lucky. To have had a chance to contribute to something bigger than myself, while working with some of the most amazing, talented and sincere people in the world is a dream come true for me. I hope you all know that I have learned so much and that without your guidance and support, I really wouldn’t be here. I mean it – I physically would not be in Spain. So thank you for your generosity, for inspiring me, for an unforgettable experience. I hope, that in my short time with you all, I was able to help you in some way possible, even if it’s just a tiny bit of how much you all have done for me.

The Auxiliary Facebook group – thank you for never having a dull moment. Thank you for sharing your practical wisdom, your blog finds (And thanks to the blog authors) and your advice. It made a lot of difference being armed with all that knowledge and thank you for being specific. I hope to be just as specific about my experience and hopefully also as helpful as y’all have been. Special thanks to Trevor Huxham, Noe Hernandez and Jarrett McDowell.

My CEIP Family, mil, mil, mil, mil, mil gracias a la directadora del colegio y al profe, con quien trabajo. Desde el principio, con el email de JMa, me sentia mejor. El programa auxiliar que teneis aqui, aunque es el primer ano, es perfecto. Solo hace 5 dias que estoy aqui, pero en estos cinco dias no me ha dado cuento que estoy lejos de mi casa o mi familia. En cada paso, con su apoyo, podia hacerlo todo facilmente y sin problemas. Tambien, mil gracias a quedar con mi padre. Estoy segura que el y mi madre no van a ser preocupados. Es que deciros gracias no pueden caber lo que siento yo en mi corazon. Sin casa, sin saber la cultura, sin conocer la comunidad, en unos dias me habeis dado todo lo que necesitaba y todo lo que no sabia que necesitaria. No creo que es tan facil adivinar y ayudar a una persona, mejor una desconocida, en la manera que estais haciendo. Siento que no me falta nada. Para lograr este sentimiento, suele llevar anos y anos, pero con vosotros, es como conociamos desde hace siempre. Espero que les pueda ayudar en cualquier momento y que pueda contribuir a este ambiente de buena gente en el cole. En pocas palabras, Mil mil gracias por siempre.

Finally the community in Santiago. I have made lots of friends. These include hotel owners, the banker at La Caixa, a Gadis employee and two movistar employees and my awesome roommate. These people have helped me in my complete process here in Santiago – from helping me figure out which busses to take, to patiently allowing me to translate my father’s questions/conversations & their answers, and even helping me figure out housing for the next year. They went above and beyond, every time. I feel like I am part of the community and not someone from outside. They never let me feel like that at all. I cannot wait to see how these new friendships grow but I will do my best to let them know that they are some amazing people.

Ok, now to thank whatever all mighty being there is. I am thankful to the universe for listening to me and for helping me out. Maybe I’ve stumbled on some luck but it is not going unnoticed. I want the universe to hear me, loud and clear, THANK YOU. There is so, so much gratitude flowing from me and I don’t know how infectious it is, but if there’s someone you’ve been waiting to thank or express how much they have helped you, even if it’s been a while, I hope you let them know.

Before I end, another thank you. Thank you readers for reading this long, long post.