If there’s one thing you should know about me, it *has* to be the fact that I am head over heels in love with November. Seriously. I have lost count of the number of times my friends had to witness me aggressively walking through the calendar’s months as I break down why the other 11 months could never live up to the unparalleled November. Some may it call it birthday month bias, but I like to think that I actually make a good argument.
Why November? Well, it’s the perfect month. It comes right after Halloween, it’s filled with very useful holidays like Black Friday, there’s so much to be grateful for, and it’s the month that officially kicks off the holiday season. November is when Mariah Carey’s songs defrost when the holiday spirit begins to amp up, when the mornings start to become chilly, when you can start wearing boots again, and when you get to bake your first batches of fall delicacies. Not to mention, you also get one day where you’re granted an extra hour of sleep for daylight savings.
So in the spirit of November, here are 29 reasons why I’m grateful for all the people, moments, and things that life has gifted me. Why 29? Well, let’s say it falls into the category of birthday bias as well.
1. Thank you for driving all the way down to Austin to spend a day with me when I told you I wasn’t doing good. I know you had a lot of work that day, but you still made that 6-hour round trip for me. I will forever love you for that.
2. Thank you for always feeding me food as I sit on top of the kitchen countertop when I come back home. I love how this is the one thing in our relationship that has been a constant for the past 19 years. You truly are my safe place.
3. Thank you for choosing me to be your big sister. I still remember the first time I met you. You tightly clasped on to my fingers and wouldn’t let go.
4. Thank you for inspiring me to challenge my sleep schedule and early morning routine. The 5 AM workout regime goes crazy. We really should be next-door neighbors in the future – just for the plot.
5. Thank you for playing Taylor Swift’s 1989 TV vault tracks in the Uber and for sharing the lovely story + polaroid of you and your daughter at the Eras tour. You made my Friday afternoon 10 times more wholesome.
6. Thank you for always picking up my phone calls when all I want to do is rant and indulge in sweet nothings. I really do forget all my worries when I talk to you.
7. Thank you for always packing extra food in your lunchbox for me during my senior year of high school. You knew I had a difficult relationship with food even before I knew it, so thank you for just being by my side and holding my hand through it all. Love you to the moon and to Saturn.
8. Thank you for teaching me the phrase “purple hippopotamus.” I religiously mutter it under my breath every time I bow before piano performances.
9. Thank you for having very deep conversations with me where we talked about challenging our views on breaking patterns of external validation, letting go of past versions of ourselves, and perfectionist burnout. You allowed me to talk through and break apart my thoughts while opening me up to different perspectives.
10. Thank you for letting me borrow your professional clothes for a very important interview. I forgot mine at home, and you were such a lifesaver.
11. Thank you for going to random campus talks with me all of last year. Somewhere along the way, our relationship allowed me to re-learn how to love liberal arts while also balancing my STEM side.
12. Thank you for driving me around this summer, spending time at book cafés with me, and having life revelations with me. You’re the rare kind of person who has the ability to make everyone around you feel included and special. I will miss you so much when you leave for medical school in Mexico.
13. Thank you for raising me on Indian classics and epics. My love for my religion and spirituality comes from our past daily viewings of religious Indian serials on your iPad.
14. Thank you for being my skydiving and bungee jumping buddy. I still can’t believe you just jumped off the bridge so seamlessly while my nerves and I struggled to take the plunge. Quite embarrassing on my end!
15. Thank you for always leaning into every conversation we have together and getting just as excited as I do when we narrate our life stories to each other. Your energy is infectious, and I can’t wait for the next time we belt “All I Want For Christmas Is You” on the streets of West Campus.
16. Thank you to my parents for the wonderful genes. Like wow – I could have been lactose intolerant, but I’m luckily not. I’m so thankful that I get to have my nightly cup of warm milk without having to worry about anything.
17. Thank you for draping my chunni on my lehenga for the past two years. It’s high time I learn how to do it myself, but there’s something so comforting about bonding with you as you help me through it.
18. Thank you for holding my hand the whole way to Garba after I sprained my foot. I was quite clumsy, but you still held on to me and made sure I didn’t fall again.
19. Thank you for making me miso soup when I got sick in France. You really were the best study-abroad roommate ever. Not to mention, your endless love for oysters and seafood is so endearing.
20. Thank you for being the absolute epitome of love in your movies. You showed me that there is no shame in loving so grandly, so obnoxiously, and so openly. In an age where nonchalance is our cursed norm and many of us feel the need to conceal how we really feel, you consistently remind me: “jiyo, khush raho, muskarao… kya pata, kal ho naa ho!”
21. Thank you for being the best fluffy, little puppy anyone could ask for. It took 10 years to convince my parents to get you, but it was so worth it.
22. Thank you for being so carefree and having so much fun with your K-pop dances. I love how you break out into your choreos at any given moment. Your passion for dance allows me to feel more liberated and confident in who I am as well.
23. Thank you for grounding my energy and allowing me to always reflect on what’s happening around me. You are incredibly genuine as a person, and your Instagram posts are always so good. Seriously. How is your Instagram feed this good?
24. Thank you for diving deeper into the world of linguistics with me. I enjoyed our talks over the summer, where we got to discuss the depiction of art while dabbling in different life perspectives. You really are “kala” in human form.
25. Thank you for getting so excited about South Indian movies and always being down to have very elaborate and extensive conversations about them. Which movie are we watching next in the theater?
26. Thank you for all the late-night organic chemistry FaceTime calls where we both are struggling to understand what’s happening. Your presence is so comforting, and there’s no one else I’d rather do nucleophilic substitutions with.
27. Thank you for being my mentor and guiding me throughout all of last year. Your class allowed me to understand why I actually wanted to be a physician, and I was able to meet a lot of my close friends through it.
28. Thank you for always encouraging me to try something new and for supporting some of my decisions even when no one else around me did at first. As I grow older, I can only hope to be as enthusiastic and adventurous as you are (including your passion for wine).
As I start to wrap up, it’s imperative that I say that this list doesn’t even come close to how grateful I am for everyone and everything I have in my life. Whether it be November or not, my gratitude for you all is truly what grounds me and reminds me of what I live for. I know, I know. This is quite cheesy and mushy on my end, but that seems to be the theme of the month, so here’s to the last point on the list:
29. Thank you for reading through my articles and making it to the end. I truly appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my work. I cherish my words so deeply, so thank you for giving this storyteller a small part of your day – it means a lot to me.