22 Things I'm Thankful For
Celebrating 22 extremely hard years on Earth (lol my birthday was in February this is late) has given me some ups and many downs. I've noticed that it can be healing to take inventory of the non-material things we're grateful for in life; things that won't leave or be lost when it seems like everything else is gone.
spirituality: I'm thankful that I have found a way to be spiritual. I have grown much more since my approach to my religion shifted from organized religion's to-do lists to a personal and powerful one-on-one relationship. I am thankful to have stayed strong in that, and to know that is always on my side.
memories: Whether in my daily journals, my camera roll, or my mind, I'm thankful for my good memories. Sometimes they may seem few and far between, but the good experiences and memories that I do have are simple and amazing and so meaningful that I know I won't ever lose them. I'm thankful.
writing: I keep a journal that I use almost daily. I use it for creative expression, for brainstorming writing prompts, for coming to terms with things, and for a personal kind of therapy. Though I may have mistakenly lost my actual journal with all of its writings a few times, the cathartic gift of writing won't be lost.
art: It's not something I'm good at. In fact, I'm actually kind of terrible at it. I can paint okay, but drawing, sculpting, etc. are almost lost causes. But I do love it all. I'm thankful for the outlet for expression that it provides and I'm thankful for the patience that practicing art teaches me.
love: Some may say I love too much. And they're probably right, because it can lead to extreme pain and disappointment. But it's also what makes me me. I'm so grateful to have the capacity for love that my past does not reflect. I'm thankful for the tiny mark my love will leave on Earth or the universe or someone's life. It might lead me to pain sometimes, but never regret.
beaches: My daily prayers reflect the love I have for being born in a state that's not landlocked. I'm not sure why the beach can be so healing, but it is and I'll never stop loving that.
friends: I really don't have many, and they don't really live near me. But the ones still in my life have never stopped loving me or loved me less because of my flaws. I'm blessed with a few very patient, understanding, amazing individuals in my life who love me even when I feel extremely alone.
solitude: In great contrast with that last item, I'm thankful that most of the time I'm comfortable enough in my solitude to do things alone. Taking time truly for myself is a hard thing, but I'm thankful that I now do that more and more.
dance: Whether I'm able to dance or not, dance has had one of the largest impacts on my life and has been one of the greatest blessings. Through blood, sweat, tears, and other obstacles, it'll be part of my life forever. Thank you, dance.
reading: As a literature student, it's either the only thing I want to do or I never want to look at a book again. But again, through obstacles, I can read. I can experience and understand and imagine all of these amazing scenarios and thank God for the expression of those who came before me so that I could be influenced and affected in my time.
thoughts: Honestly this is just a filler, because I'm halfway to 22 and non-material blessings are harder to think of than I'd anticipated. But thoughts can still be pretty damn interesting.
photography: I'm not a photographer and I never will be. But I'm so thankful to have found film photography as a way to better document my life through little surprises; and to have found another art form to express myself through.
thunderstorms: There's almost no better feeling than watching and listening to the sounds of thunderstorms when you're safe and (ideally) wrapped in three blankets. Always grateful for precipitation and deadly electricity in the sky to make me feel safe.
education: I don't think I've had the best educational experience. My potential is not always fulfilled and I've skated by too easily in the past. But I am the first in my whole family to do this thing. And I have an education; I have that opportunity which I will be thankful for always.
prayer: Separate but still related to spirituality, I'm grateful to have the comfort of prayer. Recently I've come to believe that it's beneficial for everyone to pray--to whom or whatever they choose. I'm thankful to pray, and to pray for others.
energy: I don't always have it; or I'm in too much pain to act on it. But when I do have the energy to create or be productive or exercise or just spread positivity, I love that.
energy 2.0: I'm grateful for the good energy people put out into the world. Whether it's spiritual energy or just good attitudes, it's positively affecting someone somewhere. Even if it's not me, I'm grateful that it's someone.
the power of the vote: Florida could elect its first black governor into office in November. I'm thankful to have voted for this man and bringing him one step closer to state office. I'm grateful that we have that power, and for the next generation speaking up and speaking out on the importance of voter education.
ideals: I'm thankful that my ideology and compassion line up with powerful, country-changing laws and ideas. I'm thankful to care about people on both political and personal levels, so that I (and others of our generation) can shift how our world works, providing rights for everyone.
change: It can be terrifying, and I don't have the best track record for change in my life. But I'm grateful for the good and the bad changes that have built me up, brought me down, and brought me back to who I need to be.
growth: I'm thankful for everything and everyone (including myself) that's helped me grow into who I want to be. I'm thankful that growth never stops.
myself: I'm thankful for myself and who I am. Even if I don't believe anything good about myself at times, I need to manifest that I am great and grateful.
Thanks 22. Thanks life, thanks everyone.