I never wanted to be one of those kids who took things for granted. My mom, dad, Nanny and pop pop have always reminded me to be grateful for the small things in life. I’ve grown to appreciate that those beautiful little nothings mean everything in the long run. Those are the things you’ll remember ten years from now. Those little nothings are the basis of all your future stories. Open your eyes wider to those nothings and learn to love them now, rather than ten years from now.
I say that I’m grateful all of the time, but when asked on the spot to pinpoint those very things, I’m dumbfounded. The truth is, there are far too many things that I am grateful for to simply put in a single list. I am grateful everyday that I wake up, thankful for another day. It wasn’t always this way. Anyone who knows me probably knows by now that I suffer from depression. It comes and goes as it pleases and more often than not overstays its welcome each and every time. When these demons are with me, I fold. You remember when as a kid you used to see how many times you can fold a piece of paper, before it wouldn’t go anymore? That’s kind of like life with depression is like. Each day, another thing becomes a little less enjoyable to you. All of the things that used to excite you become “eh,” until you fold into nothing. You can’t bend anymore. Numb.
Each time I come out of a bout of depression, I have a new found appreciation for life, and I fall in love with it all over again. I appreciate each day I have where my brain is clear of these demons and I take advantage of feeling alive and well. I used to love to tell my nanny that I was bored. Each time she would tell me, “you’re too young to be bored.”
I never understood what she meant. I didn’t know boredom had an age limit. What I think she meant was that there is so much in this life that I haven’t seen or experienced yet, how can I possibly be bored? As usual, she was right. I am never bored. I am always exploring. That’s what we all came to do.
The more I thought about it, the more I was at a loss. There’s so many, but when someone is looking for an immediate response, all I could seem to mutter was, “uhhh... Family.” The more I thought on it, the more I realized I am grateful for so many small things that make up the bigger picture of my life:
-Although my circle is small, it is tight. I have a strong bond with every one of my friends and family members. Although we are often far apart, we find ways to manage to talk every day.
-My mom doesn’t get mad when I call her eight times in a day, to tell her every thought that popped into my head for the day. Distance makes the heart grow patient, I guess?
-I can always count on my dad to answer the phone mid-day, when I just need someone to listen to me rant about my day.
-My sister is patient with me when I ask her a thousand silly questions about the way life works. It’s a mutual understanding that older sisters are supposed to show the younger ones the ropes.
-Having friends who feel comfortable enough to walk in my room without knocking.
-Having friends who refer to your mother as “mom.”
-Having friends who come to your house and walk to the refrigerator, before saying anything else.
-Being a “human sponge,” I soak up every lesson that people have experienced around me, learning from their mistakes, and growing by observation.
-Every bad person who has waltzed through my life. I hold no grudges, however I am thankful for all that you taught me about patience, forgiveness, and life. Only few, but you have all helped me grow tremendously.
-The feeling you get on rainy days, where you feel like it’s perfectly acceptable to stay in your pajamas all day and have a movie marathon with your dog.
-No matter how long I am away at school, my dog is always excited to see me when I come back home.
-Being a writer and being able to sympathize and connect with all different kinds of people on a deeper level.
-As a writer, feeling every emotion ten times stronger than anyone else.
-All of the opportunities I have gotten through my school. Including: interning with CollegeFashionista, USA TODAY College, and Tampa Tribune, meeting my friends, and getting to travel to Memphis for a leadership program.
-The ability to see/ hear. As a writer, this is so essential for me, and something I think many people take for granted.
-Good health so I can bike, hike, run and box as I please.
-All of my english teachers who have helped me better my craft throughout the year.
-Support. When someone tells me that they read something I’ve written whether it be a blog, poem, or an article- it means the world to me, because I bleed into everything I write.
-Being free. I have a wandering soul. I am lucky to have the freedom to study whatever I want, wherever I want. After school, I have the freedom to pursue any career I want and settle down in any state that I’d like, with whomever I choose. This is perhaps what I’m most grateful for.