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  • Writer's pictureEmily

Exploring Gratitude

I'm a big believer in finding joy in the small things in life; be thankful for the little moments, so the big moments can hold even more meaning, and just maybe the little annoyances will roll off more easily, too.

So, I am going to come out and say it: I am grateful for my struggles. I am. Those are the times that challenged, changed, and, ultimately, shaped who I am today. Because those times felt so dark and painful, I was pretty much left with no other choice but to start looking harder for things to bring me joy. I had to find a new appreciation for everything in my world. There was a time in mid-2017 when I had Facebook posts labeled "Happiness is..." followed by a phrase or photo that brought me even the smallest amount of happiness. I needed to learn to start naming what those things were so I could remember them. Albeit 2017 was a seriously BIG hair...India...Dubai...foot surgery. After some serious pain, I needed some serious joy. So I dyed my blonde hair 3 different shades of pink, signed-up for grad school which took me to India, spent a few days in Dubai on my way home (and went up the tallest building in the world, conquering all fears of heights and flying, just to rub in it my ex's face), and then finally ended my years of misery, and had foot surgery, spending the last 6 weeks of the year on bedrest. Needless to say 2018 was dismal after that. I had to do some really big things, and go through some really big pains, to appreciate the daily small things that often go unnoticed. These small things are what make up our lives each and every day. So, now, I stop. I enjoy the process of brewing my coffee and frothing my milk each morning. I play with my cats and burry my face in their fur to make me laugh and enjoy their warmth and softness. I hug my mother and tell her I love her, because I do and because I can. I play with sidewalk chalk. I swing on the swings with my nieces and nephews. I breathe in deeply the smell of summer bonfires because they remind me of innocence. I tip the baristas at the local coffee shops (only an amount I can afford) because I know they are just like me, and I truly love the local coffee shop atmosphere. I say hi to all of the dogs I meet and ask them their names like they are humans. I try to wave at my neighbors as they walk or drive passed when I am outside. These are the moments that matter. These are the things I choose to be grateful for every day. Yeah, it's not always easy, because, let's face it, we all sometimes just need a day in bed to feel our feelings. By learning to appreciate the small things, we have a reason to get up again and keep trudging forward. So, may we all keep looking for the daily joys, and reasons to look forward to tomorrow.



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