On Gratitude

The hardest, most genuine laughs are the ones I can have at myself.

Recently, I had a good one. GET BACK HERE

This is me every single time I get dumped.

I cracked up laughing when I saw this. Breakups are a nightmare to process, and feel like they take forever to get over. It was such a release to just lose myself in a moment of self awareness and laugh at myself.

Because of this, I feel as though I am living within a sphere of self awareness. There will always be parts of myself that I don’t see, harm that I didn’t know I caused or happiness I didn’t know I was responsible for. Overall though, I’m comfortable with myself, and to that I owe the greatest debt of gratitude to those I’ve surrounded myself with.

Recently, during a text sesh with my best friend, I wanted to let her know that I wear the bracelet she bought me for Christmas every day. It’s become a permanent part of my daily style. She said to me in return, “You’re a beautiful person. You’re so grateful, and that’s rare.” – BFF

Let’s face it, the world can be a rough place sometimes, and its easy to lose our way. The thoughtfulness of others is what inspires me everyday, and makes me live my life the way I do. One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickelby

“In every life, no matter how full or empty one’s purse, there is tragedy. It is the one promise life always fulfills. Thus, happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it but to delight in it when it comes. And to add to other people’s store of it.”

This is what I believe down to my core- paying it forward in life with generosity, love, humbleness, and honesty. The BFF is right, I am grateful, for absolutely every single thing that has ever happened to me and will ever happen to me because it’s helping me navigate my life and shape me into the person I want to be. I am grateful for the friendships I have that have sustained over the years and glad that I am open enough with myself to continue to invite others in. (Not everyone stays, and that’s fine. I’m not everyone’s cup of  tea. Some people don’t like tea).

I’m grateful for every single first kiss, tearful breakup and heartbreaking goodbye, because every single person I’ve had that with has taught me something either about myself or about the world. It’s just another part of the path. It’s just another lesson to learn.

I believe in exuding kindness to everyone. Whether they’re the Dean of University or the person making my coffee, I am going to be respectful and kind to everyone I meet. Recently, I decided to delete part of my social media, and in doing so, I have less stress, less anxiety, and far more awareness of the world around me. My friendships have not suffered, and I am still included in photo sharing, plans, and outings.

Instead of standing in a coffee line distracted by a newsfeed, I engage with the people working behind the counter, speak with them, laugh, and carry on my way.

Please and thank you are permanent residents in my vocabulary, and I cannot imagine my life without them. They just feel good to say, and make everything better. If I forget to say them, I’m usually horrified, embarrassed and apologetic (so basically, I’m human). Say those words, especially to the people you see all the time.

If more people lived their lives lighting up spaces with laughter and joy and kindness, what a merrier world we would live in. – Justine E J

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