Gratitude [grat-i-tood] (n): the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful
Photo: Simon Maage on Unsplash
I am grateful.
Time has a way of moving way too fast and life’s greatest moments tend to speed past us in the blink of an eye. I can’t help but think that maybe we need to cherish it all, and take it all in.
It is easy to forget the daily joys of life.
The pressures to succeed both academically and professionally truly blur our gratitude, pushing us to focus on the betterment of our own future. We tangle ourselves up in the anxious future we can’t even predict. We fail to accept the adventures of now.
I made a promise to myself after college graduation.
To live for now, and focus on the present. For too long, I only thought about how each step I took would impact my future. I stressed over not knowing if I would get into college or graduate with a job lined up. I worried excessively about trivial matters, especially when it came down to the grades, GPAs, cover letters, and resumes.
Now is the time to change the way you view life.
First by letting go of the anxiety and uncertainty of the future.
Then by focusing on how you can better your current situation.
Lastly, by understanding that life doesn’t always work out as planned.
Living a life of gratitude starts from awareness.
I first had to recognize my surroundings and understand my privileges. I had to let go of societal expectations and preconceived notions about life in general. I learned to break boundaries and twist binaries. I had to determine that I am me.
It took four years to grow comfortable in my own skin.
You have to stop comparing and conforming. Not doing so, I believe, has contributed greatly to living a life of gratitude. Now, I can focus on what matters at this moment, rather than trying hard to “fit in” with the rest of society. I realized that you must be willing to be your own person in order for you to be grateful, not wishful.
Drop the materialism.
I tend to focus on experiences and memories that can last a lifetime. Though I must admit, it is nice to splurge every once in a while, I would rather choose an adventure. I am a pretty simplistic person. I don’t ask for much.
Today, like every day, I am thankful.
For friends and family who support me and provide me with shoulders to cry on.
For waking up each day with a roof over my head.
For warmth and security.
For food to nourish and feed my mind, body, and spirit.
For the opportunities I have been given.
For an education.
For the chance to be me.
For the days and nights that I can step up and inspire others.
Take the time to reflect at the end of each day, or journal about what you are thankful for and how you can live a life of gratitude.
How do you live a life of gratitude?
Sara Kim graduated with a B.A. in Journalism and a double minor in Health Policy and Management and Asian American Studies from Ithaca College. She currently works as an Event Coordinator at a non-profit. In her free time, she enjoys working out, reading, watching movies, and cooking. Fun fact: as a foodie, she loves to try new foods and travel to new places.