1. All the friends who I’m no longer close to. I was torn up about you leaving at first, but now I understand that we can’t keep things the same forever. I understand we have to move on our separate ways and develop new lives without each other. I’ll always miss the way we knew each other, but at the same time we’ve both got new paths in life that don’t include each other.
2. The people who didn’t accept me. Thank you for teaching me that I don’t need the approval of everyone because I don’t approve of everyone myself, but you taught me the importance of being open to everyone and at least giving them a chance before writing them off.
3. All the times I’ve failed. Failure is the best teacher and without failing I wouldn’t learn a damn thing. Failing makes you smarter and think harder so you don’t make the same mistake again. It is the best teacher you could ask for and accepting failure with grace is equally important.
4. Not having a lot of money. I don’t know how I survived this year to be honest. I started the year off living on around $100 a week in college until I graduated then it progressed to slightly more. This entire year I’ve been broke, but it’s lead me to some amazing places. It’s taught me that you don’t have thousands of dollars saved to travel to lots of beautiful places. It also taught me that you can still be happier than a lot of people who do have money because money can’t buy happiness.
5. People who call me out for my shit. I’m thankful for the people who let me know when I fucked up because it’s important to check yourself every now and then. It’s important to be reminded that you are only human afterall and you’re not the best at everything.
6. All the people who didn’t love me back. I’m thankful for all the heartbreak I’ve experienced this past year because it’s good to not always be loved back. It makes you realize that at any given point you can lose someone or something. It teaches you the importance of sharing all the love in your heart because you never know when it could be gone.
7. The ability to feel everything so deeply, especially pain. Pain hurts a lot, but it shows us just how much our body is capable of handling and shows us that we are so much stronger than we think. Pain is a good reminder to feel because it’s better to feel pain than to feel numb.
8. Self-help books. They remind you that you’re not alone in the world and that everyone struggles from time to time, and that doesn’t make you weak. I’m thankful for every person who has taken the time to write their insights down and share their personal experiences with the world in order to help make it a better place. It takes guts to be that vulnerable and I’m very thankful for the ones who aren’t afraid of showing vulnerability.
9. Strangers who share their wisdom. I’m so thankful for the old man who stopped me as I was walking to get dinner out of his random beat down garage just to ask where I was from. I’m thankful he took the time to ask questions and share his personal experiences with me. I’m thankful for the people who have opened their hearts to me when they didn’t even know my name, but wanted to know my story. It’s those conversations that feel the most healing.
10. Feeling completely alone. I spent majority of the middle of my year completely alone and it was extremely difficult and challenging, but it taught me a lot about myself. It taught me who I was and who I wanted to become. It taught me about my goals and what I wanted out of life. It taught me the importance of liking yourself being friends with yourself. Being alone taught me what’s actually important.