Whenever This Is Over, I Will Never Take These Things For Granted Again

I don’t know how long it took me to realize this was a reality. This time we’re living in, it’s not a nightmare, it’s real.

Maybe it was after my tenth day in the house. A day spent trying to sleep through a panic attack at two in the morning. Too busy thinking of my mother, who I can’t see, still considered an essential worker. Still being in contact with person after person. Or my grandma, how much this could affect her. Or even myself, how selfish I feel for being upset.

Upset that I’m out of work but still getting paid. Yet there are people trying to file for unemployment and everything came out of nowhere for them. Upset that my grad school shut down and I can’t walk my graduation because the ceremony got canceled. Yet, I’ve already walked for my high school and undergraduate degrees and kids who waited twelve or more years for this get it taken away from them. Upset that my trips, concerts, and festivals are or could potentially get canceled and rescheduled. Yet there are people who aren’t even able to make it back home because they’re out of the country and all they want is to be with their family.

I in no way am trying to be selfish about this, I realize now how real and scary this situation is. I’ll admit to not paying attention to it in the beginning. Ignoring the news and pleads from people living through it in their country, trying to get us to listen, to warn us. Too busy trying to live in the moment and soak up every single memory I could have with my friends, family, and loved ones. But it took hearing and seeing what’s happening in our world for me to open my eyes and know that this isn’t going away anytime soon if we don’t do everything we can to slow it down.

So, as I’ve been quarantined in my house, I’ve had a lot of time to think. And when this eventually settles down and gets better and we’re able to go back to normalcy, these are some things I will never take for granted again. It’s a list to keep me going in hopes I’ll get to experience them again real soon.

I’ll never take for granted waking up in my own bed, four wooden pillars that support me, knowing I get to have another day.

I’ll never take for granted the food stocked in my fridge, the clothes hanging in my closet, and the books stacked on my dresser.

I’ll never take for granted a warm shower, or even a cold one.

I’ll never take for granted my same schedule every single day during a work week.

I’ll never take for granted driving to and from work, listening to the radio or my pile of Taylor Swift CDs in my glove compartment.

I’ll never take for granted getting fast food on my way home from a stressful day or just because I felt like it and I could.

I’ll never take for granted having to wait a little extra longer for a table to clear at a restaurant.

I’ll never take for granted a long line in the grocery store.

I’ll never take for granted going out with friends even when I didn’t want to.

I’ll never take for granted getting a little too tipsy while sharing laughs with friends.

I’ll never take for granted long rides at night.

I’ll never take for granted spending the day doing errands with my mom.

I’ll never take for granted my older brother talking about fishing across from me while out for breakfast.

I’ll never take for granted getting older.

I’ll never take for granted another bad day.

I’ll never take for granted seeing waves crash against the shore.

I’ll never take for granted hugging the people I love for a few seconds longer.

I’ll never take for granted watching the sunset.

I’ll never take for granted sunny days, rainy days, cloudy days, or any change in the season.

I’ll never take my health for granted.

I’ll never take my abundance of creativity for granted. Even during bouts of writer’s block.

I’ll never take for granted the times I get to spend with friends.

I’ll never take for granted going to a show, even if the person in front of me is taller and blocking me.

I’ll never take for granted getting a text from him saying he’s outside and running to his truck. Let’s plan a dinner date so I can try more Japanese food.

I’ll never take for granted alone time. I’m an expert at it now.

I’ll never take for granted an opportunity. No matter how new or scary it is. I want to try anything and everything.

I’ll never take for granted spontaneity. Whether I’m busy or not, tired or not, I’ll be there. Save me a spot.

I’ll never take for granted human connection. A touch, a conversation face to face, a laugh, a cry.

I’ll never take for granted staying in a house that has a roof and windows that keep me safe and warm.

I’ll never take fresh air for granted.

I’ll never take hot summer days or cold winter mornings for granted.

I’ll never take my education or job for granted. No matter how stressful it can get.

I’ll never take for granted saying “I love you” to someone or everyone I’m close to.

I’ll never take for granted how lucky I am. How lucky I am to have the life I do. I know I’m not perfect and I don’t have everything I want. But what I have is a lot more than what others do. So, I will never take my privilege for granted again.

I hope you can find a way to come out of this darkness and see the light on the other side. Mine is still a little flicker, but it’s getting there.

Hang in there.

About the author
I write about my past and what’s caused me pain Follow Kirstie on Instagram or read more articles from Kirstie on Thought Catalog.

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