Ciao Chums! I decided to keep doing these Gratitude challenges because the inspiration and the focus on uplifting and positive thoughts is a grand welcome at the moment. I’ll be playing catch-up with them over the next couple of days, so please bear with me. I shall slowly starting making my return to blogging again since things with family and my duties there have essentially reached their peak. Truth be told, I’m ready to be done with it all.
For more information about the challenge, check out my introductory post here.
Day 06: What in nature are you most grateful for?
Rain. I am always grateful for rain because it brings me the most comfort No matter how terrible I’m feeling, health-wise, or how much I’m having a bad mental health day, standing outside in the rain for a few moments always makes me feel like I’m being cleansed of negative energy, and somehow I know I’ll be okay.
A close second would be flowers blooming. It’s a constant reminder of the impermanence of life, which helps me not hold on to things outside of my control, and it also allows me to show gratitude for the beauty in my life in that exact moment. You never know when it will wilt away to make room for new opportunities and new memories to blossom.
Day 07: What book are you most grateful for?
Dune by Frank Herbert as it has a significant amount of sentimental value for me. It was the first science-fiction book I ever read, thus creating a lifelong obsession with the genre, and it was one of the first books my brother gave to me. Another one that I’m most grateful for is Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali as it was the very first book I read with #OwnVoices Muslim representation and the first one where I saw myself being represented in literature. That book showed me how important stories about and involving marginalised people by marginalised voices is, especially in today’s climate.
Day 08: What lesson in life are you most grateful for experiencing?
This is a difficult one to answer because the lesson I’m most grateful for is also the one that I hate the most as it’s the most traumatising. No matter how hard you try to seek validation and acceptance, and even respect, from other people, you will never be satisfied. They cannot give you the kind of comfort and acceptance that you’re seeking for it can only come from within.
I spent years, years, trying to gain validation from my mother. I did everything she ever wanted. Then I made one stupid mistake as a teenager, and after many years of struggling, we reconnected. Recently, however, I’ve learned that I will never be good enough for her. She’ll never accept me as a human being because I decided a long time that I needed to live for myself, regardless of what that meant. This past month she basically admitted that she’ll never see me as an equal or respect me, and she’ll never be proud of anything I accomplish as it’s not what she envisioned for me. It destroyed me, especially when I considered all of the abuse–psychological and physical–that I suffered as a child and adolescent just to make her proud. Nevertheless, it gave me strength to stop looking to others in finding meaning for my existence. That had to come from me and only me. I may have lost my mother, not that I probably ever had her to begin with (hindsight), yet I found self-worth, which is a feeling that’s so indescribable.
Day 09: What place have you travelled that you’re most grateful for?
Seattle. I visited Seattle with Sir Besty in 2016 and it was my first-time leaving California since I arrived here as a kid. I fell in love with the city, and the food, and found a place that I know will be an excellent city to call home one day; a lovely, rainy realm to start over as I work towards moving to where I really want to live, British Columbia.