A New Lens on Gratitude

I didn't know what to expect at this point in my life. At age 23, with a full-time job and a college degree. I think it's safe to say that nobody looks past college, let alone getting their first job out of college. I always pictured my life in solid milestones. With a solid structure and moments to look forward to—I was set in the zone. And the in between moments filled themselves out...birthdays, parties, extracurricular events, holidays and everything else. 

Now that I've been home for a hot minute, re-evaluating my personal goals and the path I want to look forward to—I have to admit, it all seems very daunting. I doom scroll through TikTok to see 20 somethings creating a life for themselves in a one-bedroom walkup apartment in the city, making luxe Trader Joes dinners, lathering themselves in expensive skincare, and spoofing up their neutral and lush memory foam beds. The lives 20 something year-olds yearn for is a lot similar to the freedom and independence I want without having to face it all alone...or face it all in fear that I might not be able to achieve the "dream life" I was envisioning for myself post grad. 

Getting caught up in the trap of comparison is a toxic and vicious cycle for me. It's hard not to shy away from others around you pursuing their dreams and their goals when you're absolutely confused about what's to come next. I'm sure they didn't have a plan. I'm sure they were just as intimidated by the idea. Who knows how much rent they pay. Who knows what they had to leave behind in order to achieve it. 
I definitely find myself getting lost in the weeds with wanting a specific type of lifestyle—I think it has to do with needing some form of "perfection" that I can't seem to find in my every day life at the moment. This "perfection" might also be masked by the idea of "normalcy". That maybe having too perfect of a life just isn't what I want. I've become too comfortable at home and this has ignited my internal rebellion against it all saying f*ck it let's just move out and do what we want already. 

And that's when I have to ground myself back in this idea of abundance. That all and everything I could hope for is out there for me. And all that I could ever need is already right in front of me. Seeing that my life is in abundance means having an appreciation of life in its fullness: joy, laughter, friends, family, health, shelter, food, strength, and everything else. Even for bad things—that mold and evolve me into who I am. 

Some chapters just aren't read aloud. 


Gratitude has a new meaning for me. Not just a simple appreciation for the things I have, but an acknowledgement that my current situation is temporary. My life is temporary. Nothing is permanent. My living situation is not permanent. My job is not permanent. It all could change. 

And with this new lens, comes a great overwhelm of maintaining and holding onto the joys I have in life. Not feeling responsible for any other person's happiness but my own. Rooting myself into the small things that make me feel whole. 

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