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Notes of a person embracing their past and present.

Other / Humor
Alex Reed
Age Rating:

I am grateful….

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit down; I was told to write every day three things I feel grateful for. I’ve always been an impatient person, so I’ll just list everything now and get it over with.

Where to start? I guess I’ll start small:

I’m grateful for this pen and paper I’m using. People had to put time and effort to make these things, to deliver them to my house. As a result I have the opportunity to write down all my crazy thoughts and subpar stories. Even if I’m not particularly skilled, even when I’m not inspired, I still have a place and a way to materialize my ideas into the physical world. And that’s not even mentioning the crazy luck I have: I am able to chase my dreams and have a chance to do what makes me happy. So, a big thank you to everybody who had a hand in making this pen and paper, for giving me the chance to take your hard work for granted.

Well I guess I should mention my parents, you always should thank your parents in stuff like this. I am grateful for having great parents, after all you two gave me the money to buy this pen and paper in the first place. We haven’t always seen eye to eye, sometimes you worried so much about my future you overlooked my wants and dreams. I can’t deny that there was a layer of love and care under those strict faces. But I’ll leave you with this: I am thankful for being born in one of the least screwed up families I know. Even though I don’t show it often, I truly love you guys with all my heart.

I am grateful to have met so many interesting and unique people. Somehow I’m lucky enough to have some of the very best people in my life. I tried pushing a lot of you away, I just felt like I wasn’t good enough or an interesting enough person to be around. Despite my shitty personality, most of you looked past my flaws and stayed by my side. I am thankful to have some of the nicest, most talented, fun-loving people around me. You guys inspire me, not just in my art, but in real life too; to be a better person, to be a better version of me. So, a big thank you to all my friends, for being a big supportive family and for sticking around for so long.

To all my crushes and boyfriends - past, present and the ones that I’ll yet have the opportunity to meet, thank you for all the lovely memories. I can’t deny that not every relationship ended elegantly, but I’m still grateful for all the great memories, adventures and new experiences I got to have. I learned a lot, about myself as well as others and I hope I didn’t hurt anybody because of my selfishness and self-obsession.

I’m grateful for my education system. If it weren’t for the incompetence of my teachers, especially the high school ones, I wouldn’t have learned the most important lesson of all: life is too short to waste it on busywork and things you hate. I am thankful to have been taught so many irrelevant facts (like types of clouds). I, of course, forgot most of these facts the moment I finished the exam.

And I’m sure that knowing how to solve math problems with imaginary numbers will come in handy one of these days. All the stress and anxiety I was put through to keep my grades up and to get a diploma was so worth it, I get asked about my GPA all the time now. Everybody really judges you based on how well you performed in high school. What you do during those four years basically determine the rest of your life course.

A bit too snarky and childish? I’ll dial it down.

I’m grateful for being raised in this sleepy little town. Sometimes it feels claustrophobic seeing the same faces on the same streets; the same dramas and gossip that end with nobody learning their lesson. I can’t deny, however, that there is an upside to living in a small beautiful community.

Sometimes you guys can be too judgy and nosy, but oftentimes loving and caring too. It’s comforting to have a sense of place, especially on your lowest days. I’m thankful for not being just another nameless person in a crowd, but an individual who gets recognized, who people know at least by reputation, be it good or bad.

I am grateful for having electricity and the internet, for shining a light on just how weird humans can be. From amazing and wholesome to scary and disturbing. Equal parts inspirational and infuriating; for better or for worse I can’t imagine a world without it. I am thankful for being a part of this weird human invention, to be able to observe this web full of people trying to win a perpetual screaming contest. Despite shitty people and toxic fandoms ruining the things I like, there is so much cool stuff and cool people I would have missed out on otherwise. And I’m being way too sincere, I should just throw in some self referential irony, to seem more appealing to you folks on the internet.

I am grateful to be part of this experiment called humanity. It really is amazing that we all collectively as a species decided to pitch in anyway we can. To build things that are not only of use to ourselves, but to others too. We achieved so many wondrous things, from internet memes to architecture, from medicine and engineering to movies and paintings and everything in between. We all are making stuff that is going to one day fade away; most of it will one day collapse, be forgotten and yet that somehow doesn’t phase us or deter us from trying. Almost as if out of spite towards the cold indifference of the universe and the hungry gaze of entropy, we keep on making things; things to help others, to make our lives easier, to entertain ourselves, to start discussions or to fill us with wonder and fascination. Best of all, everybody contributes, everyone leaves a mark however small. I am thankful for the chance to leave my own dent, however small, on humanities collective consciousness. Even if I have a small reach, I am happy to affect at least a few people (hopefully in a good way) and I’m thankful for having at least something resembling a purpose in this otherwise meaningless existence.

And I guess I’m grateful to have this body. It’s either too small where it should be big, or chubby and flabby where it should be lean. Sometimes it’s red and full of acne even now when I’m supposedly an adult. In general it’s not very pleasing to the eye; sometimes I get horrified when I see you in the mirror, seeing a reflection of a most gruesome otherworldly monster. It stares at me with two small eyes with dark circles underneath, sunk into a skull that has the palest sickly white complexion. Then I fixate on the huge beak where the nose should be, it looks so sharp like it’s ready to peck somebody’s eye out. Underneath is a bulldog-like jaw and mouth and to top it all off dark and greasy hair that thankfully covers up a bit of the unfortunate features of the face.

The truth is I haven’t always been the best towards you. I don’t make you exercise, so you are way out of shape; too many times I’ve tried to fill you up with junk food, alcohol or weed; and I’ve certainly developed an unhealthy caffeine addiction in the past few years.

That being said you still listen to me and try your best, even when I say such mean things and tell you how much I hate you, or how useless you are. I’m not thankful, at all, it takes me getting sick or something breaking down to appreciate how lucky I am to have an otherwise healthy body. So I guess what I’m trying to say is: thank you for putting up with my bullshit. You’ve endured a lot and we’ll probably endure a lot more hell, but I’ll try and be better towards you, towards us. You’re not something to hate or ignore, you’re a part of me, so I should start treating us better.

So that leaves my clever little overthinking brain. I guess I’m thankful for you too. You’ve often landed me into trouble, but you had your moments of ingenious ideas. Sometimes you focus and obsess over irrelevant things and you definitely should stop worrying about things beyond your control. All that being said, all those years of social anxiety were good practice in planning and predicting what will happen next. Not to mention your creativity and out of box thinking (surprisingly useful skill in life). I remember I said my fair share of nasty things to you, I disliked how awkward you made me act around people I didn’t know well; or how indecisive you could be when making the smallest insignificant choices; not to mention all the cringy things you come up with every day. A while back I told you that even I wouldn’t be your friend, if I wasn’t stuck with you; now I regret ever saying that. We’ve come so far, we’ve grown and changed so much since then; I still don’t know if I would be your best friend or anything, but brain, I’ve learned to appreciate you, to admire you enough to be (at the very least) a friendly acquaintance to you; a kind of friend that pops in from time to time for a cup of coffee or that compliments your outfit when they bump into you on the street.

Point is, I forgive you, so I hope you forgive my mistakes too. I hope in time we’ll get to know each other better and that we’ll continue being allies, let’s be honest, we can be awesome when put together.

And that’s more or less it, all the things I am presently really grateful for. Huh, maybe there’s something to this whole “being mindful” and “reminding yourself to be grateful” bullshit. It feels great to get this off my chest, feels even harder to share this with others, but fulfilling for finally getting this list done.

On that note, I’m going to get back to my perpetual procrastination, there are TV series to binge and candy bars that won’t be eaten by themselves. I guess I’ll throw in an occasional failed gym membership somewhere in my very busy schedule.

Start writing here…

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