I love the holiday season, because it has a special way of reminding us to show gratitude and make family time a priority.
So much has happened this year, and I think it would be strange if I wasn’t thankful for it all.
It’s been filled to the brim with ups and downs. I’ve been at my highest and I’ve certainly been at my very lowest. But you know what?
I’m very thankful for everything that I’ve gone through over the past year, because all of it has helped me grow in one way or another. And, if I hadn’t experienced the things I had this year, I wouldn’t be where I am – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Before I get into what I’m thankful for, I feel like I need to preface this by saying I’m the type of person who is simply amazed by everything, I’m grateful for everything, and I think everything is beautiful. So picking and choosing just a few things to add to a list is difficult. But here we go…
Here are just a few things I’m thankful for 🍂
A perfect & loving support group
Right now, I’m at a place in my life where I feel like I’m constantly overwhelmed with love. Since moving back home, I’ve been supported non-stop. Being back home again helped me realize that family really is the only constant, and no matter what happens in life, no matter how far I move, no matter how big the mistakes I make, my family and close friends will always, always be here supporting me and lifting me up when I need it the most.
If you’ve been following my story for a while, you’d know I used to be very, very ill. (Like, almost needing a transplant, almost being put onto an IV drip twice a week, taking oral chemotherapy sick). But over the past year, my health has drastically improved. I’m happy to say I’m no longer on medications of any sort, and I’m just happily living my life, pain-free!
My faith journey
Over the past year alone, my faith has gotten so much stronger. I’ve been a huge part of my church, I dive into the bible every day, and I live each day with a more christ-centered focus. I was raised a Christian, but never really had a strong, personal relationship with Jesus until this past year and I’m so glad I found it. I look forward to continuing my faith journey and getting deeper into the bible and gaining more fellowship and community!
Sunsets, waterfalls, beaches, rainbows (you get it)
Since being back in Hawaii, I see everything with a fresh pair of eyes. And I have a newfound appreciation for all the little things. I never thought I’d miss Hawaii so much, but after being away from my islands for over two years, I realize now that this is my home and my heart. Every day, I’m given a new piece of beauty to be thankful for. Yesterday, I was given not one, but two rainbows! The night before that, the skies were painted purple and pink. And even though it’s raining and storming outside today, Maui still has its magical way of turning a gloomy day into a beautiful one. I’m grateful to live in paradise, but I truly believe there’s beauty everywhere. Wherever you are in the world, find the beauty in it. Seek the wonder and be thankful that this is your home.
The opportunity to live all around the world
Over the past few years, I’ve lived on two continents and on a rock smack dab in the middle of the pacific. I’ve gone from Oregon to Hawaii to China to Hawaii to Washington DC to Canada and back to Hawaii. (And I’ve got something in the works for the next place I choose to live, but I’ll wait to announce that one… Hint: it’s going to be huge, like really huge)
Anyway, I’m thankful that I’ve been able to live all over the world. And I even lived out my dream of living abroad!
The ability to plan for the future
I’m thankful for the ability to make plans for the future. I know lots of people who are so stuck in their lives or limited by jobs, debt, finances, or family situations that prevent them from even dreaming. And that’s heartbreaking. So, I make sure to show gratitude when I make plans for my future, because I know there are so many people who are unable to do that.
My last relationship
This one is a bit tricky, and you might be thinking: “Why would you be thankful for a relationship that ended?” And well, I’m thankful for it because it taught me a lot about love, life, and ultimately, myself. If you’ve been a reader for a while, you’ve read all my posts about my relationship as it was unfolding – all the good, the happiness, the love, how we went from long distance to living together. But I haven’t spoken about how it all came crashing to a halt, and I don’t intend to. It’s private, personal and out of respect for others involved, I’ll keep it all to myself (and my journal).
But there are some things I do want you to know.
Sure, it was tough, it was heartbreaking, it made me an emotional, anxiety-ridden wreck.
Even so, I am unbelievably grateful for it all.
I’m thankful for all the fights we got into – how minuscule or colossal they may have been, for all the nights spent crying and alone, the yelling and driving off, the anger, the frustrations. I’m grateful for it all because they all taught me something about living with someone, loving someone else, and most importantly, they taught me things about myself, too.
I’m also thankful for all the good, happy memories we made together. I’m thankful for the laughter, the slow dancing in the kitchen at midnight, the banana bread baking on a Tuesday afternoon, movie nights with his family, and making plans and promises together. I’m thankful for being loved, and being able to love so greatly.
It’s because of this relationship that I’m in a place right now where I’m focusing on myself, my happiness, my overall well-being, my growth.
For that, I’m thankful.
What are you thankful for this year? Tell me, I’d love to hear!
And, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones! ❤️