I won’t say I have a “gratefulness problem”, I just think I’m always so focused on the next thing I want to achieve that I don’t take time out to reminisce on the awesomeness around me. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t have many things to complain about, but for every complaint I have, I probably have something to be grateful for. I’m writing this because I want to help you remember. I want you to remember that the presence of dark clouds does not negate the existence of the sun, and the tears of the present don’t abort future laughter. Here are the things I am grateful for and I hope these spur you to remember some things you should be grateful for.
I don’t know about you, but I am grateful for my experiences. I am grateful for those days I successfully proved myself to the world and the other days when the world proved too much for me to handle. I am grateful for the days I spent in Abuja with my mother, trying to understand why JAMB did not release my result. I am grateful for when I aced my A-Levels instead and chose the University of Ibadan over the University of Lagos. I am grateful for sleepless nights at the office and the experience of studying law at Cambridge. I am grateful for how life disrupts my best-laid plans like an overindulged toddler messing with a new found toy.
I remember the days of naivety when I believed everyone in the world was about flowers, unicorns, balloons and goodness, and I am grateful for the experiences that revealed the desperation of the human situation. I am grateful for the unexpected but enduring friendships that were formed over buttermint sweet and kopiko in the university library, and I am grateful for having experienced a broken heart… maybe more than once sha! I am grateful for these experiences that have added up like a jigsaw to make the uniqueness that is me. Despite the good and the bad, I realise that I won’t be me if all these experiences had not aligned.
Thank you Miss. Opportunity. I can’t help but conclude that you are female. The way you glide into my life with subtle grace is nothing short of beautiful, and the way you disappear in an instant is always breathtaking. I miss you a lot though, but I am always preparing for your next coming. I tidy my house, fix up a meal and put comfortable pillows in place so you can stay a while. Thank you for showing up at unexpected times and in strange places. I wish I knew how to predict you a little more, but you are a lovely woman in red, who comes and goes as she pleases. I am thankful for the many times you have come and I will be prepared for your next visit, my lovely Miss Opportunity.
3.Ride or Die Friends
I am thankful for my “ride or die friends”. The ones that have heard me complain about a particular problem fifteen times, yet still give me advice like they are listening to the problem for the first time. The friends that tell me to quickly remove a picture from Instagram because they think it is tacky, and the ones who actually select the pictures that should be posted online. Thank you for indulging me when I’m driving around Lagos in a bid to satisfy my ube or boli craving (see post here).
The friends that pray for me and pray with me, and the friends that cry just because I am crying. The friends that stay awake in crazy timezones to listen to my latest harebrained scheme, and the ones that point out typos when I publish a new post. How won’t I be grateful for the friends who correct me with love and accept me without condemnation irrespective of how much I mess up? What about the friends that believe in me so fiercely that I sometimes wonder if they overate my potential? My life is richer because of you, and even if I don’t say it often (because tough girl) I am so grateful for you.
I quite struggle to categorise you my dear dreams, because you come in various forms. The dreams I have when I am asleep and the ones I must pursue when I am awake. You are somehow like ice and water and vapour at the same time. Sometimes you are so real I can touch you, at other times, the passion for you consumes me like a flood and at other times, I find it hard to believe you are there. Morphing into yourself and into me at the same time. I am thankful for you, my dear dreams, because you keep me going, and even when you are elusive, you find a way to remind me that you are still there, taking on a new form. So thank you.
I am grateful for forgiveness. For all the friends who forgive me every year when I forget their birthdays and all the friends who are never upset if I don’t keep in touch. For all the friends that forgive me when I get unnecessarily cranky or make decisions without considering their input. For the friend I forgot to congratulate on a new job, or who I was unable to visit in a time of need. I am grateful for forgiveness because it presents an opportunity to right a wrong. It is not compulsory to forgive, but you still do and I’m grateful for this.
6. Being Human
Isn’t it wonderful to be human? Imagine the pressure on poor superman and superwoman to save the world from itself. Isn’t it wonderful to just revel in the fact that it’s okay not to be perfect? It’s okay to eat that extra piece of cake, get jealous, be lazy and even discontent. It’s okay to catch myself in the middle of an unsavoury thought and not berate my very existence because I recognise that I am a work in progress, and perfection lies somewhere at the end of progress, yet progress never ends. So I’m happy to be human, faults and all, work in progress and all, getting better and better with each passing moment. Such joy.
These are a few things I am grateful for. I hope this got you to think a little bit. There is so much more to life than what you see, how you feel or how well you perceive you are doing. Look around you a bit more and look inside you a lot more, and you will discover that there are so many things you too should be grateful for.
Please share anything you now remember to be grateful for!
This article was previously published by Bella Naija here.