I personally do not celebrate thanksgiving but a post made by Hannie of Missing Wanderer has given me the idea to write a post, a dedicated one at that, about the things I'm grateful for in life. Also, if you follow me on Instagram, you'd know that I just recently graduated — Bachelor of Art, baybeh! — and I thought what's better time to use one of my blog's columns to reflect on things and let some of my thoughts be published for the world to read?
Being grateful is more often than not the things we overlook in life. We pay attention to problems, to the shitty crappy days, to the issues that cause us to never pause and actually be thankful for what we have. I know that's how I can get when I'm too overwhelmed by things. For the past few months, I have shed more tears than before, have been succumbing to repetitive depressive episodes and constant anxiety and see myself as a slow loser who fail to keep up with things. Yes, it's been rough.
Unfortunately, life can be a b*tch sometimes, just like karma. Of course it sucks but I constantly remind myself to read between the lines and find the good things to channel my strength and preferably shift my frustration to, in hope that I can also minimize how depression affects me, my functionality and overall life. By focusing and reminding myself to take a step back and appreciate the little things I still have in my life, sometimes they allow me to breathe and cool down.
The best girlfriend, N.
I've had my fair share of friends in the past but no one, I repeat, no one relates and process things the way N does. I don't remember when we became so close but we did and I'm really thankful for her. N is a smart and logical person who process things from a very rational perspective and has really in depth thoughts about conscious living and that's a few reasons why we click so much. I think she's a really cool, independent individual who has never abandoned me even though I say and think of stupid things from time to time. Although we have some differences here and there, get annoyed with each other and purposely call each other names — "hello, you little shit" — we never get tired of each other and will always reply when the other needs a confidant. Plus, she's an introvert just like me.
Truth be told, I've never had a best friend that lives up to the label (not that I love labeling my friend but you know what I mean) so I appreciate how N really values the idea of co-existence.
The best-slash-boy-friend, A.
It's funny how it has come to this because we only really started talking during fifth semester in college. Well, I'm going to spare anyone from the boring story of how it happened but well, it did. And I'm really thankful for it, for him. Like N, he's not just the boyfriend but is also the best friend too. You know how people always tell you to 'marry your best friend?' — in my case, that'd be 'date your best friend' and honestly, I can see why studies suggest that.
Then again, I'm not sure how it feels like to go out with a guy who didn't start out as your best friend. Heh, it's not like I've had boyfriend(s) before. Even so, it doesn't mean he doesn't get on my nerves because oh god does he actually make me wanna punch him (and not because he's an ass. It's about other things). But eh, at the end of the day, we try to watch each other's back. After all, I'm all about loyalty when it comes to relationship, be it platonic or romantic.
As cliche as this sounds, I appreciate the modern things we live with today: the internet, video games, books, films and TV series...the list goes on. I appreciate the fact that we have adorable baby animals videos on the internet, social medias where we can laugh at weird memes and read about how shiba inu puppies get stuck by the fence yet still looks like they're stupidly blessed despite their situation. I also appreciate the existence of video games and how they keep me distracted, got me thinking and allow me to practice my fingers and reflexes. I am also grateful for artists, for music, for all the creative inspiration and influences we have online — the world would be dead without them.
The first few semester of university life was such a bummer mainly because the subjects I took were still basic, manual art classes that required manual, hand-drawing skills which are something I was never really good at. I felt like a loser and I almost had the thought of quitting design school just because I felt like everyone has better fine art and drawing skills than I do. I also failed two classes, had to retake them and was so ashamed of myself that I spent everyday feeling like a depressed loser — why did I fail? Why couldn't I just pass with a minimum grade? It was dreadful but I dealt and retook them anyway because what choice did I have, right? Thankfully, I passed them just fine after retaking them once.
College also made me learn to accept myself that it's okay if I can't draw human anatomy correctly, it's alright if I can't do fine art and it's fine if I'm not good when it comes illustration. I still do envy my friends who are great 'jack of all trades' and those who can illustrate, digitally or manually, but I've learned to accept the fact that I'm better when it comes to digital, multimedia design such as photography, web, interface and editorial design. Confidence is not easy but I have to learn how to appreciate my abilities more — self love and appreciation, ya know.
Four years in college have also taught me that there is no fix point when it comes to design. You can have a design style but you can never have the perfect design. I have learned that graphic designers differ from fine artists hence the constant debate that blurs the line between the two fields. Additionally, design is subjective and will continue to evolve through time, just like knowledge, and the only thing we — or I — should do is keep on learning.
Boy was I glad I did not quit and pushed through some of the unwanted subjects.
I remember feeling extremely anxious about my thesis and thesis defense. I couldn't sleep and I was terrified about failing, about not being able to answer any questions or defend my own project. Not to mention my supervisor first thought of my thesis idea as this very difficult, very strange "why would you want to make a project based on such idea" kind of topic that I was discouraged from time to time. It sucks when you have an idea you are so excited about only to have people looking at you like you're insane for wanting to do something different.
I did survive my thesis despite the ups and downs, the agitation and personal struggles, managed to complete it even though the grade I received made me sad — I got a B, which sucks in my opinion. Then again, my project execution did not deserve an A but a B managed to discouraged me for a while. Still, I should be grateful it wasn't a C.
Being an introvertSome people misunderstand introverts as this lonely, antisocial group of beings who resort to loneliness and being alone instead of joining other people or group and leave their safe cocoons. Frankly, I value myself as an introvert and would never change a thing. Sure, I envy my boyfriend who can adjust and adapt to new environment and socialize with new people because he has that amazing trait that I sometimes wish I can have just a tad bit but at the end of the day, I still value my position as a listener slash observer more than a talker. Don't get me wrong though, I can be talkative to people I'm comfortable around but most of the time, the number of people I get comfortable around is very...limited.
As an introvert, I am able to enjoy myself and keep myself busy when I'm alone. I'd like to think of that as a gift. I am also able to pay attention to details, observe people from afar and notice even the slightest change in a situation. My introverted personality allows me to be more independent, perhaps emotionally stronger as well (even though I still get emotionally compromised sometimes when I bottle things up too often) and has definitely given me the capability to develop a defense mechanism for me to deal with things.
I don't know about any other introvert out there but I value it and I value the fact that I am probably more observant than some, if not most, extroverts that I have ever met in my life. Besides, I think big talkers who reveal and talk more than they should are not only annoying but also less intelligent.
Please don't take it the wrong way. I am not saying that all extroverts are big talkers, listen less and/or are stupidly annoying. There are intelligent extroverts who talk less and listen more but it's quite difficult to find them.
TeasThis is such a weird, cliche thing to be grateful for but whoever invented tea deserves an award. I've been so obsessed with drinking tea that I can't seem to go on a day without brewing a tea bag. I always have a box of green tea in stock as a staple tea selection but lately, I've been so into English breakfast tea served with skim milk and sweetener. Aye, so British. Believe it or not, I usually drink tea raw — no sweetener, no milk, just pure tea (which may come off as a surprise to some and I just don't understand why!) however, I'm all about adding milk and sweetener or honey when it comes to English teas. My favorites at the moment are English Breakfast, Peppermint and Spearmint Green Tea.
images via pinterest & tumblr
And now it's your turn: what are you grateful for this month / year?