Today, or more specifically, a couple of hours ago, I turned 25. The big 2 – 5. A quarter century!
I wasn’t sure I was ready to turn 25. Sure it might seem like just another birthday to some people, but I remember back when I was young(er) I’d always assumed that I’d have my life all sorted out at this age. Dream job. Dream relationship. Dream dog. Dream house. See where I’m going with this? (What can I say, I’m a Pisces ok!) Pretty much all that ‘grown-up’ stuff just sorted out.
But while life may not have turned out how I imagined all those years ago, I realised that I AM READY for 25. Quarter-life crisis be damned! I am ready to embrace this year and it is going to be a good one. And in keeping with this positive energy that I’ve been focusing on this year, here’s 25 things I am grateful for today:
I am grateful for a mother who taught me about unconditional love, strength & hard work, a father who showed me the meaning of second chances, and a sister who makes me laugh like no one else does, makes my heart swell with pride, and who I know will always have my back. I am grateful for my aunts, uncles, cousins, dearly departed grandparents and the rest of my crazy, lovable extended family for enriching my life and for allowing me to experience the awesomeness of a big family.
While the saying ‘ friends are the family you choose’ holds true for me, and my closest friends are basically family to me, they are too amazing not to have their own shout out. I am grateful that these wonderful souls chose me to be their friend and for the love, laughter, craziness, patience, and support they have provided me with over the years. I am grateful that I can say that some of my best friends are people who I went to PRIMARY SCHOOL with and our bond is still strong today, even if most of us are spread out around the globe.
3. The ocean
I am grateful to the ocean for always reminding me of home, and the more important things in life. For the lessons it has taught me and for being a cure for the bad days.
4. Having 2 places to call home
I am grateful that even though my parents are separated, and they made life quite complicated by being from opposite ends of the earth, I know I will always have 2 places that I can come home to.
5. Modern technology
While it may have it’s pros and cons, I am grateful to modern technology, in the form of Skype, smartphones, Whatsapp, Viber and the like, for allowing me to keep in touch with my global family and to make the distance less lonely. I am grateful to be able to know what is going on in the lives of the people I love and to feel like I’m still a part of it all even in those times when I can’t physically be there.
6. Dual citizenship
I am grateful that my dual citizenship means I’m not forced to choose which of my homes I suddenly have to declare my loyalty to (because how can anyone expect people to do that?), and I’m grateful for a passport that allows me to travel almost anywhere in the world. Believe me when I say that this is not something that I take for granted as I’ve experience first hand the amount of red tape one has to work through with a ‘developing country’ passport. That being said, I am just as grateful for my blue passport and its stamps, and the memories of being able to represent my country at an international level.
7. A healthy body
I am grateful for a healthy body that allows me to get out and pursue all the physical activities that I love, and the knowledge that I can still try all those other activities I have yet to attempt! I am grateful for the opportunity to represent my country as a national athlete during my more active outrigger canoeing days as those times will always have a special place in my heart. I am grateful that I have full use of all my senses and that’s something I never want to take for granted. I’m grateful that even though I was a premie baby, there were no complications and I grew up healthy and happy. And I am grateful for the health care system currently available to me in Austria.
8. The little things
As cliché as it may sound, I’ve found happiness really DOES come from the little things, so I am grateful for something as small as a surprise postcard in the mail, a text, a phone call, a funny coincidence, or the cute boy-next-door in his army uniform opening the building door for me as I’m struggling with my keys after work. That. And so much more. All those little things.
9. Being debt free
I don’t have a lot of money but I am grateful for the fact that I don’t have the extra weight of a student loan, or any kind of loan for that matter, weighing on my shoulders. I’m grateful that my mother instilled good financial values in me and taught me the value of saving for a rainy day. (Though to be fair I might just have my Chinese blood to thank for that)
I am grateful to have such a huge love for food. All kinds of wonderful, delicious food all over the world just waiting to be tasted! It really does make me sad to think about people who really only see food as a means of sustenance and don’t get to feel that immense joy that I, for example, feel when eating a perfectly cooked, medium rare steak. Mmmmm. Bliss.
11. Ice cream
Yes ice cream deserves it’s own shout out because it can’t be described as merely food it’s…more than that…it’s…MAGICAL. I am grateful for the awesomeness that is ice cream in all it’s glorious forms and flavours!
I am grateful for the awesome adventures I’ve been on and for those adventures that still await me! To be able to visit 12 countries and counting. To experience the thrill of being at an international 7s rugby tournament, cheering for my team. To see the Lion King musical in London with one of my best mates. To go on a whirlwind one week tour of Spain with some of my favourite people, and all the memories made, people met and lessons learned. Just some of the adventures I’m grateful to have had.
I am grateful to have experienced love, even if it may not have worked out, because it has shown me that I am stronger than I know and that there are people who are meant be part of your life, and people who aren’t. I am grateful because now that I’ve moved on, I’ve also learnt what I’m really looking for in a relationship.
14. Books, Movies, Music
I am grateful for the fact that I am able to enjoy all these mediums so deeply and for those special books, films or songs that have the power to make me feel ALL THE THINGS, that inspire me and feed my imagination.
15. Weekends & Holidays
Part of being a grown up I suppose is having to work and work has naturally made me grateful for the break offered by weekends and holidays. It’s amazing how you can suddenly develop such a deep appreciation for weekends & public holidays, and learning just how much (or how little if that’s more your style) you can get done in those days you get for yourself.
When I made the decision to turn my Austrian holiday into more of a permanent situation, I was lucky enough to have found a job almost immediately and this is something I’m very, very grateful for considering the current economic climate. Sure it may not have been a dream job but it meant security, money in the bank, and food on my plate. And today of all days I am grateful for the almost too-good-to-be-true employment opportunity that presented itself after I had been contemplating moving on to something else for quite a while now. I don’t want to jinx it just yet but I have my fingers crossed and am sending out positive vibes (as well as an application obviously).
I am grateful to live in a country right now where I get to experience all 4 seasons and see/feel Mother Nature in all her glory. I mean, if I had my way some seasons would last longer than others, *cough* Summer *cough*, but there’s just something so beautiful about each season in it’s own right. The undeniably Christmas-y feel that Winter brings with it, along with that powdery white blanket of the first snow. The way the flowers and foliage seem to appear out of nowhere from one day to the next in Spring and everything suddenly comes to life again. The awesomeness of sunny Summer days spent next to a body of water, with a cool beer (or ice cream) in hand and some meat on the grill. And the indescribable way the light seems to fall as it does only in Autumn as if to match the changing colours of the leaves on the trees.
18. My Bed
As much as I love being on the road and travelling, there is just something about being able to come home at the end of your journey and snuggle up under the blankets in your own bed. Just the thought of it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
19. Lessons learnt
Just to be clear, I don’t feel like hitting a quarter century suddenly makes me exponentially more wiser than I was a year or two ago. (Here’s looking at you, 29-going-on-30 gang). But I have learnt many things in my 25 years of life which I am grateful for, and I know I will continue to learn things (hopefully not ALL the hard way) in the years to come.
I’m not lucky enough to have a dog of my own just yet (sooooooooooooooooooooooon) but I get to dog-sit my for my Dad and cousin quite frequently and I am grateful to those lovable fuzzballs and their ability to turn a pretty crappy day into a good one with their adorable silliness. They really are a (wo)man’s best friend.
21. My Onesie
Yes that’s right. I just included an article of clothing on my list of things I am grateful for. I know people either seem to love or hate onesies but I for one will just come right out and say that I love my onesie and I am grateful that it made winter that much more cosy and bearable for me. Plus it doubles as a convenient last-minute Fasching costume so…WIN.
22. Parks and Recreation
I am grateful for the awesomeness that is this show and all the laughter that it brought with it. For getting me through those rough days where I was homesick for Fiji or just having a crap day in general. There is not a single episode of this show that did not put a smile on my face, even in between the teary eyes during the finale. (If you managed to watch the finale without getting teary you are not human. Seriously.)
I am grateful for the fact that I make enough money to not have to live paycheck to paycheck and to therefore be able to save a bit and treat myself on occasion with a holiday or a little retail therapy.
24. Awesome Surprises
I am grateful for the awesome birthday surprise I just discovered, which my little sister apparently hid behind a picture in my flat before she left to go back to Fiji. Excuse me while I just wipe the soppy tears off my keyboard.
25. This. Right Now. All of it.
I am grateful for the fact that I even have 25 things to be grateful for right now when I know there are people out there who cannot say the same. xx