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I recently celebrated my 23rd birthday and I juggled with a lot of emotions, not that that's really anything new 🤣 but in the midst of that, I made the decision to be filled with more gratitude than disappointment or grief. I am learning that life is going to happen to all of us and, unfortunately, no matter how hard we try or pray or cry, there isn't a lot that we can do to throw it off its' course. Therefore, while I'm learning to be ok with all the harsh realities that will come with that, I'm learning to count even the most minuscule blessings because in the midst of the hard times, they are still present. Being grateful doesn't mean I don't pay attention to "negative" emotions when they come up, it just means that when they come up I remind myself that it is not the end of the world and life is still good. There have been a lot of times where I've felt like death would be better than living and pushing through disappointments and heartache, and sometimes I still catch myself feeling that way because life is extremely difficult. Being young and struggling with so many things is difficult and it's heavy and sometimes, the heaviness is entirely too heavy and holds you back from navigating through life the way that you thought you would when you were a year younger. But I have realized that life is truly a gift and I never want to stop experiencing the beauty of it because the good times come back just like the bad times and the bad times pass the same way that the good times do. I don't want to take life for granted or be so consumed by the way that my brain works that I cannot appreciate the things that remind me that life is worth living. The places that music takes your body, the clean feeling after a steaming hot shower, the natural smell of the wind, the comfort of the sun, spending time with people that love me in the ways that I require, the opportunity to learn something new about yourself, other people, other experiences, etc. It can be really difficult to feel good when your brain is holding you captive in a dark place but then that rare moment comes, when you feel happy about everything that you unintentionally neglected and you remember how it feels to be present and simply enjoy things. Those are moments that are bound to come but in my darkness, I aim to get in touch with one thing that keeps me holding on, no matter how thin the thread may be. I guess sometimes, you really do have to hit rock bottom before you can make your way back up.

I pray that I'll have more to be grateful for in 23.

"It ain't perfect by everything's beautiful" - Jhene Aiko (Magic Hour, 2020)

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