Be Grateful For What You Have

It has not been easy with so many fires in the State where I live in right now. I swear that 50% of the State is on fire right now. Seriously. And having underdeveloped lungs, breathing issues, and asthma…it’s a bit of a challenge. Throw a heart condition on top and it’s really not a happy scenario. So, I’ve been staying inside (obviously) with oxygen on, writing and crocheting, and getting stuff ready to start a little business on eBay on September 1st. At least, I’m hoping that I can have it all ready by then. Here’s to crossed fingers!

Anyway, I think I’m beginning to find that all of my writing on here is more stream of consciousness than anything else because I’m better at just writing what’s on my mind than having some grand point or something. I dunno.

It’s funny how our minds work though, I’ve discovered. I was pretty brutally bullied earlier this year on social media, and now I begin to wonder if I made it all up. I’m one of those people who (I hate to say it) is easily manipulated into hating themselves. It’s just a part of me that I wish I could get rid of but I can’t. I’ve been bullied all my life, and I suppose that I wonder if the bullying is actually real because I’m so used to it. I’m so used to being called names and being told that I should die or that I will die (because with my condition, there’s no medical explanation as to how I’m alive right now). I’m used to being shoved to the side and being told I’m worthless. But I didn’t come here to talk about my bullied life. I came here to talk more about how it has affected me (stream of consciousness-like).

I’ve found that whenever somebody is nice to me or gives what I know that I deserve, I immediately reject it. I’m so used to putting myself last and everyone else I know before me. Even if I’m not particularly fond of that person. I’m used to putting everyone in front of me, and prioritizing them before myself, so when somebody gives me what I deserve, I quite honestly don’t know how to react. My first instinct is to run like I’ve just been presented with the plague, to be absolutely truthful. I’m not sure why that is. I suppose I feel I don’t deserve it. But there is something that I’m really trying to learn: I do deserve it.

I’ve lived a very impoverished life. We got a kitchen table last year for Christmas, and it was the first time I ate a meal on a table in my own home in fifteen years! It was so fantastic that I found myself jumping for joy. Then I look at my friends, and it can be difficult because they are complaining about what they want or how something isn’t good enough and they have smartphones and they have everything they could ever want and I’m over here like, ‘Hey! Look at my kitchen table!’ That usually goes right over their heads though.

I’ve stopped talking to a lot of people, not because I’m shallow or believe that I’m better than them because I don’t complain about not having things and I have never been happier to buy my own rice cooker when I was twenty-one, but because I just don’t like the noise. I have a flip phone that I can hardly text on, and I love it. It doesn’t have Internet or emails or anything like that, but I can text and call and that’s exactly what I need a phone for. That’s what phones were supposed to be for in the beginning. Communication. Now they’ve become little computers in our pockets and despite being a Millennial, I can’t help but find myself increasingly irritated with the growing generation of technology.

But what bothers me the most? Ungrateful people. It’s none of my business, and I know I should just look the other way, but quite frankly, it’s very hard to look the other way when I haven’t been to the eye doctor in over five years and I’m getting new glasses and can hardly see with the ones I currently have while others are paying for Lasik surgery (not that there’s anything wrong with that; I’d love it), and others are able to pick from five different set of glasses and contacts. That is a foreign concept to me. Absolutely foreign. I didn’t even know that somebody could have more than one pair of glasses until I was well into my adult years. I’m absolutely honest about that.

To me, it’s the demand and the expectation. I remember living in this little home when I was eight and nine years old that we would later come to call The Submarine because it was so tiny. I’m not even five feet tall and I could stand in the center of the room and touch all of the walls without moving. We had a gas stove, no dishwasher, no heating or AC, and no garbage disposal. I remember when someone was kind enough to build us a home and allow us to live in it for a small down-payment. I will never lose that gratitude. I remember the first day at nine years old, sitting on the carpet in the living room and staring out the windows at the blue sky. I was so filled with peace. I couldn’t believe that a room could look so bright and so full of hope.

Later, when I was at a youth activity (years later), some girls were stomping on a broken sign that bore the name of the man that gave me and my family a home, thinking it was hilarious. I was beyond angry, and being taught to always speak up for how I feel, I walked right over to those girls and scolded them for what they were doing. I remember saying something to the effect of “Look, I understand that he may not be that great to you. I understand that you or your parents might not like that man, but that man gave me a home, he saved my life. Because of that man whose name you are stomping on, I am alive and I am able to live without being homeless, so you’d better watch whose name your stomping on because you never know what they do for others that you don’t see.”

I left the girls with their jaws dropped, too shocked to even have some kind of a retort. I’m not one to take something like that lying down. And maybe it’s not my place to get after someone like that for lack of education, or, as I call it – ignorance. But, I am what I am. And I will stay that way, because I’ve seen the ugly side of the world, and boy am I grateful to that sun continues to rise everyday because, if it didn’t, I don’t know what I’d do. If the sun no longer rose, I might just give up, knowing there was no light, and without light, no hope. I thrive on hope. Perhaps my name should have been ‘hope’,

So, whether we have smartphones and smart vehicles, or we have flip phones and a Kia Rio that can hardly make it ten feet, I think we should be incredibly grateful for what we have. You never know when it’s going to be taken right out from under you.

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