Along with the weather, things are feeling rather gloomy nowadays. Whether it’s the news, politics, future uncertainties, inflation, relationships, other personal challenges, uni assessments, the list just seems to be getting longer and longer. Personally, I am feeling like I’m stuck in some sort of repetitive crossroads nightmare, where each of the decisions I make are drastically influencing my life and I have no idea what is the ‘right’ thing to do. With constant stimulation of expectations from others, social media, and personal ideals there is a sense of being pulled in various directions with threads of tangled red string.
However, slowly and surely the world keeps turning, and life keeps moving on, so I decided that it was time to pull myself together. Recently I had just finished watching the Kdrama My Liberation Notes and I think it portrayed the message of living life rather well, or at least my take-away was to enjoy what life offers you. Whether it’s the circumstances you are in, the choices you make, the people you are surrounded by or even just the breaths you are breathing. Gratitude is something so powerful and has recently been moved aside because it tends to be grouped alongside submissiveness or staying quiet and during these demanding times for change, it isn’t something that is valued. Especially with the profit-making media and other capitalist marketing schemes hassling people to just be happy with what they have instead of always asking for more or ‘being greedy’ (even when demands are for simple things such as a living wage, health insurance, reproductive rights and so on), being grateful seems to be getting a bad rep in the midst of it all. However, I would like to kindly disagree, and rather believe that someone can have gratitude while not being ignorant of the hardships. In fact, I think they both work well together, the more grateful you are, the more calm and collected you feel, the more cracks in systems and injustices can be noticed and brought to attention.
Life is short, as I am sure you’ve heard a thousand times already, things change, people change, time moves on, the only thing you can really control are your actions in the present and showing and having some gratitude for your sanity doesn’t seem like a bad way to go about things. Mistakes happen and things do not go as planned but as long as you keep learning and moving forward, life always has something bright to offer. Adopting this new mindset recently, I have noticed a change in my mood. Small things make me ecstatic; like a baby waving to me during my work shift, or a dog wagging its tail faster as I pass someone by on an evening walk, how pretty the sky is during sunset and how my sister makes me laugh until my stomach hurts, I have stopped putting such expectations on things I cannot control and just taking things one breath at a time.
Article written by Nishtha Sharma
Header art courtesy of Vincent Giarrano, City Life (2020)
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