Do you ever not want to say “thank you”?
You know, when it has just been one of those days where nothing seems worth your gratitude, when it is too hot and too cold, when the library smells like feet, when the omelette station runs out of egg whites, when you hate everyone and everyone hates you and why can’t the shuttle ever come on time … Not that I ever take the shuttle, because, like obviously I gotta work on my fitness with all these formals coming up. Because I go to formals. All the formals. Because I have friends and I’m cool. Because, all of those things, remember I’m queen? I’m queen and people like me and I’m cool. Right? (Reflection: these are things I tell myself when I lie awake at night, doubting the world and mostly myself. Hey, senior year. Give me a break.)
Anyway, what I was saying before my slight mental breakdown ensued … Sometimes, I do not feel like saying thank you. I’m being vulnerable, here, so don’t judge me because I know you all have been there before.
It’s the bitterness that comes with writing “thanks for your time” on an email back to a professor who has denied you that extra point on that assignment.
It’s the pain of writing a note to Aunt Blah Blah thanking her for that lovely whatever-it-was, even though you cannot fathom what possessed her to give you such an item.
It’s the turmoil that gathers somewhere between your eyebrows (which you haven’t plucked because you may or may not have reached the chillin’ with no makeup on stage of the semester). This turmoil is wrought about by having to express your deepest and most sincere gratitude to someone who, really, in all honesty, didn’t live up to your expectation of, well, true excellence. All in your own opinion, of course. But your opinion is what matters, always, and you still have to say thank you. Which hurts.
I have felt this way. I’ve been there. Many a time have I wanted to forego the gratitude part of my personal development.
And, my dear readers, how pathetic is that?
We are entering a season — a whole season devoted to this concept — of thanks, and I find myself complaining about the slightest, most irrelevant things. Whether it be feeling sick or being oh-so-over school in general or simply being tired all the time, I need (and I mean need) to stop. Put off complaining and put on gratitude. It may be an uncomfortable coat at first, but it grows on you. Or, rather, you grow into it.
So what am I, personally, grateful for? I’m grateful for my little brother who makes a point to come over for Sunday family dinners. I’m grateful for my roommates and best friends who let me be the weirdest, most real version of myself. I’m grateful for new mornings, productive days, people time and my bed. I’m really grateful for my bed. I’m grateful for the people who laugh with and at me. I’m grateful for cough drops. I’m grateful for two weeks of crazy academic stress and then Thanksgiving because that means football and food and family. I’m grateful for you dear reader(s), whomever you may be, because I like to think we are in a conversation. Please feel free to write back sometime, I’d enjoy it.
Tell me, what are you grateful for? What will you say “thank you” for? Don’t lose it, friends. You’ve got this, just keep on keepin’ on. It goes a long way to be grateful; at least, it does for me.
Gratitude leads to perspective which leads to joy which leads to more gratitude and, eventually, all these warm and fuzzy feelings beat out the nasty, sick ones and wouldn’t you know it, we’ve made it through alive and beaming with some kind of weird feel-good something that makes it all better.
Let’s make it all better, shall we?
Follow Taylor Nam on Twitter: @nam_nam330