(Not so) back when it was hard to wake up in the mornings to survive this thing called Life, I had to forcefully remind myself that I had plenty to live for. Tears streaming and teeth gritting …
I thought of the friends who always responded to my stubborn, repetitive text messages.
I thought of how I have my own room in an apartment in San Francisco.
I thought about the paycheck I get twice a month.
I thought of my health, and those of the people I loved.
And I thought of the beautiful places I was fortunate enough to have visited.
Then, I thought of people whose cries for help go unheard.
I thought of homeless people freezing under the freeway.
I thought of folks struggling to make ends meet. I mean, really struggling.
I thought of Gail.
And I thought of those who have never even stepped foot on an airplane.
Cue the downward spiral. The intention was to feel grateful, but instead I felt even worse. In fact, I felt ungrateful. I felt like a little asshole having anxiety over trivial shit. I felt like a horrible person. Then, I would go right back to the beginning of the cycle and not feel worthy again. I’ve learned that I am not the only person to feel like this.
I’ve also learned that while you should be grateful for what you already have, it’s OK to want more for yourself. What’s not OK is to compare your life, both good and the bad parts. I know it’s hard not to, I still do. I’m just saying, I didn’t start to feel bad again until after I compared my situation to people with no homes, no jobs, no family, etc.
So the next time you feel yourself start to downward spiral in the midst of trying to lift yourself up, just remember that if you woke up with a roof over your head, food on your plate and clothes on your back, you have plenty to be grateful for. That’s it. That’s all. That’s great. The end.