All the Big Things I’m Thankful For this Year
I wish the girl I was at 16 could have seen how my Thanksgiving went this year- I’m pretty sure teenage Solen would’ve cried. And I mean the good, warm, fuzzy-feeling-in-your-heart happy tears. All through high school, and even through most of college, I would spend the holidays crying the opposite kind of tears because I just wanted the simple things it seemed like everyone else had around me. Joy. A happy family. Peace. And warm memories.
Instead, Thanksgiving’s always put me on edge because I’ve had so many of them ruined by the chaos and instability that I was born into. When you’re born into a broken family like I was, you start to hate the holidays because all they’ve ever done is disappoint you and let you down. After having so many bad Thanksgivings ruined,, I stopped looking forward to them. Which is really sad, because deep down I’m a huge holiday lover, and Thanksgiving is actually my favorite one even though it never goes well for me.
But I shouldn’t say never, because this year was different. This year I didn’t spend the days leading up to Thanksgiving dreading it, or crying because the people who always manage to ruin it for me started acting up again.
I spent it happy. And it only took my last Thanksgiving at home for probably the next 5 (maybe more) years. And you know what? It wasn’t a perfect one. The people who meddle in my life and purposely try to hurt me every Thanksgiving tried to do the same thing again this year.
But I didn’t let it break my spirit this time. It’s taken me 23 years, but I finally learned how to brush off the people who try so hard to bring me down. In the past year, I’ve found so much inner peace that’s taught me how how to move past the hurtful things people are capable of. You can’t change people for the better, but you can work on changing your own mindset towards those cruel people. It’s a wisdom and maturity I wish I could’ve had at 16, and 22, and every year in between. But I’m just thankful I have it now, and it’s allowed me to live my life without being affected by the spiteful things people throw my way.
I have so many other things to be grateful for this year that the Lord has done in my life. Here’s some of the big ones that mean the world to me:
- My family. My sweet cousins I am so proud to know. My aunts and uncles who love me every day and pray over me.
- To finally be a senior in college. It’s been tooooooo long.
- That I got to take a gap year when I needed it most.
- My health that’s never been better, Alhamdulilah.
- Graduating debt free, Inn Shaa Allah.
- I have some really amazing friends in my life.
- My health journey that’s taught me so many priceless things I want to share with the world.
- Finding my calling in journalism this year.
- Starting to see my hard work from the past seven years pay off.
- We got Taylor Swift tickets!
- Anxiety doesn’t control my life anymore.
- All the journalism skills I’ve learned this year.
- Knowing that God is in control of my life, and things truly do happen for a reason.
My life sure as hell ain’t perfect, but I’m truly thankful for it all. The tears cried, the hard battles, the chaos, and fighting words have all made me appreciate what I have going for me right now. And the inner peace I have now in my life is so precious that I am fiercely protective of it every day because I know what it feels like to have none. I hope you all remember to count your blessings this year too, and if things are in a rough patch for you this year I pray that you remember the beauty of life is that it ebbs and flows. No hardship will last forever, and no storm will stay stuck there. Happy late Thanksgiving friends! Thankful for you all!