Top 10 Things I Am Grateful For

I’ve decided to drop Thanksgiving from my celebrated holidays. While gratitude is worthy of celebration, the USA holiday “Thanksgiving” is soaked by the blood of Native Americans, settlers*, and animals (turkeys in particular) and in the past decade or so, “Black Friday” has creeped further into the time set aside for family. The holiday is meant to bring people together, but it’s centered around violence and consumer craze.

{* At first I wasn’t going to include the settlers, because they treated the Natives awfully, but I believe that the only way we can truly progress towards a more loving, respectful, and accepting world is by forgiveness and love, as Martin Luther King Jr. says best, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” However, I do realize this might appear ignorant or easy to say when coming from someone who grew up in a middle-class White family (though I myself am half White and half Mexican), but I shall stand by mine and M.L.K.Jr.’s word of love.}

My parents and I are still going to eat together, but it’s a nearly 100% vegan dinner and definitely without a turkey. If I’m wished a Happy Thanksgiving, I’ll respond with my gratitude for the health and well-being of the wisher.

I’m not hating on Thanksgiving, but I don’t like its foundation. I’m ready to replace the holiday with another that represents our desire to move forward and simply, truly be grateful. Letting go of rooted traditions are tough, but my own history has already developed as I choose to abandon the old holiday and start anew… to plant a seed and raise it well, so that one day a garden blooms. I’ll call it Gratitude Day until Thanksgiving is rewritten. Gratitude Day isn’t as catchy, but the heart is there. 🙂

In honor of gratitude and with inspiration from The Broke and the Bookish’s Top 10 tag, I’m writing about the top 10 things I am grateful for.

My Parents

I was adopted at birth, and I’m grateful for the sacrifices and love my adoptive parents have showered me with. I’m grateful that my birth father cared for my birth mother as he did (though I wish he had stayed with her forever), and I’m grateful that my birth mother loved me so much that she gave me extra opportunities with a new family. Her choice gave me the chance to live a better life and chase my dreams whole-heartedly, and I do my best every day to be more successful, kind, and loving.

I’m grateful to my mom and dad for always providing a warm place to live and sleep, food to fill the fridge and cupboards, and lots of Wi-Fi support in all my endeavors, as crazy or as mundane as it may be.

Giovanni

He’s my best friend, and I’m incredibly grateful that we got a second chance to get to know one another at work. We went to the same high school but hung out with different people, and some days I stop and think about the little moments I shared with him back then, having no idea what would happen in the future. Even though it would have been cool to befriend each other sooner, I’m grateful that our friendship blossomed to love the way it did. I’m happy to face the world alongside him.

My Family & Cats

Before Giovanni and I dated, I thought I had a big family, but now that I have my family and his family, I feel filled with love and gratitude for both. Sometimes Stephanie talks a bit too much and Memo provokes the kids too much (or repeatedly deletes my heart comments on his Instagram pictures), but I love them so much and am grateful that they’re in my life. My lil’ siblings-in-law. ❤ Although Stephanie now points out that Giovanni and I aren’t married, so we’re not sisters. Why, Steph, whhhyyyy? You called me a sister first!

My grandmother has been in rehab for about two months after falling and breaking her hip. She got surgery but wasn’t able to walk until a couple of days ago. She’s still uneasy about it, but I’m hoping that she’ll regain confidence and eventually live with my parents in Washington. I’m grateful that the surgery saved her from being completely bedridden. I’m also grateful for the fun holidays my family and I have spent together.

If I didn’t have the cats, I’d be lost and lonely. They’re such wonderful family members and are always here for me. Even when they’re grumpy, they snuggle.

Anime

From Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh to Naruto and Code Geass to Wolf’s Rain and Princess Tutu, there are so many shows that I have adored growing up – Ash Ketchum (Satoshi) is the first boy I remember wanting to marry. I’m grateful for the entertainment, inspiration, and new perspectives anime has given me for the past 21 years, and I look forward to the future of the industry and my involvement in it.

I have a crazy dream that one of my stories will be adapted into an anime. That would be awesome.

My characters

In no way am I exaggerating when I say that the characters in my stories are my best friends and why my heart keeps beating. Whenever I got really depressed and found myself questioning my life and purpose, I thought of them. “Who will tell their story?” I asked myself. And when I felt like no one needed me, I realized that they do. Even if I still hurt, I can view myself as their vessel, and I’m the only one who can introduce them to this world. I’m grateful to them for always being there for me in the worst of times and helping me find a purpose, while always supporting my growth as a person and writer.

Vegans

And vegetarians, because they’re a step closer to veganism! Since becoming vegan I’ve felt a greater connection to the planet, animals, and people. I’ve also gained a greater respect and enjoyment of food. There’s this happy feeling to be had when discovering an awesome and edible (or not) vegan product! I’m grateful for this kinder life I’ve adopted, and I’m grateful to anyone else who adopts it as well. The animals are grateful too.

As all vegans will tell you, my only regret is not going vegan sooner. 🙂

Cooking Skills

Okay, I’m definitely far from master chef (or IG foodie) status, but high school culinary classes and living on my own has given me both confidence and capability in the kitchen. I can even experiment without exploding the kitchen or poisoning myself (usually). I’m pretty grateful for that.

My Inspirations

I’ve always had lots of people I admire, even though I didn’t commit to the word “role-model” until Marzia. I’m incredibly grateful for Marzia, CLAMP, J.K. Rowling, Henry H. Neff, Lewis Carroll, Diana Wynne Jones, Sherman Alexie, Professor Heydon, Hayao Miyazaki, Mamoru Hosoda, Foster the People, PacthesisOu-ren, AmalaAzula, my parents, and Giovanni.

I’m also grateful for Machine Gun Kelly, because he’s been the spark and support for Giovanni when he was at a loss. I’m grateful that MGK kept Giovanni hopeful and spirited, showing him that struggles make you stronger and that it will be okay. Even better than okay if you work hard.

All of you!

Finally, I am so grateful for my readers and blogging buddies. Your positivity and support is what make emotional and doubtful days worthwhile.

I’m still an amateur writer, but I love writing. I have a voice that strains when I speak up, and I’m very shy (not as shy as I was but still shy), but I still love connecting with people. I hope that through my writing I can share the support and inspiration I have received and help make the world a happier and brighter place.

Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful Gratitude Day!

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4 thoughts on “Top 10 Things I Am Grateful For

  1. Very heartwarming to read and good for you for trying to get to what Thanksgiving is supposed to be about. I mean it’s right in the title you’d think people would understand. And also since you’re a master chef, you’re going to have to cook for me one day

    Liked by 1 person

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