It’s been a year of major ups and downs for me to get here. But instead of writing about those on my birthday, this time a focus on the positives seems more appropriate. It’s the simplest way I could give myself a hi-5 after everything I’ve been through, so, here goes.

The 24 things I’m grateful for, in no particular order:

  1. Faith. Faith in God, in people (even the slightest semblance), in the goodness of life, and of a hopeful future.
  2. Ambition. Because it is what drives me constantly, despite the ease in which I could easily give up any time.
  3. A decent education. Nowadays, it is considered a luxury to have a degree, and I am forever thankful for mine.
  4. My workplace. Everything that I’ve done has led me to where I am. I am thankful to be surrounded by people who constantly inspire me and make me feel blessed; I am thankful for an encouraging work environment, and a management that gave me the opportunity to be creative in what I do on a daily basis.
  5. A relatively fast metabolism. Minimal weight gain for the ton of food I consume on a regular basis.
  6. My dog. He made me realize that I do have a very affectionate side. He made me responsible and loving, and be open about such traits.
  7. Art. It is what I live for. It is the only thing I know how to really do. It is the thing I’m sure of that is my calling in life.
  8. Food. Because not everybody has the privilege, and I am more than grateful for what I’m able to consume everyday.
  9. Money. I may not have much, but I have had enough — and receive it continuously — to get me through whatever.
  10. Friends. A small circle means a lot for me because I am confident that whoever I trust in my life right now are people I can call at 3AM and cry to without hesitation.
  11. Bad experiences. They are not pleasant but do deserve acknowledgment in helping me realize the things that really matter in life.
  12. The Internet. I have met wonderful people over the years; I have learned a lot of things, and have done many with the help of the Internet. There are so many possibilities in life, and the Internet has told me this information, too.
  13. Budget trips. Specially the most recent one I’ve had in Singapore, the one where I ventured alone on a foreign land for the first time. I’m so thankful that budget travel exists; travelling has opened my eyes to a lot of amazing experiences.
  14. Humor. I may not have a lot, but it’s one of the best things I’m privileged to be surrounded with.
  15. A job. And one I like, may I add.
  16. Shoes. I just love shoes. Just. Really.
  17. My high school computer class. I cannot even begin to describe how thankful I am for listening to basic HTML and CSS class. And all that typing practice thingamajig. Seriously.
  18. My mother. From doing my nails to helping me get the best education, she sacrificed everything that she could just so I could live. I’m happy to say that I appreciate her now more than ever, considering I have a wider understanding of how harsh the real world could get. I don’t say it often but I hope she knows how much I love her.
  19. My family. What better a support system could I have than them?
  20. Books. I don’t think I have to explain this one.
  21. Spare notebooks. Because these were my doors to discovering how much I love the arts. I used to draw at the back of my notebooks since I was in 1st grade; asked for the notebooks of my neighbors because I couldn’t afford to buy sketch pads. I learned how to reuse, reduce and recycle in the process. Hitting two birds with one stone, baby.
  22. Medicine. Wouldn’t make it this far it weren’t for pills, antibiotics and whatnots. Saved my life so many times. Literally.
  23. Love. That despite how guarded and cynical I am, I still know how it feels, and how amazing it is, how powerful love can be.
  24. Every waking day. Because every day is a good day to be grateful; every day is a chance for me to become a better person, to myself and to everyone else around me.

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