1. My Mum
I am grateful for my Mum and put her at the top of the list because she is and always has been my number 1 priority in life and my biggest and most supportive fan. It is hard to put into words how much she means to me or how many things she has sacrificed in order to be there for me and make my life better than the trials and tribulations of her own. I will forever know that no matter what decision I make in life, how far I fall or how often I stumble, she will always be there at the end of the tunnel with love and a kind word (or often many); which make my mistakes, losses and ill fortunes pale in comparison to the length and depth of her inherent & all-encompassing belief in me, my future and my place in this world.
2. My Dad
I am grateful for my Dad for so many great and varying reasons. The biggest of which is for his ongoing guidance, advice and support which has helped me become the person I am today. I value that my father, who hails from a patriarchal and paternalist background of the South Asian variety, has always told me that education is the most important tool to wield in life, and that with it, I can and will change the circumstance of this world for the better. He has always believed in the potential of my impact in this existence and for that, I am truly blessed.
3. My family
I am grateful for my extensive and supportive family; my aunts and uncles, my cousins and their spouses for simply being there for me and loving me unconditionally. I am no stranger to the fact that family is the most important aspect of life for me and that the relationships with them all are wonderful gifts to be treasured all throughout life. They keep me grounded and remind me that blood is always thicker than water. Their presence, most importantly, shows me that whatever direction I choose to take in life, they will always be waiting on the sidelines to assist & support me with whatever I may need. I know that I can always fall back on them no matter the circumstance and that I will be caught and encouraged without exception or judgment.
4. My friends
I am grateful for my amazingly kind, caring and patient friends (you know who you are!). These guys bear the brunt of my every day quirks and tribulations, but meet them with a beautiful smile and an ever reassuring presence. They have seen my many and varying ups and downs, and listened, always listened, to my tales of love, hope, sadness and at times, downright warfare. This has always happened without judgment or negativity and for that I will forever be grateful. They have become in my eyes, my family which I regard so highly and which I know I am, well and truly blessed for.
5. My education
I am grateful for my education. This is probably the one that I look over and take for granted the most. However, being a development practitioner by trade, I am well aware of the lack of the prospect of an education for women and girls throughout the developing world globally. I now have an inherent understanding that my circumstance in life, my free will, my opportunities to educate myself free from persecution or danger are a wonderful blessing for which I cannot deny. I am so very grateful for this and proud of what I have been given the opportunity to achieve.
6. My ability to dream & believe
I am grateful for my ability to dream and believe. I am by nature an optimist, an idealist, a hopeless romantic that gets lost in a different world. When I was younger, I used to view this as being a bit of a curse, that even when I had been hurt and wanted to feel sorry for myself and not believe, I just couldn’t. It was like every fibre of my physical being would not let me. I never really understood why this was, and hated the fact that I couldn’t kick it. But as life has gone along, I have begun to see that the reason I can never stay down is because at the very core of my nature, I believe without exception. I believe whole heartedly and unquestionably. This is not my curse or affliction, it is in fact my gift, my super power if you will. From now on, I vie to embrace and nurture this wonderful quality for the blessing that it is.
7. My ability to follow my dreams
I am grateful for my ability to follow my dreams. I have and always will be the type of person that has believed in the power of my dreams and taken leaps of faith in order to make them come true. I have never been afraid to listen to my heart and let it guide me in life. The truth is I take chances on things, I do this in the hope of a better tomorrow and to actively take every possible step I can to action my dreams and make them a reality. I believe whole heartedly that life is too short to be somewhere that you don’t want to be, doing something that you don’t want to do, surrounded my people that just spread negativity and bring you down. I will always take chances in life and for that ability to believe and follow what’s in my heart, I am truly grateful.
8. My innate belief in humanity
I am grateful for my innate belief in humanity. This is the principle that I live my life to and subscribe to every day. It has shaped my existence, who I am as a person and how I interact with individuals, friends, family members and the world as a whole. I genuinely believe in the good in people and that if nurtured and provided with the opportunity to, humanity will surprise you with it’s goodness. I wouldn’t be in the humanitarian industry if I didn’t believe in this principle and it is this duty, to harness that potential of humanity that drives my every day existence.
9. The opportunities that I have had in life
I am grateful for the opportunities that I have had in life. I am blessed, I know I have uttered this line again and again throughout this piece, but it’s true. I have an amazingly supportive and loving family, kind and caring friends and, quite frankly, quite a privileged and advantaged place in this world. I am better off than so many and even though it is easy to get lost in my own trivial issues, I am grateful for the fact that once they cease (which they always do) a new, fresh and enticing opportunity is always around the corner and often knocking on the door. I just have to drown out the self doubt and cynicism in order to hear those knocks and answer them.
10. The people I have met along the way
I am grateful for the people I have met along the way; the liars, the cheats, the jerks, the douchebags, the users, the downright nasty and mean. I truly am! For they have taught me so many lessons in life, the biggest of which is to forget about these people, they are insignificant in the scheme of things. Instead, I have been taught to remember all of the great, delightful and magnificent people who surround me quietly every day. I have learnt to love and cherish them and myself with my whole heart and for that, to those a-holes who have come and gone, I am well and truly grateful to you for!