On Gratefulness


Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about my life and how often I forget to be grateful for the privileges and opportunities that I have. This month was my one year work anniversary at my current job and I took some time to reflect on this past year and how much has happened. I dug up some old files of the work I was making when I first started this job and it’s crazy to see how much I’ve grown and learned in such a short amount of time. But, beyond just professional growth, I’ve grown in many other ways. In fact, I’ve even outgrown some emotions, people, and just general interests. It’s quite bittersweet, really. I can get very nostalgic about a lot of things. Tangible and intangible.

As humans, we should be constantly growing and evolving. And these days, I finally feel like I can breathe again. Like really breathe. And not just deep gasps of air in between a stream of tears and swollen eyes, but life feels full again. By definition, we know that the inevitable is unpreventable. The timeline in which things happen is fixed. I’ve spent so much time considering the what ifs, the alternate universe, the variations of timelines made possible by different decisions. These outcomes simply do not exist and the time spent imagining them only creates spirals of unhealthy longings. 

Given that, we know we cannot control what happens to us. However, we can control how we react. Maybe not at first. Okay, definitely not at first. I will be the first to admit that I’m primarily driven by my emotions and I wear it on my sleeve. And sometimes, I can go as far as to romanticize sadness in a way that makes it attractive and addictive. But there comes a point where your feelings have settled and you can finally make a cognitive choice to move on or to sit in an endless well of unhealthy and irrational thoughts. And as you may have guessed, I’ve chosen to actively pursue joy.

Deaths, health scares, endings, it’s all inevitable. And maybe you’ll always feel a little soreness, even when the wound is completely healed. But that’s okay. We can be tough.

But, I’m still so grateful. I’m grateful for being able bodied. I’m grateful for the roof over my head and the clothes on my back. I’m grateful for the people in my life who have shown me so much kindness and care. I’m grateful for pink skies, for warm blankets, for funny podcasts, for good coffee, for long phone calls, for this very moment.

I spent this past weekend in Mexico with Amor Ministries building a house for a family who reminded me to be grateful, to be kind, to be generous, and to have fun. Here are some photos I got! :’)


I challenge you to be grateful for what you have, to ambitiously pursue your goals, and to be kind wherever and whenever you can.

Thanks for reading, Cheers!

Catherine Li