||[Feb. 8th, 2015|10:59 pm]
The focus of today's entry will be gratitude.
I suppose I should preface this entry with a smidge background information. My name is Ryan. Hello, and welcome to my blog.
I am 27 years old and I currently live in a small town you've never heard of, in Southern Oregon. How did I, a born-and-raised-self-proclaimed-SoCal-lifer end up here? Well, let me give you the shortened version.
I was unceremoniously kicked out of my own life (more on this later) in mid-2012. I spent four months feeling sorry for myself, scraping by alone in Southern California before admitting defeat, and moving (against my will) to Oregon, where my family had relocated 4 months prior.
(It's later) After having spent 3 years in an unhappy relationship, it was discovered I'd been less-than-honest, and less-than-loyal to my (in)significant other. (Sorrynotsorry.) Now, after being 'single and loving it' for nearly 2 1/2 years and pretending to 'have my shit together,' I have officially taken action to truly get said 'shit' together.
This is the part where I explain the focus of this blog; gratitude. Here we go. Pay attention.
I am grateful.
I am 27 years old.
I have a beautiful niece.
I have a handsome nephew.
I have amazing parents.
I have amazing siblings.
I have the best friend anyone could ever ask for.
I have my own apartment.
I do not rely on anyone for my income other than myself.
I have worked hard to attain my belongings, and I did it myself.
I have a car.
I have a television.
I have a warm, comfortable bed to sleep in every night.
I have people in my life who love me.
I have co-workers who appreciate me.
I have a boss that I actually enjoy working with.
I work for an organization that makes a HUGE difference in the world.
I am in a situation where I can work on furthering my education.
I have a 3-5 year plan that is actually doable, and currently in motion.
I have food in my fridge.
I have money in my bank account.
I can go on.
I am grateful for all of these things, but especially the last one. The fact that I can go on, and on, and on. In a world where some people wonder where their next meal is coming from, I am actually worried that what I'm eating might be too much. In a world where some people are fighting to keep their home, or their car, or get food in their fridge, I wake up Monday through Friday to not only work, but to work in a place that I absolutely love.
I am 27 years old. I am in a happy place in my life. I am single, and truly enjoying my freedom to be selfish. I currently have the luxury of focusing on work, exercising and reaching my health goals, and getting my degree. I can pick up and move, or stay put, or go on vacation, or go on a shopping spree, or spend the night at a friend's house...all without asking permission. It blows my mind when people ask me or mention things to me like:
"Aren't you lonely?"
"When are you going to settle down?"
"You should let me introduce you to this friend of mine."
"You should go on a date with me."
"Why are you single?"
"How have you been single for so long?"
To some of these questions, I have to bite my tongue due to my automatic response.
"Why are you in this relationship that you complain nonstop about?"
"Why are you NOT single?"
"You're in a relationship--why are you NOT happy?"
"Why can't you STAY single?"
"Why do you need to be with someone to be happy?"
"Why can't you understand that I don't need a boyfriend to be happy?"
The fact that I can now ask people these questions and honestly not know the answers is something to be grateful for. The simple fact that I am not drawn to a relationship for the sole purpose of companionship.
And so, the focus of this blog is gratitude. Gratitude for my new eyes. Gratitude for my new personality. Gratitude for being humbled by many things. Gratitude for being stabbed in the back by someone I thought was my 'bestie.' Gratitude for my newfound motivation to get the life I know I deserve.
Moving to Oregon started out feeling a lot like being exiled. I truly felt that I had been cast out by my home state--that I'd been doomed to my own version of hell, due to my indiscretions and bad choices. A phone call with a close friend recently has changed that.
Oregon was not meant to be an exile. Oregon was and continues to be a new chapter in my life. By reframing the way that I view Oregon, I have come to appreciate every little thing, simply as it is. I find the beauty and usefulness in everything. I look around, and I see this town I do not connect with. I see these people that I do not feel connected to...but now, I feel nothing but gratitude for the lessons this chapter has taught me. I have met some amazing people here. I have come to adore several of them as very close friends. I have been burned by some of them. These lessons I have learned here are invaluable to me.
I am beyond grateful for everything in my life.
Here, at the end of this entry, I invite you to sit back and really assess your life.
Not happy in your relationship? Change it or get out.
Not happy in your job/career? Change it. Go to school. Apply for another job.
Not happy with your body? Work out. Eat better. Do better.
I am 27 years old. I am so, so very grateful that I have come to these conclusions now, as opposed to waiting until I'm in my 40's, wondering why I never did what I wanted to do.
And you will be too.
Now, go be grateful for something.