OCTOBER 12, 2019
My family spends the entire day together, often outside, and after hours of fresh air we all pile into a house filled with the delicious smell of holiday seasonings.
It’s hard not to feel grateful when your three-year-old niece brings her face right up to yours, tilts her head to the side slightly and says, “I love you, Aunty.” There are so many things I am thankful for as I’m sitting around a table with the ones I love and a full belly.
It’s easy to feel gratitude when times are good, but what about when they aren’t? Or what about the times we lost instead of gained.
Have you ever wished a job, relationship or trip worked out, but it didn’t? Have you ever wanted something so badly you weren’t sure what you would do without but then you don’t get it and you survive and move on?
I am so thankful that all those relationships I told myself I should stay in ended.
I am thankful that I was let go from a company I no longer felt like I belonged in.
I am thankful that I missed a connecting flight and ended up spending the evening with a 70-year-old woman far wiser than I may ever be.
If these things – endings, missed flights, unemployment – didn’t happen, my life would be so different. I would be so different.
I’m grateful for the failures as much as I am for the successes.
Sure, in the moment loss and disappointment doesn’t feel like a victory, but what if we took some time once in a while to remind ourselves that even when the things we wanted so badly didn’t come through, we made it out OK. We found a way to feel grateful again after a time of feeling anything but.
There are so many moments in my life where I couldn’t imagine my life going any other way and then it did. Looking back, it’s easy to see that it was for the best, but in the moment I thought for sure I wouldn’t have another boyfriend again. Or I doubted that after a 3 year sabbatical that I would find a job again.
But guess what? We figure it out. We learn. We grow. We move on. Acknowledging the dreams that didn’t come true and being thankful for the course correction that follows is just as incredible as feeling gratitude towards the ones that did.
After all, everything happens for a reason, right!?
Ashley is a surfer, yogi and writer living and loving in Calgary, AB. She aims to write the way she lives – freely and unapologetically.
Read more of Ashley’s essays at www.anothergirlnamedashley.wordpress.com or follow her on Instagram @anothergirlnamedashley