Sometimes I stop and realize just how beautiful life really is. There are so many moments that make me so appreciative to be alive. We tend to take the simplest things for granted, but they are usually the most special; there is just so much to live for.

1. Steaming hot showers where the warm water pelts my back and I massage my scalp with foamy, clean-smelling shampoo. Where I can clear my mind and reflect on everything and just be at ease and so relaxed and alone with myself and my thoughts.

2. Two parents that have been in the stands cheering me on at singing performances, spelling bees, basketball games, and just everything that I have done. Where I’m so fortunate to have them because they have stood by my side no matter what and completely supported me.

3. Lyrics that relate so much to my life that it hurts so bad but also feels so completely magical at the same time. Where I sing the song at the top of my lungs because I know that I am not alone and that others have felt the same exact way that I feel in that very moment.

4. Laughing so hard with my best friends and realizing how lucky I am to have found such wonderful people that have the exact same sense of humor as me and that understand me better than I’ll ever understand myself. Where they are there for me in my happiest and saddest moments and love me completely for the mess that I am.

5. Sleeping in on Sunday morning, waking up to the aroma of maple syrup curling up my nose because my mother is making banana pancakes in the kitchen downstairs. Where I stretch out on my bed and just lay there in bliss because it’s a great moment.

6. Standing on my porch mesmerized by the thunder and lightning and pouring rain showering down on the earth. Where I feel at one with nature and so liberated and free.

7. Long car rides where I get lost by myself, but the good-kind-of-lost. Where I can explore areas that I never knew existed, like patches of land where cows roam and the sunlight streams down so bright it looks like I’m suddenly in the countryside.

8. Beautiful sunsets that look as though they have been painted by my imagination and extracted from a fantasy. Where the purple and pink in the sky are so captivating it takes my breath away because they are too perfect to be real.

9. Cuddling with my little sister when I am sadder than I’ve ever been and telling her about everything that is bothering me because she would never judge me and she loves me more than anything. Where I can just discuss whatever is on my mind and feel so comforted because I know that she’ll be there for me forever.

10. Lying outside on the grass on a flawless summer night, where the temperature is so perfect that I’ve never been more comfortable. The moon, stars and galaxy are absolutely captivating and remind us how wonderful and mysterious this world is that we live in.