The People We Forget To Thank
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Politics and Activism

The People We Forget To Thank

The three people I’ve encountered in my life who I forgot to thank.

The People We Forget To Thank
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I’m sure both you and I have countlessly heard “be thankful” repeated in our ears and heads in many ways. After a while, these words become a trite phrase that’s deemed as “cheesy” or ridiculous.

Up until about a year ago, these two words meant absolutely nothing to me. So I'll take you a year back and explain how these words have become something I force myself to remember on a daily basis.

Before a year ago, there was plenty that happened in my life that I was resentful about. Even now, looking back I don’t have many pleasant memories. It’s like a dark cloud hanging over a time in my life that almost everyone I was surrounded by reflected on in a positive light. Everyone except me. The dark cloud not only loomed in the past, it seemed to follow me into the present as I was more disconnected from everyone my age because I had practically no similar experiences. Anything significant I had to share was just not meant to be shared or would only cause a pity party that I did not want to be a part of. Because I was ashamed.

Ashamed that this was my life. Ashamed that I couldn’t connect with people my age. Ashamed of being the “ugly duckling.” I was ashamed to be myself.

At that point a year ago, it became exhaustive to be so ashamed of myself. Being ashamed only made life in the present worse, and I realized that the dark cloud that followed me was fed more gray color by my own thoughts. The only way I could let it change color was from the way I framed the problems in my life. So I learned to be thankful for all the bad things and started thanking people I had unknowingly taught myself to hate.

Here are the three, general types of people in my life that I’ve reminded myself to thank as often as possible.

First of all, I thank all the people who tried to disassociate themselves from me without getting to know me. At the time, I felt helpless and alone in a world filled with over 7 billion people. Thank you for that because you taught me to be okay with being alone. You taught me that people will not always understand me but that I was bound to find a small handful who would care enough to. And I did.

I thank all the strangers who have let out their anger or frustration on me when I was in a bad mood, worsening my mood at the time. I have considered you rude and unbearable at the time, but I appreciate you now because you have taught me that everyone can have a bad day and that retaliating does not make me better off.

Lastly, but most importantly, thank you to every loved one in my life that has turned their back on me when I needed them the most. It was probably the most painful period in my life because I had hit rock bottom at the time and I had thought I could find the support to climb back up. Today I thank you because you taught me not to have expectations of others, whoever they may be. Above all, I thank you because you taught me that I could fight my battles by myself and pull myself up.

I’m not perfect, so there are times when it all comes back to me, and the pain hits hard. Today is one of those days, but I hope this article serves as a reminder to both myself and you that, at some point, being angry does nothing to the other person and hurts us, but being thankful helps us to be better.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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