When asked "What are you most grateful for?" so many things immediately come to mind: my family, friends, dogs, health, my amazing education. While these things are extremely important to me, they are also very typical answers to this question. To challenge myself, I took an extra 30 minutes to think: what are 10 unconventional things that I'm grateful for? (Or in other words, things that I don't think about typically, but am nevertheless grateful for.)

Here is what I came up with:

1. Being born as a human.

We don't really think about this every day, as it's one of the things we truly take the most for granted. It's also the one thing that everyone has in common, among all of the differences we harbor. I'm not sure how "life" works, but imagine just through an unlucky roll of the dice, I was born as a mosquito. What a sad existence that would be.

2. The power of sight.

I (realistically) can't imagine what it would be like to be blind. All I know is how grateful I am to be able to see the beautiful world I live in; I wouldn't trade it for anything.

3. Trees.

Without trees, we'd all be dead. Trees supply so much for our species: oxygen, wood, paper, shade, and beauty. Sometimes we need to sit back and realize this before we litter or waste natural resources.

4. Long hugs.

Hugs are so nice. But when they're long and meaningful, that just hits home.

5. Being born in an MDC (more developed country).

We don't choose where we're born or who we're born as. I just happened to be born in the United States as a half Japanese, half Taiwanese girl. While the US may be a bit of a clown-fest at the moment, I'm so grateful to have been born in a country where the majority of people have access to clean water, transportation, and job opportunities. It's important to recognize this privilege that many of us were just given by chance when we were born.

6. Being adopted into my amazing family.

I often ask myself, what if I hadn't been adopted? If I wasn't adopted, I would've been raised by two 19-year-old college students (who weren't even together anymore). I know for sure that I would not have had all of the life experiences I'm fortunate to have been given by my adoptive parents. There is never a moment that I'm not grateful for this.

7. Laughter.

Imagine the world without laughter. I personally can't. You ever hear that phrase, that laughter is contagious? Laughter spreads happiness from one to another, and without happiness constantly circulating around and revitalizing itself, the world would be a miserable place.

8. Being cis-gender.

For those who don't know what this is, being cisgender means that you identify with the sex of which you were given at birth. I'm grateful that I'm comfortable with the body I was born in, since I know that's not the case for all people. This is also something I believe many cisgender people take for granted, as it is not something we have to face and struggle with every day as others may.

9. Gravity

Without gravity, who knows where we'd all be. Quite literally.

10. Language

Being able to communicate at the level we do is amazing. We can convey our emotions, wants, needs, and so much more through words. On top of this, we can do it in 100 different ways through different languages, dialects, and more.