I turned 18 a few days ago, which makes me legally able to drink, book a hotel room, and basically do all the things that Australian eighteen year olds are able to do. I had an amazing birthday, which included having a Piña Colada and asking my mother if having one cocktail would result in my having a hangover the next day (no, I’m not joking, in my defense, I don’t know how much alcohol goes into those things). She just laughed at me.
Teenagers have a bad rep for being self-centered, ungrateful, and often unappreciative. In all honestly, I too, have had (many) moments when I haven’t appreciated all that I have, and have taken things for granted.
My birthday prompted me to think how lucky I am, and how grateful I was for the things in my life. Here are just 12 of the things I am grateful for at the moment:
My Mother 1 of 12
My mother is the biggest thing I'm grateful for. I'm so unbelievably grateful that I got such an amazing mother, and that we get along so well. We mostly only fight when I'm driving (which is understandable because my driving is scary) and because I treat my whole house as my own personal bookcase (in my defense, my wardrobe, three bookcases, the shelves in my study, and my bedroom floor are all covered in books- there's really no other room for them, except, like on the couch, in the kitchen, and on my desk, and no, I'm not going to stop buying them, and yes, I have a Kindle, and yes, it's full, and no, it's not the same thing as actually holding a book). My mum has taught me so much over the last eighteen years, has been my biggest inspiration and I'm utterly grateful that she is my mother.
Education 2 of 12
My school and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship, which is to be expected seeing as I've been there for almost thirteen years. Yes, you read that correctly. THIRTEEN LONG YEARS. That's thirteen years of wearing the same uniform five days a week (it looked way better on me when I was five, just so you know), counting down the minutes until lunchtime during before-lunch school assemblies, and embarrassing myself at school sports. I adored my school until eighth grade, but after that, I strongly considered moving schools. Part of the reason I stayed, was the teachers. At my school, most of the teachers are fantastic, and I wasn't sure I could find just as great teachers at a different school. Whilst my school and I, like any long-term relationship, have had our ups and downs, I'm grateful that I got such a good education, at a school where (most) of the teachers took avid interest in making sure their students reached their potential. FYI though? Holiday homework is really unnecessary.
Photo Courtesy of [hinnamsaisuy/FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
My Penpal 3 of 12
I have a Canadian penpal, who I have been communicating with for approximately 4-5 years. I've never met her, and we met online (yes, I know it sounds dodgy, moving on), but we've talked on the phone, sent each other snail mail letters and Christmas presents, and emailed almost daily, at times. She is pretty much one of the few people that know all the stupid stuff I've done over the past five years- I may have even transformed my stupid mistakes into pieces of what-not-to-do writings titled "ESOLL" (Emi's School of Life Lessons), and known pretty much everything that has been happening in my life. She was the very first person to ever read something I had written for fun, mostly because I trusted her, and also because if it was awful I didn't want to see her face whilst she read it. I'm so grateful for her- she's given me perspective, let me write long-winded rants, and, at times, kept me sane. Over the past five years, she's become one of my best friends, and I'm grateful that she's in my life.
Photo Courtesy of [Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
I Actually Made A Decision 4 of 12
In order to not get a "late fee," my university applications had to be lodged by tomorrow. So, I finally had to make a decision of what I want to study at university- and I actually decided! (Kind of). I want to do a Bachelor of Arts, studying Criminology, Psychology, French and Writing (yes, I know it's a weird mix). So, University of Queensland? If you somehow happen to be reading this, please accept me. I know it's not classy to beg, and I totally promise to be classy once I'm actually accepted but here's me, on my knees (figuratively) begging you to accept me.
Okay, so now that I've embarrassed myself, I'm grateful that I actually made a decision regarding this. Knowing me, it may change- but for now, I'm excited to do this, and I'm set in my decision.
Photo Credit: University of Queensland
My Friends 5 of 12
I have amazing friends. Some of whom I have been friends with for almost thirteen years, others less than a year, all of them I'm grateful for. Some of them I have little in common with, with some I have basically everything in common with — all of them I'm glad are in my life.
Photo Courtesy of [photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
Work 6 of 12
I'm fortunate enough to have three jobs, and I'm even more fortunate enough to love each one of them. One of them is working in retail (yes, I do love working in retail, no I'm not completely insane) , one is posting here, and the other babysitting. I like talking to different types of people, I like writing, and I like looking after children, and I'm grateful that I have jobs that allow me to enjoy what I do.
Photo Courtesy of [bplanet/FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
My Extended Family 7 of 12
My father, and his boyfriend, my grandparents, my aunts, uncles, and cousins. Whilst I'm not as close to them as I am to my mother, mainly because I don't see them nearly as much,they are still important parts of my life. I don't know whether my father's boyfriend will be a permanent fixture in my life, but he's welcome in my life for as long as he wants to be. While I may not see my extended family that much, I'm still grateful to have them in my life.
Photo Courtesy of [photostock/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
My Non- Biological Family 8 of 12
I'm not related to them at all, but in most ways, I'm closer to them then I am with most of my biological family. There's my second "mother" (one of my Mum's best friends), the unconventional one who saw the funny side of my occasional rebelliousness, and trusted me with her children. She has known me since I was ten, and saw me through my awkward side bun phase ( I was trying to be as cool as Hilary Duff, and I failed), my uncoordinated ice-skating years (it might have been uncoordinated, but on the bright side I rarely fell- mostly because I refused to attempt jumps and spins that were harder than the ones that seven year olds were doing).
She was the very first person who ever employed me to babysit, and her gorgeous daughters, Charli (nearly three years old) and Lucy (almost one), are the sisters I never had. Charli's was the first diaper I ever changed, the first baby I didn't instantly hand back when it started crying, the first baby that ever spat up on me. She brightens up my day with her bubbly personality, and gave me the confidence to start babysitting more frequently, for other people. I love all three of them, and I feel so grateful that they're in my life.
Photo Courtesy of [Marcus/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
Cardio 9 of 12
Okay, yes, exercise is good for you, I get it. That's not entirely why I'm grateful for cardio, especially at the gym, though. Mostly, because cardio is the uncoordinated person's (which I am) exercise. I mean, it's way harder to fall off a stationary bike than one that actually moves. Plus, with cardio, you can multitask at the same time (except when you run. Which basically sums up the entire reason I hate running). I re-write my posts on my iPhone whilst I'm on the bike at the gym, or walking home from school. I often also write my posts in my head whilst doing gym classes- which is why you can often find me standing at the back of the class, moving in the opposite direction to everyone else (at least, I'm claiming that's my excuse).
Photo Courtesy of [photostock/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
Television 10 of 12
Okay, let's just get something straight. As a teenager, I'm pretty boring. That's not a bad thing, by all means, it's just I'm a lot like Elizabeth Wakefield (except without Todd, and hopefully not as much of a goody two-shoes): I don't do many 'bad' things. I very rarely get in trouble, and that's because I don't do much to get in trouble about. Mainly because doing things that would get me in trouble involve a lot of effort; first I have to do something bad, then I'd get caught, then I'd have to explain why I did it, then I'd get punished... It's just an exhausting process. It's a lot easier being 'good'. With that being said, though, I vicariously live through all the scandal that happens on my favorite television shows (it's just like doing it myself, just without the punishment, it's a win-win situation). I drink illegally via Marissa on The OC, date an amazing guy who- just- so -happens- to -be -working- for- people- ruining- my- life via Spencer and Aria on Pretty Little Liars, and basically have all the trouble I'd ever want to be involved in through Serena on Gossip Girl.
I'm also grateful to television because one of my really good friends and I initially became friends through our mutual love of Pretty Little Liars, and our related conspiracy theories. Without bonding through that, we may not have been as great friends as we are today.
Photo Courtesy of [digitalart/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
Books 11 of 12
Books are pretty much one of the things I love most in my life. I have over two thousand, and I've probably read about double that. They're the things I spend the majority of my money on, and some of them are some of my most prized possessions. I'm eternally grateful for books because they have educated me on things I would never have learnt at school, and have provided me with escapes into worlds which are so unlike my own. They have allowed me to explore different worlds, different cultures, and different ways of thinking. I still act like a child every time I pass a bookstore- I just have to go in, and they instantly make me happy. I've been collecting the whole series of The Babysitters' Club for about ten years now, and I only have ten books to go until I have the set. I've grown out of the series by now, but it's still important to me that I find those ten- it's weird, I know, but every time I pass a second hand bookstore I have to go in, hoping that I'll hit the jackpot and find one of those missing books.
Photo Courtesy of [Maggie Smith/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
My Dogs 12 of 12
My dogs are amazingly gorgeous, exceptionally needy, and slightly annoying (at times). They are my fierce protectors, they tend to put their paws down my shirt every time we go to the vet, showing the vet my entire bra in the process, and they start barking at 4am every morning. They love me, and I love them, and I don't know what I would do without them- bra - pawing, barking and all.