I love birthdays…and by that I mean I love other people’s birthdays. For some reason I’ve never been a huge fan of my own. A combination of getting older, loathing party planning and being the centre of attention leaves me with mixed emotions.
But this year, my birthday became a week of fun things and surprises and I loved it. Four days of celebrations in Vienna, lots of birthday messages and missed calls (#globalroamingstruggles), and gifts from new friends, housemates and workmates.
The other day, when I was telling one of my friends about the week, something hit me.
It was the first birthday I had spent with friends that were strangers 9 months ago.
And yet they made me feel genuinely special and grateful.
I started thinking about being grateful. We all are, but sometimes it takes a moment to step back to really appreciate all the things we are grateful for. When I wrote my previous post about ‘twenties and them life goals’ it got me thinking about this and I thought it was time to put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, and write them down. So here are 29 things (yes birthday themed) I am grateful for today:
- Growing up in Melbourne – They don’t call it the most liveable city in the world for nothing. What it lacks in consistent weather it makes up for with everything else. BOOM – take that Sydney.
- Indian heritage – I love coming from a country that is as rich in culture, natural beauty and history as India. It’s one of my favourite destinations to travel to and I’m as proud an Indian as I am an Aussie.
- My education – You can take the girl out of MacRob but you can’t take the MacFob oops MacRob out of the girl. And I’m wearing the geeky badge proud.
- The people who have been there at different stages of my life – Even if we aren’t close now, they had an impact on my life at some stage and that’s something I won’t forget
- Passion for adventure – what drove me to make the move to London in the first place. It’s what keeps me travelling to a new place in Europe every month, exploring London every weekend and uncovering the most amazing places
- Love of food – Brunch, desserts, markets, street food, fine dining. I love it all 🙂 Special shout out to my metabolism that hasn’t given up on me yet….yet. Got a feeling I’m pushing my luck there though – oops!
- That I’m relatively comfortable approaching potentially awkward situations e.g meeting strangers. All friends were once strangers 😉
- Pushing myself out of my comfort zone – This is a big one but a recent one. And something that I’m still working on. But so far, whenever I have, it’s always paid off. I figure, if it isn’t gonna kill me, it can’t be that bad!
- Curiosity – Similar to the above!
- Housemates – After hearing horror rental/housemate stories I’m so grateful for the awesome people I lived with in Fulham and now Islington. Not to mention that I’ve been lucky enough to call such gorgeous areas of London ‘home’.
- First holiday in Europe 3 years ago – The trip that made me first fall in love with the continent and made me want so much more
- My friends in Australia – Who have made the effort to stay in touch and reciprocate the effort I make with them; despite the craziness of life
- My career – Having a career first up but also having one that I enjoy. One that challenges me but also pays for all my needs (rent, food, oyster card) and wants (holidays, cocktails, clothes, wholefoods) *** some (like me) would argue Wholefoods is a NEED #londonlife
- My friends in London – most of whom were complete strangers 9 months ago. This place wouldn’t feel like home without y’all!
- My Texan partner in crime – Proof that distance, time and our busy lives are no barrier to friendship.
- All those people wiser and more talented than me – The ones you learn from. Or at the very least have a good laugh with
- Digital technology – That makes staying in touch with people far away soo easy. Although I’d argue it makes us totally suck at real communication and things more complicated than they need to be!
- That it takes a lot for me to give up on the people I care about – While I frustrate myself with this one, when I really think about I’d rather take a risk and put myself out there than risk letting go of a good thing…wondering ‘what if’ is far worse.
- Forgiveness – I don’t hold grudges. I’ve learnt that the hard way from people that do hold grudges. And while this is contentious, I believe the ones you truly care for deserve a second chance. Cos we’ve all stuffed up even with the best of intentions and often with the people we care about most.
- My cousin’s Labrador – I’m a dog lover but have never had my own dog. I’m grateful my cousin brings him over every time the family visits. And I LOVE that he now searches my old room for me every time they come over hehe
- The kiddies in my life – My nieces and nephews. Who are too cute for words. Especially my little nephew who is totes peeved and confused as to why I’m not at home anymore when he comes over!
- The oldies in my life – My aunties, uncles and grandmas. The ones who freaked when I first told them I was moving to London but now appreciate my travel adventures more than anyone.
- My health – Without this you have nothing. And it’s perhaps the one thing we are all guilty of taking for granted. Side note – I’m super grateful to my old workmate for introducing me to the world of green smoothies. Sometimes I feel like all that kale is the only thing keeping me going in an otherwise over-indulgent lifestyle… oops
- The things that didn’t go to plan. They have taught me something valuable and the reason I find myself here today
- That I am not scared to take a chance on something or someone. Yes I hate failure and rejection as much as the next person. But I hate regret more, and those that take a chance never really lose.
- The people who helped me when I first moved here – The one who picked me up from the airport when I first arrived. The one who offered me a couch in Hammersmith when I was between houses. The one who knew me less than a month but helped me move my things to Fulham. The ones who invited me along to their parties/dinners so I could meet people. The ones who checked in on me to see if I was okay. I am grateful that they did all these things.
- Brother – 5 years younger but still manages to look out for me like an older brother would. He knows me better than anyone and is my biggest supporter, best friend and the one that always has my back
- Parents – I’m grateful for everything they’ve done and will continue to do
- London – I’m truly grateful that I took a leap of faith and moved here. This city has shown me that home is where the heart is. And right now my heart is in London.
And while 29 befits the occasion, I am mostly grateful that this list took very little time to actually write. Which shows there is soo much to be grateful for. And I’m grateful that I see it, believe it and took the opportunity to write it down