I mean, she said I could also write one. I don’t know if she meant to write my own with my own title, but I like this alternative better. I also don’t know why I haven’t used this photo before. (Looking back on this article, I actually use this photo everywhere – 08/12/2020)
Kris Gage is a writer that I was instantly hooked as soon as I tead her work. Maybe it’s because reading her work, you get a sense of actually having a convversation with her. Even if you don’t feel that way, I do. Yet I want to suggest that you give her a read, she has plenty of followers that can attest to her writing prominence.
In her article, she lists things that she is grateful for, like food, sex (I feel so jealous and equally so insufficient), and other things in her life. She has three lists, Food-Related, Psychologically/Personally and General. Before she goes through her list, she briefly explains her views on “gratefulness”, and what she believes is an annoyance of how some people express gratefulness.
Like being grateful for the sun or laughter, for example. I am grateful for laughter, I can’t lie, comedy is my life (please refrain from all Joker references).
In theory, being grateful for the sun probably isn’t what these people are grateful for. It’s probably the way that the warm beams of light bounce off their face, or the good times that the sun bring (like beaches). Kris is not lambasting anyone on what they place importance on, yet the redundancy of people being grateful for “love” gets old.
I mean, you can simply enjoy life, and not really get into the fine details. That’s your choice, no argument there, but to also be able to experience the finer things, and express it through language is truly living life to the fullest (at least in my mind). You don’t have to be wealthy to do this, but wealth brings a lot of experiences with more ease.
Which brings me to list a few things that I am grateful for, at this point in my life; let’s go!
— Some things I am grateful for —
- Without writing a huge list, because I can, I am going to go through just a few things that are important to me.
1. I am grateful for Doctors, Surgeons, Nurses, and whatever healthcare professionals that essentially kept me alive.
I got into a horrible car accident, it was brutal. I was barely alive, paramedics kept me alive just long enough to get onto an operating table. One wrong move by those health care professionals and I wouldn’t have made it, or at the very least I would have had a worse outcome than I currently have. After spending a few weeks in ICU, I don’t remember much, but I was shipped to a rehabilitation facility, where I would undergo various therapies to bring me back to some level of functioning, so that I can reintegrate into society.
After I was discharged, I had another 8 years of therapy to help me recover additionally. These therapists were large in numbers, for various aspects of life that we all take for granted everyday. I had the eye opening experience of having to basically re-build a human, from moving and talking, to the finer details like breathing and learning how to swallow my food (in the hospital, I had to have thin liquids “thickened” so I could drink them).
I still can’t chug, I’ll choke and if I continue to force myself (because winners don’t quit, and quitters don’t win), I’ll probably get the resulting pnuemonia.
2. My Damaged Brain Wasn’t Any Worse
I am not going to go into huge detail here, there are things about your brain that we don’t know. But given what we do know, there is a whole slew of problems that could’ve happened, but I merely just missed or it didn’t. Yeah, there is a lot of problems that could of developed, I could of had more problems with my spine, bone alignment, I could of had no regulation of my hunger, my memory could have been completely trashed.
Whatever happened, and very well could of happened, didn’t. I am definitely grateful for that. Especially that I didn’t mess up my abilities to go to the washroom, that alone was a very traumatic experience to recover. This is the reason I don’t get into fights, I am happy how bad things are right now regarding my health, and I don’t want it any worse.
3. Consciousness and Self-Awareness
Bro, do you even feel?
The ability to perceive everything, to think, to experience, to remember, to hope, to love, to look forward to, to think fondly of things that have had happened. To remember being with my girlfriend at Canada’s Wonderland, holding her hand and just living in that moment, is something I don’t want to ever waste.
The ability to think for ourselves, myself, to the capacity we do, is something no other specie can do on this planet. That alone is something to be thankful for. I can organize and plan, draw, write, see something that someone else produced, look at things like sunsets behind glorious mountains or skyscrapers. If I see a red smudge on my face, I can rub that shit off (psychology humour I guess).
I am able to express myself in a multitude of ways, personally, within my family, culturally and socially. These different dynamics is something that I have been made aware of, and I don’t know what to say. The mere fact that we experience emotion is just crazy in it’s self, and yes emotions can drag you to do things that you normally wouldn’t do, and that in itself is a hurdle you have to tame, but man, I know what they mean by saying emotions are like a universal language.
4. My Senses
Like I have said before, I could have easily lost some of my senses. Retaining the ability to see, hear, smell, taste and feel is something that I wouldn’t wish for anyone to lose. The smell of my grandmas cooking (both my Pakistani and Guyanese grandmothers are excellent cooks) or even my own mother, the smell of cookies being made at the factory, the vibrations and sounds of the speaker pumping music at the former nightclub “Nocturne”.
I see all these colours, movies, paintings, moments in others peoples lives that make me smile. I hear (and understand) jokes from various comics, I can feel the touch of another human, a hug, a kiss, the refreshing feel of water, or crisp winter air, thick and sweaty summer nights, the intrinsic feeling I get when a girl I’m attracted to talks with me and we have a good conversation. The first sip of that hot, fresh coffee, or that disgusting taste of defeat; just sweat running down your upper lip as you realize there is nothing more you can do to change the outcome, you’ve lost. The disgusting feeling of spoiled cream in your coffee that lets you know to throw that cup out and bitch at the barista, after showing her of course, you don’t want them thinking you’re just yelling at them because that’s what they are there for.
You entitled mongoose.
5. Communication and Language
Not that I don’t enjoy a good game of charades (Watch the movie Game Night, you’ll get it) and I also champion the idea that actions speak louder than words, language has so much more meaning to it than just spoken words. Just like how I could communicate to you through so many different methods and mediums (like in code, but I’m not speaking in code right now so don’t go extrapolating and making up ludicrous associations).
I am definitely grateful for rap and hip-hop in all it’s forms, it definitely ties in with my next thing that I am grateful for. I am so happy that I live in a generation that has Eminem, and although I wasn’t a religious fan until everything he made after Recovery (even still, I can’t say I am a die hard), he still had songs like “Stan”, “My Name Is”, “My Words are Weapons”, “The Way I Am”; as well as battle rappers like Jin the MC, whose Freestyle Friday battles were enough to make everyone stop dancing and crowd around the small TV at the Scarborough Town Centre. With Eminem came groups like D12, artists like 50 Cent, truly I could probably write and entire essay about various artists, and how lyrically they contribute, much like poetry, to the fabric and beauty of my existence.
Which brings me to the final part of communication and language that I am grateful for, works of literature. Books, articles, research papers, whatever it is, if it’s written I absolutely love it. I used to love writing little notes between friends, or writing in my agenda, or writing noted on the material in class, drawing chemistry diagrams, filling in music theory, drawing graffiti, writing in different colours, I just loved to write. Fast forward 15 years later, I am no longer able to do a lot of the things I loved to, like write like I used to, but doesn’t mean I am no longer grateful for other peoples contribution to communication and language. I am typing this piece of writing to you, so not all is lost and I am still, 100% completely grateful this things exist. Which brings me to my last notable things that I am grateful for.
7. Music (and subsequently, the arts)
All of it, even if it’s new and provocative, it’s worth at least for me to check out. Music has been a huge part of my life, and although I can’t play music now, the influence that various musicians have had on me is too large to go without appreciating music for what it is. This is the third rewrite I have to do because I got used to doing a deep dive into my past, reminiscing about my past. I have already told you why I love hip hop, but that’s not the only thing that makes me love music. I love the complexity of jazz and blues, the heartbreak and emotion of some pop (I know, my true colours have shown), the intensity of punk, rock and metal; and just jamming out to some chill hop. I have the priviledge of being exposed to many forms of music, West Indian, East Indian, Canadian, American, European, Asian, even African. I’ve played wind instruments, strings, percussion, electronic instruments, I guess you can say I like noise.
Music has helped me, whether it be for the mood, the way my body would pop with each “shot”, the way it shaped my life as I know it, or the wormhole of all the other artistic trash it served as a gateway for my inevitable demise. Yes, music was my marijuana, to quench my other fiendish cravings, the individualistic expression of human existence, the arts. From going to band camp and concert band performances, to SLAM poetry and spoken word, to weird sound exhibits and computerized visual art, I love it all. I even danced, remember where I would crowd around the TV with others to watch Freestyle Friday? Yeah, that’s where I would practise breakdance. I wasn’t that good, but hey I was a great dancer none the less. After suffering my injury, I tried breakdancing with a guy I taught to dance, I failed, Bachata in university, didn’t happen, then I got into Ballet, as much as I suck, I love ballet.
I love movies, thanks to my grandfather, who likes movies for different reasons I suppose, it was likely just spending time with me (at least I hope so as egotistical as that sounds), and I love spending time with him as well, but there is another reason I love movies; the way it sheds light on different perspectives to a story that we may not just as yet grasp. I sure there are other reasons I like movies, I like the production of movies, how it brings people together, and all the different parts of acting. For example, the way that having to encompass a character like the Joker literally transforms the actor, throughs them down that rabbit hole. People change after that role, there’s no doubt about it.
I have to say that as I was growing up, I was exposed to a lot of different arts. One was musical theatre, and although I wasn’t in the Drama and Visual Arts crowd, I adored theatre. I lot of it was because I got to go downtown, dress-up in formal/semi-formal wear, and weirdly enough, I felt like this is where I belong. Although, I believed at that age it would be in the pits, leading my section (the trumpets, duh). It wasn’t until my accident that something in my brain, and I started to enjoy the acting, the dance, the singing and music, but most of all the story and how people felt afterwards. I was always meant to be on the stage, performing, under spotlights, but now that I can’t play the trumpet, I have an entirely different appreciation for the theatre, all the moving parts as well.
Oops. I almost forgot the most important, theres one more thing I am grateful for; 8. My Parents.
Even if we are at a fork in the road with regards to our understanding of the life I want to be living, when I was younger, or I was in hospitals, sports games and out of town tournaments, piano lessons, tutors, Kumon (it’s math alright, bro?), taking me on trips, forcing me to do my work, picking me up from the police station, my mom dragging me to court to have my name cleared, my dad taking us fishing and to his friends, all the other adults hanging out with us, my aunts and uncles, my cousins, the support I got through when I was in the hospital recovering from nearly dying, my grandparents supporting me through my recovery, to them my entire family understanding my absence as of late, that I’m off trying to form my life, yes it has only been 6 years since I have graduated from university. I am desperately trying to catch up in, so I can be a better person for myself, of course, but most of all for my family. They may not understand that, but I am desperately hoping they will. I’m not a disabled mess and I have a unique mind of my own, that I don’t want to waste away, also sadly may end up falling victim to Dementia.
But most of all, I am grateful for the people in my life, and our existence.
If you don’t know how lucky you are, think about this: how many sperm cells are in a mans ejaculate, and how many get to fertilize an egg and be born. Usually one, the chances that you weren’t the batch of sperm any other sex act that doesn’t end in the vagina, those are some Vegas jackpot odds on steriods. What are the chances that you were able to be born, healthy, with barely any serious life long complications, or injury, that you can now compete to enjoy life?
To be that one sperm, that made it to that egg, when that couple weren’t using any methods of birth control, now that’s some dumb luck.
This is why I value my life, and even if I still have thoughts of suicide just because it feels like I’m on an island alone and some people just don’t, won’t and quite possibly will never understand, our existence is extraordinary and we should enjoy what we can, while we can.