I don't know if keeping the journal is what has made this past month the best I've had in over a year, or if it's the other things going on in my life, or if it's a combination of all of it, but what I do know is that thinking about the things you're grateful for, whether something seemingly insignificant or something obviously important, really changes how you view your life.
In an effort to pass on this mindset and to promote gratitude, I've compiled a little top 11 list. WITH PICTURES. (Get excited.) It's hard to say if this is really THE top 11, because some of these are things many not seem as important in a year or so. Like coffee. But, right now, coffee is super important.
1. Cliche, but my mom and dad. They have seriously been amazing people my whole life, but especially during this past year and a half. They were cheerleaders of my writing while I was drowning in thesis, they were emotional supporters during the hardest time in my life, they let me stay in their home while I went back to school (and still let me stay here while I try to start a career). They are funny, fun to hang out with, generous, kind, and every other good word. I love them. (But I still want to move out, like yesterday.)
2. Coffee. Let's face it, I'm addicted to coffee. It gets me through the days where I feel exhausted. Hey, unemployed people can feel tired to. I mean, not as tired as working people, but still...
3. Isabella Sophia Moreno. I mean, look at her. Who wouldn't love her and want to eat her up? But, besides being irresistible, my life changed the moment she came into it. She's the one thing that kept me smiling last year and the only thing that made me feel like I could keep going. She makes me laugh. I love her in a way I never thought I could love another human. She's made me more patient, more understanding; she's made me a better person. We have a special relationship and I wouldn't change it for ANYTHING. I'm her La and she's my Bella.
4. My room. I LOVE my room. I spent a lot of last year doing a huge remodel because I was tired of living in a wannabe dorm room with furniture items that could hardly be considered furniture. Plus, it was a good way for me to work through the serious depression I was feeling. But, this is the first time I've loved my room. I picked everything out myself. I MADE my bookshelf. The only thing left to do is refinish the vintage dresser that's been sitting in my parents' garage that they've been begging me to attend to...
5. My closest friends. These girls/guys have been in my life through all my bad times and haven't run away yet. I've known some of them for 25 years, for 15 years, for 5 years, but these people have all been important to me and continue to be important to me. I'm grateful for the support they give, the laughs we share, the fact that I can talk to them about anything, the fact that they don't judge me. I've shared some pretty awesome experiences with them and I wouldn't trade these people for ANYTHING in this world. Mad love, right here.
6. Books. I love books. I love bookstores. I love buying books. I love the way books smell. I love books that have been worn and read over and over. I love brand new books that have never been touched. I LOVE BOOKS.
7. Joseph B. Meneghelli. If you guys know him and have met him, you know why. He's my favorite person on this earth, the person that holds our family together. He makes me laugh without even trying to. He's never said a bad thing about anyone, and even at 93, always helps everyone else out. He bakes cookies, makes jam, and goes bowling every week. He's pretty much the coolest.
8. My car, especially as of late. After going through my horrific car accident and losing poor Valerie (RIP), I've never been more grateful to own a car that's safe, reliable, and that I love. Plus, it plays my iPod, which is really the only thing that matters. Besides airbags, obviously.
9. My two closest friends aka my seeeeesssstttteeers. I'm so incredibly lucky to have my sisters in my life (even though one of them is in Washington) and that we have the relationship we have. They are special and cool and everyone should be jealous they aren't a Martinez sister. Except for Annie. She is pretty much one.
10. The gift of writing. Writing is the one thing in my world that I've ever felt good at and the one thing that has been a release for me. Writing allows me to express myself when I can't (which is a lot) and allows me to be anyone I want to be. Writing has brought me closer to people, has taught me more about myself than anything else in this world has, and has brought me out of some of the darkest moments of my life.
11. ...and Disneyland. OBVIOUSLY.