musings: what I'm grateful for

A few days ago, I was shooting with someone who wasn't from the area, and she kept saying how lucky I was to be able to live in California (these photos are of her). I've always wished I lived in a more "photogenic" state (although that can obviously be disputed), but it got me thinking about how much I really have to be grateful for.
Now you may be thinking, "Ok that's great and all, but it's not Thanksgiving!", but is there really a singular time when we should be grateful? We receive blessings all the time, why not give thanks for them all the time?

So, I'm thinking that not only will I acknowledge and appreciate all my blessings, I'll try and pay it forward as well as thanks.

To share with all of you, for my pay it forward section today, I offered to take pictures for a woman who was doing the frantic 10 second timer run all of you who have no one else to take your photos know so well. I'm no stranger to this, and I've always wished for someone to help out in those times, so today I was that someone for a stranger.

It felt reaaally nice, and I would definitely encourage you guys to try it! It doesn't have to be anything big, mine wasn't. It can be as simple as doing the chores when it's not your turn, leaving extra coins for the next person at the laundromat, or offering breakfast in bed.

I'm grateful for sooo many things, so I'll separate them into big, amazing, obvious things, and smaller, mundane, day-to-day ones.

1. My supportive and loving parents - I've started to take this one for granted, but honestly, I can't imagine how growing up would've been different if I hadn't had them as a stable rock for whatever I needed. Many people don't have the same family environment as I do, and I'm very lucky for that.

2. A great education and teachers who care - Great teachers who genuinely care about whether their students learn the material are so rare and hard to come by. I've had my share of those who prefer showing us boring, outdated videos, rather than actually teach. I'm always really appreciate those who add those extra comments on my English paper, stick around after class for help, or ask us about our days, because we're all just people. I think many students have a hard time grasping that one as well, forgetting that while they do grade your papers, it's not their first priority, and shouldn't be yours either.

3. A stable and safe home - At the end of the day, no matter how many things have gone wrong, I know I have a safe place to land. Not everyone can say the same, and I'm always reminded of how much worse it could be.

There are so many more (friends, food/water, electronics, clothing...), but I can't keep going due to lack of space! Some of my more ordinary ones:

1. Not being allergic to chocolate - Not being able to eat chocolate would probably kill me. No joke. I'm allergic to peaches, but I love them, so I eat them anyways. Thankfully, not deathly.

2. Being able to release stress through art - Relatively cheap (unless you wanna do oil... which is what I do...) and easy to obtain! Thank god my passion isn't something obscure and expensive. I think I'd go nuts around finals week (pssss - read my post about how to get through it here!)

3. Not having acne to the point of needing medication - Like most people, I breakout every once and then, but I'm really thankful that my skin is clear enough that I can go out in public without any concealer and feel comfortable about it. Although I suppose that's more of a confidence thing.

What are some things you guys are grateful for? What's one small Pay It Forward act you did recently? 



p.s. if you wanna see more of my photos, you can check out my more "professional" ones on my Instagram, and iPhone shots on my VSCO.

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