thankful at 33

i have only been 33 for over a week now and i have been neither under pressure nor under the impression that i should be making any profound statements about growing a year older. i had already done that when i hit 30, and also tried it a year later (check my birthday series), and maybe the next slew of realizations would take place when i'm closer to 40. in the meantime, i realize that i have been very blessed recently, and i would just want to count 33 random (non) things i am thankful for:

  1. my mom, the only true magician i know, who cooks wonderful meals for me and my friends when i climb mountains, even while she always worries about me when i am in the outdoors.

  2. my dad, who is so proud of me he talks about me and my accomplishments to a point that almost embarrasses me, and because he taught me how to pray and he prays for me when i forget.

  3. my family, whom i now only see at most twice a month, during lunch at home with my parents.

  4. my wandering heart, which drives me to wanderlust.

  5. my strong legs and itchy feet, which endure the consequences of my wandering heart, but seldom complain.

  6. fellow mountaineers, for leading me to savage paths, and for following my footsteps along shady trails, and who bear witness with me as nature's amazing beauty unfolds.

  7. people who celebrate with me, and conspire with me, and seize the day with me, who like me live each day like it's their last.

  8. daydreams, for giving me a sense of the infinite, the impossible, and the fantastic.

  9. my anonymous readers, who flock to my blog for reasons still unknown to me, because they prove that my senseless drivel might actually be worth the time.

  10. my independence, having survived more than 2 years of living alone and without television, sometimes nearly poisoning myself with my experiments in the kitchen, and fighting childhood fears, waking up in the middle of the night imagining silhouettes of unspeakable creatures on the wall.

  11. my ambitions, which have more than inspired me to rise above my own limitations, and which continue to fuel my aspirations to overcome my own poverty.

  12. the left side of my brain, which forces me to create and be creative, be it through poetry, prose, photography or some other medium.

  13. my betters, because i see in them what else i can become, and how much more potential i have.

  14. my mentors, for pointing me in the right direction, for showing me how things are done, for telling me what i've done wrong.

  15. friends and classmates from elementary and high school, who provide me with sweet memories of yesterday, now that i approach an age of necessary nostalgia.

  16. buddies who tip over bottles with me, who tell me when i've had too much to drink, or who trust their safety and integrity with me when they've had too much to drink.

  17. the wisdom which not necessarily comes with age, but necessarily results from experience.

  18. my curiosity, for encouraging me to explore and try out something new regularly.

  19. my favorite authors, for keeping me company with their words and their ideas and their characters and their stories and their poems.

  20. the brute honesty of friends.

  21. the trust and confidence of my peers, for sharing with me their inner-most thoughts and their most private of feelings -- it confirms, contrary to popular belief, that i am someone who listens, who knows when to shut up, and who values secrecy.

  22. my passion, for lending itself to anything and everything i do.

  23. the gypsy in me, for adapting to the constant changes in my life.

  24. my gift for observation, which, more than the actual gift for words itself, is a skill i get to use most as a writer.

  25. my choice of athletic endeavors (though i am by no means athletic): running, mountain biking, mountaineering, and lately, swimming.

  26. my spatial intelligence, because i have hardly ever gotten lost.

  27. the comparative prosperity i am now enjoying, and which i graciously share with friends and family.

  28. my increasing charm, for which i have no explanation -- i am baffled myself.

  29. my solitude, and the comfort i feel about being alone: i am allowed much time to think and to be free, and to believe that i can be complete in myself.

  30. my interest in the unusual and the different: i've happily been never trendy, and that sets me apart from the crowd.

  31. the good health that has been given me: i have never had a cold, since enduring a two-month cold last year.

  32. the ability to see beyond what is on the surface, to not put people into boxes, and to not dislike anyone for no apparent reason.

  33. my conscious efforts at reducing the size of my carbon footprint, which i think everyone should endeavor to do.