gratitude for the little things -- hesper kohler

when i moved to seattle, i was the 6th girl in a house of LDS girls. i didn't know any of them, but i was so grateful it had worked out to be in this house, the coveted "treehouse" as it was. within a few hours of moving in, i was at a birthday party for one of my roommates and meeting all of the people while my parents were at the hotel. it was a bit overwhelming to meet everyone at once after only being in seattle for three hours. and people kept saying, "oh have you met the seventh girl in your house? hesper? she basically is another roommate here." and while hesper will tell you i stayed in my room for the first three months of living in seattle (hello, starting graduate school and studying neuroanatomy took up a lot of time), i was so grateful to have her around. she always made things more interesting, more fun.
as time went on, we had more adventures (karaoke, cafe rio nights, target FHEs, etc.) and her friendship has been a huge blessing to me. even on my last day in seattle, we went to the temple and then she helped me pack. we sat on my floor laughing and loving macklemore's video for "downtown". and when i came back to visit in november, we walked around green lake together, with her boyfriend paul. that afternoon was one of my favorite experiences with her. she truly loves life and reminds me to do the same. love you, Hesper!!
One of the best compliments I ever received was when someone told me they loved how in love with life I am. They said this in a casual conversation, but that compliment has stuck with me ever since because I hadn't realized I had made it to that point. Three years ago I was embarrassed about where I was in life. I had expectations that weren´t being met, and not just in romantic relationships. I was unhappy with where I was and had no idea how to change it. I then received amazing advice. I had always heard some version of the saying, 
¨When you are grateful in life, it will be easier to see the blessings you have.¨
Well this person switched it. They said, 
"When you focus on what is missing in your life, you will begin to only notice those things and not see what you have." 
A simple truth that hit me hard. 
So I started to keep a gratitude journal. I wrote three simple things a day. There were rough days where the entries were simply 1. I didn´t swear today 2. Netflix 3. Sweatpants. However as time passed I began to notice the amazing things and people in my life. I fell in love with my city. I fell in love with live music. I rediscovered my love of kayaking, running, laughing, dancing and the outdoors. The little things became amazing to me and it completely changed my outlook on life.
Since then, I still keep that silly journal. Life of course has not been smooth just because I´ve been grateful. I found love and then absolute heartbreak and had to start all over again. And I am still not where my 22/23 year old self wanted me to be by now. Instead I have done amazing things I never imagined like live on a boat in Alaska. I've seen amazing places like Valparaiso, Chile. And I've done things I never imagined. I still don´t really have a career. I still work retail. I´m not anywhere near where I planned to be, but in this time of scrambling about, I have learned to love what's around me. I've found new amazing places and new friends who have shown me true love and support . And recently, out of nowhere, I found a man who has redefined everything I ever thought about love. In finding these people and these things, I realized I love who I am and where I am at. In these last three years of struggle, I have fallen completely in love with being alive in this beautiful and amazing world.

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