Appreciation: It's Not Always Easy

Telling someone to appreciate what they have is like telling them to put a coat on when its cold out – it’s obvious. Of course we should always be appreciative of all that we have been blessed with, everything we’ve worked for, and everyone who’s been there, but just because it’s obvious doesn’t mean it’s easy. There are times when what we have isn’t enough, what we’ve accomplished is no longer satisfactory, and the people around us aren’t as helpful as we’d like. We all have moments in our lives when we wished we had more, and in all honesty there is nothing wrong with that. It is completely fine to feel this way, but not if you end up throwing everything you had out the window to make space for more.

Appreciating is more than just acknowledging the worth of something. It is to understand fully what that thing means to you, not to your friends, not to your family or significant other, but you. You are the only one who can say what your relationships, goals, ambitions, and property truly represent, and only you can comprehend the implications of these evaluations.

Although we spend most of our lives being told to be grateful for what we have, there is always something in us that wants more. Whether that be considered greed or ambition, the truth is being intrinsically grateful doesn’t always cut it. Even though we are the sole definers of our own lives, we cannot survive without the aid of outside resources, be it your father and his tools, or your laptop and sketchpad. Sometimes we need to go out of our way to show people that they mean something more than just an emergency lift. Gauging the worth of a relationship is tough; people change and sometimes a person who was once supportive has become toxic. Regardless, we are all human and deserve to be treated as such. Simply telling someone what they mean to you can make a world of difference and appreciating your physical possessions is easy, just use them. 

Sometimes people let you down, work sucks and your phone runs out of battery for seemingly no reason. You’ll yell at your parents, consider quitting, and throw your phone on the ground, but you’ll always pick it up after and hope the glass didn’t break. Not just because it’s a hassle to get it fixed or because it’ll cost you money; not just because you feel stupid for doing it in the first place, but because you appreciate the nice things you have. You make up with your parents because you find emotional value and comfort within that relationship and can’t bare ruining that bond, and you decide against putting in your two week notice because you realize some people can’t find a job, and you can work through the aggravation while still working on your art. Figure out the value of the different aspects of your life, and go out and appreciate them accordingly. It’s not always easy, but it is always gratifying. 

Cesar Estrada