Saturday, July 2, 2022

My gratitude journal in college: “I’m grateful there was no video camera last night”

Me hiking Black Hill near Morro Bay.
Right after I graduated college I started keeping a “gratitude journal,” writing down at the end of each day at least five things I was grateful for during this very exciting, but also very fraught, transition period in my life.

That was cool.

Not only because the journal helped me stay grounded at the time, but because I could find it now and enjoy reading the entries on a day when I really needed to be reminded of all the good things there are to be grateful for. And maybe even more, needed a good laugh!

January 17, 1997

1. I’m grateful for the beautiful and amazing view we saw atop Black Hill today, much better than Madonna Mountain.

2. I’m grateful for doughnuts.

3. I’m grateful for Andrews*, and how he and Berger make me laugh, and how he’s always happy to see me.

4. I’m grateful that I’m still young and feel vibrant and beautiful.

5. I’m grateful/glad for the feeling of water. That such a simple thing can feel so good.

6. I’m grateful for Texas-size margaritas for $3.50 at Hudson’s in flavors like watermelon, raspberry and kiwi, with big paper umbrellas that actually fold down.

January 19, 1997

1. I’m so f--king grateful that I didn’t have sex with Andrews; I’m grateful no clothes came off. I didn’t even touch him. Just kissing. I wish it hadn’t happened, but I’m grateful, that is all.

2. I’m grateful that no man has tried to have anal sex with me.

3. I’m grateful for showers, and the feeling of renewal afterward.

4. I’m grateful that I have my own room.

5. I’m grateful there was no video camera last night.

January 21, 1997

1. I’m grateful it was raining, so I didn’t walk by the journalism building today.

2. I’m grateful for the deliciousness of the potatoes and eggs I can make in the morning, they never cease to satisfy me.

3. I’m grateful for all the rain, because the green mountains are so beautiful. Breathtaking.

4. I’m grateful for my car.

5. For strawberry preserves, and cheesecake to pour them over.

6. I’m grateful that tomorrow is another day, and I can try something new.

January 22, 1997

Oh, this is going to be a hard one...

1. I’m grateful that I can cook, and I still have things like chicken and rice to make.

2. I’m grateful that I have a credit card, so I could buy toner for my printer.

3. I’m grateful that I’m healthy, and young.

4. I’m grateful that I’ve been to Paris, and London.

5. I’m grateful for reading, for being able to read delicious novels like The English Patient is the best, sincerest form of escape I know. It is the only thing that truly makes me feel human. Like I was a little girl again, where all that mattered was the bed was comfy, and the only thing that I wished for was that my mother would let me have milk instead of water. That was my burning question: “Why not?”
That was it, not this infernal noise in my head of late bills and not getting my degree and not finding a job and running out of money and watching too much TV and wanting a man who betrayed his girlfriend again and again and who would only end up betraying me yet I still can’t stop wanting him.
I just wanted to read “Starring Sally J. Freedman as herself” again and again and drink milk by my bedside. And get rid of those curtains. And make out with my teddy bear. I should have stuck with teddy bears.

*Not his real name.

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