This morning I took a class at Jiva Yoga here in Hilton Head with my little brother’s girlfriend.
At the beginning of the class the instructor shared a quote with us: “You can’t be greedy while you’re grateful.” At first it sort of went in one ear and out the other as a cliched Thanksgiving quote, but then something hit me:
For as happy as I am right now, I can easily get taken to a jealous place. Mostly I get jealous of friends my age that are happily settled in their careers, in stable relationships or marriages, have a growing savings fund and plenty of disposable income. I start to wonder where I got off course. I wish that I had found my passion for medicine earlier in my life so that I wasn’t back in school and taking on more debt at age 28. I wish for more and I wish for different.
But damn am I grateful. In the same yoga class we were asked to call to mind what we were grateful for, and three things immediately came to me:
1. My family. My amazing family, all together in this beautiful home in Hilton Head for a whole week. I am spoiled rotten.
2. My health. I spent so many years trapped inside a mental disorder that was destroying my body. I was weak, cold, and unhappy. My anxiety was through the roof and my relationships suffered. I worked hard for recovery, and I am so thankful for all the support I had to get to where I am today. Life is so much better now, but that time in my life will never leave me. I will always be grateful for good mental and physical health.
3. Medical school. Y’all, I’m so stinkin’ happy at SLU med. Sure it’s hard, stressful and expensive. It requires sacrifice and I can get a bit jaded at times. But at the same time, I can’t imagine doing anything else. I am so glad this was even a possibility for me – that I was able to change careers, do a post-bacc, and make it to medical school. I’m fascinated by what I’m learning and my classmates inspire me daily. I just love it.
So how can my head wander to that jealous place when I have so much? I have more than I could ever deserve. I love what I’m doing, I love my family and friends, I don’t want for anything important or necessary. I’m safe and healthy. It’s normal for everyone to have periods of envy and “grass is greener” syndrome, but the antidote is definitely gratitude.
Just like all of you, I am feeling grateful today — for all of the things I’ve talked about above, for the wonderful people that remind me of it, and for you all for reading along and supporting me as I grow.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!