30 Days of Thanks | 2015

So I've decided to take part in the 30 Days of Thanks challenge that's going on right now on twitter. I decided to take part because it was just something that I felt like I should do because this year has been amazing in terms of my personal growth. Now is the perfect time with the holidays right around the corner and the start of the new year, so this is pretty much a little message from God saying let everyone know what you're thankful for this holiday season. Who knows, I might make this a yearly thing because you know, life changes so you're thankful for different things every year.

I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did when I made this list, and don't be shy to make your own as well. It helps put things in perspective when you need it the most.

Day 1: God | Of course I have to start with the creator. It's through him that I have to give daily and undying thanks for giving me every single thing in my life that I've either experienced or have yet to see. I know I don't  talk about my religion or faith on here as much as I should, but just know he's the center of everything. People stray too far these days and think that they have all of the answers and just know everything, when in fact they don't. Sometimes it's ok to just sit down and say that you need help and that you're lost in the form of a prayer. It doesn't even have to be that, you can just give thanks through prayer, (as you should anyways). For me God is the beginning and end to every single thing, without Him there would be no me. So today I start off the only way I know how to and the strongest way possible.

Thanks God for every single thing you've given me.

Day 2: My Parents | I have to thank the two people that made me, regardless if I talk to them like I'm suppose to or not. Many times people always shame their parents for something or blame them for doing something that they didn't do when they were little. I realized a long time ago that parents are humans too and they don't have super powers as much as people make it seem. They have feelings too, they learn like we do and they do the best that they can with what they have and what not. So to them I thank them for coming together and giving me the greatest gift of life and for doing every single thing that they've done because it landed me here at this precise moment. While this means my biological parents this also means my non biological ones in the form of Warren and the Odomes because they taught me so many valuable life lessons throughout my years of living. A lot of people out here don't have the opportunity to have people to care about them and the things they do, so I'm especially lucky to have people to care about me as if I'm their son as well.

Day 3: My Blackness | When I was thinking of what to put here I was torn between a couple of things but then I realized that I'm especially thankful for one thing, my blackness. I'm not racist nor am I putting down other races when I say this, but I love being black. It's nothing like it in the world, it's like I can feel it in my very core when it comes to certain things like family, community and just believing in what I can do. I know a lot of things have gone on towards my race and they seem to be getting worse but I still stand firmly with my fellow people and I wouldn't change any of it for anything in this world. Every single day that I come into a better understanding about what it means to be black the more I become at peace with myself. There are so many truths that aren't being told about my race that when I find something new about us I'm genuinely excited to learn that and share it with you guys. So I thank the good Lord for making me the man that I am in the image that I was meant to be made into, it's the best feeling in the world.

Day 4: Family | "You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them". Desmond Tutu couldn't have said that any better. For the most part I've been lucky to have my whole family around and intact. They are within sound mind and body, with no major problems going on. Now do I do what I'm suppose to do and see them when I'm suppose to see them, not at all. Does that stop them from loving me or me loving them? Not a single bit. I'm grateful to have family that understands and still supports me, regardless of where I'm at in the world. It's always a great feeling knowing that you're appreciated by the same people of your blood. I'm thankful to have them here and for being the true definition of what family is suppose to be.

Day 5: Good Health | I would have to say that minus the shot back, the stiff knees, the sleep apnea, the insomnia, the excessive sweating, the weight from not being able to workout how I want to due to the fact that I have a bad back and knees and the PTSD that causes social anxiety, I would say that I'm happy for my health for the most part. I realize that it could be way worse than what I have it, so I use that as my tool to deal with it every single day. I can walk on my own, eat food on my own, talk to people on my own power, and most importantly, I can poop on my own terms. If that's not something to take pride in, then I don't know what it is. So I thank the good Lord for seeing fit to grant me with exceptional physical and mental health

Day 6: Good Friends | It's always great to have a group of people outside of your family that knows you better than you know yourself. A lot of people aren't afforded that opportunity to have people like that in their life and if they are a lot aren't lucky enough to have those same people stay for the long haul. I've seen a lot of people come and I've seen even more go, but fortunately for me I have that core of friends that never seem to judge me beyond the "you should know better" statements. For me my friends are my family because they've seen the very worse of me and they still accept me as a person. I know that when I go to them they won't hold any punches and flat out tell it like it is. So those people that I can rely on to give me the tough love and laugh it up when I need it the most, I say thank you. Because without you, there would be no me.

Day 7: Employment | A lot of people don't have this right now in this country, and I'm thankful to say that I do. I was unemployed for about a good year before I decided to take a job that I didn't want to, and even then it sucked. But at some point through all of that I realized that even though I hate this job that wasn't paying me anything at all, I was blessed to have one. I mean by then I was already mentally checked out, but I changed my attitude and acted accordingly and did stuff in a more happier tone. I didn't let that effect my job performance at all and I ended up getting another job, a job that I actually wanted, because of my work ethic. So I'm thankful for the fact that I have a job in this country and that it's a job that I wanted to get and make my way to the career that I want. Not enough thanks on this day for this one right here.

Day 8: Freedom of Religion | Even though I don't talk enough about it here on this blog, I do love God. I know you see my posts where I make mention of how he's always on time and he's always good to me, but never really any singular post about him. Well I do that because I have a couple of readers that i know about that don't necessarily believe in my views, so I try to accommodate on certain posts that allow me. But by design, most posts contain some element of me being a Southern Baptist. Those that live within these walls and select other countries fail to realize that there are still people being killed in this world for practicing different religions; it's just not regulated as a middle eastern thing. There are people in Asia, South America, Africa which has been well documented and other countries that have lost their lives because they believed in something else. Yes this still happens in 2015 guys, and sadly it will never stop. I use to be one of those people that took church for granted but it wasn't until I actually went and lived in the sand that I realized how real God is. I'm thankful to live in a country that allows me to practice my religion, even though they burn down our churches and harass Muslims on a daily basis, but that's another topic for another day. I'm just thankful that I can practice and don't have to worry about dying at any given time for it.

Day 9: Mistakes | Life is full of lessons that you won't stop learning til the day that you are dead and gone. Even then I believe that I will still be learning lessons beyond the grave when God puts his arm around me and tells me all of the times I messed up and didn't even realize that I did. Essentially this blog is all about me and the many mistakes that I've made throughout my life. I created this avenue initially to vent but quickly realized that's not helping anyone at all, so I decided to write about all of the things that I've messed up on and how it worked out for me. I love sitting back learning from all of the things that I've done wrong and showing people that it is possible to succeed in the face of it. Mistakes is the lifeblood of success and don't ever let anyone tell you that it's not. I'm just thankful that I have the vision and understanding to learn from those same mistakes on my journey to becoming a better man.

Day 10: My iPhone | I practically live off of this thing, and not for bad reasons. I know a lot of people that complain about other people that are constantly in the face of their phone either working too hard or not working hard enough. For me there is a healthy balance between the two because I'm not on it nearly enough for personal or business use. Now that I've added school to the equation and they have an app where I basically can do all of my school from it if I choose to do so, makes this phone that much more important. There's a lot that you can do with an iPhone if you sit down and take the time to learn about all of the functions that suits your lifestyle. I know people put too much into phones and let it run their life, well for people like me it makes it easier for the simple fact that it allows me to do so much more during the day. Plus it allows me to have apps that keep me in the loop blogging wise and I'm not too far from what I need to do in terms of page views and commenting back to posts. I'm just thankful that multitasking was made a little easier for those of us that have high hopes and aspirations.

Day 11: Armed Forces | It's cut and dry on this one, there would be no America without these guys, no matter how you try to spend it or how you feel about the military. There are constant criticisms about the men and women in uniform and whether or not if they are needed, when in fact they are, every single day. People always take to social media and they bash the people in the military either for how or why they got in, and my favorite, calling them killers for hire. Well I'm one of those people who believe that until you put the shoe on your own foot then you shouldn't really have too much opinion about something that you can't do. Another reason why when the zombie's come I only want a squad of my military folk with me because they know what to do and won't be scared like everyone else. So I want to say thank you to everyone who is currently serving and those who have served, you are greatly appreciated.

Day 12: Money In The Bank | This one may seem like a little surprise to most, but not those who know me. I don't talk about finances or things that I own personally because I think that would be a little vain of me and I don't like showcasing things that would make someone envious to the point to sabotage what I have or potentially get robbed. But I want to take time to be thankful for the little bit of money that I have in my account. I mean it's not that much because a player has bills and all of that good stuff, but I look at it and I reflect on the fact that most people in this world live to never see even a sliver of what I have on my worst days. I had a great meeting with a financial adviser that gave me a little pep talk about my current placement and how he came into his net worth, so I'm not disappointed in myself anymore lol. The first lesson he taught me was to have pride in what I have, appreciate what I've worked for because that's the only way I can make my way to earning more. So here I am today, thankful for having the few pennies that I have, and I'm thankful to the Lord that I don't have to worry about money for the most part.

Day 13: Freedom of Speech | This is a big one that many people take for granted or abuse. This is the one essential Bill of Rights law that anyone needs to survive in this country. Imagine walking around and not being able to say how you feel about the President or to criticize laws that either make no sense or seem to favor one group of people more than the others. There are places in this world where they have to walk with their heads down and that they can't access social media or if they do they can't say what they want to say. People in this country say things that either have little thought to it or they don't care, if you don't believe me just go and look at Facebook comments on anything that's publicly shared, it's kind of ridiculous. Even with all of the negative things being said by people hiding behind fake profiles, I'm still thankful that I can get on this here blog and provide some kind of shining example of how to not abuse that right. I'm just thankful I can say what I want to say and have it saved for people to learn a lesson from, good or bad. I'm thankful to have a voice, even when the rest of the world either abuses it or doesn't have one. My freedom of speech = the right to be a great blogger.

14. Opportunity To Get An Education | This is one of the topics that I go back and forth with people on. I firmly believe that you can cut out about two years of college if you shaped the curriculum around the major that you choose rather than taking "mandated" courses. It's all a money grab and you don't really need those classes when you think about it. Heck you don't even need those classes when you're in high school to be quite honest. There could be more financing classes in the place of geometry and higher end algebra, but that's another conversation for another time. I'm just glad that we can get an education on any level in this country if you wanted to do better than where you're at. Tech schools are becoming more of a viable option than ever and that's a great thing when all things are consider and people are starting to take advantage. I'm glad that in this country if you decide to go to school, you can. You don't have to fight for the right or you won't be threatened to be killed if you choose to do so.

15. Indoor Plumbing | This may be a funny one to most but if you've never been in a position where you don't have running water and only porta potties, then you don't know the struggle. There is so many things wrong with having to use a porta potty as your main source of relief it's not even funny. From the smell to the lack of air conditioning all the way to the fact that they are hundreds of yards away because people don't want that smell around them. When I got back home the first thing I did was take about a good two hours in the bathroom; 30 minutes on the toilet and then about an hour shower. I never thought I could spend that much time in the bathroom but after a year of not having one, I just went in there and handled business. I thank God every single day that I do not have to live in a country where that is life on a regular basis; I simply would not be able to make it.

16. Humbleness | This has to be one of my more endearing qualities and at the same time one of my most loathe qualities lol. How can something have such an effect on people? Well that's simple, it makes them mad when I'm not cocky when they feel I should be and it makes them feel great when I have enough humbleness in my heart to admit my faults and failures to the point where I can teach a valuable lesson, or learn one. Most people argue that no one should ever be humble enough to the point where they downplay certain aspects of their life; one of the particular reasons that people I know hate a bout me. Well I love being humble because I don't value certain aspects of my life like other people often stress. I'm humble because I don't want to be seen in the light that many people are seen one they hit that expiration date of importance and no one longer cares. It's about self preservation when it comes to my humbleness because I know what I have, and I'm appreciative of what I have because of the good Lord's will. I don't need other people to validate what I feel or what I have in order to be important. I know that I'm important because I breathe every single day and I have people that love me. Being humble is a matter of perspective, but from my view it means the world.

17. Black Creatives | The new aged storytellers are here and we're shaping what media looks like. Whether it's on Youtube, various podcasts, magazines getting makeovers, or just plain old fashion blogging, we managed to take back our identities and how the media portrays us. One of the greatest things that has happened over the course of 2015 is that people are finding more and more ways to display talents that are abundant within our culture. I've had the privilege of seeing some major growth in a lot of bloggers and nothing makes happier than people succeeding at something they genuinely want to succeed at. With main stream media failing us, and BET being virtually trash these days, we are forced to make our own way and we've responded in amazing fashion. I've always loved working with Mass Communication and I'm loving the fact that I get to do something that I've always wanted to do as something fun rather than being forced to do it. So to every black creative doing something big, I salute you because you're doing something about the problem rather than sitting back and letting the problem consume you.

18. Warm Clothing | More times than not people don't understand the joy that you feel when you put on some warm clothes after a nice hot shower on a winter's evening. One of my favorite moments involving warm clothes is when it's a rainy day and I'm running around and it's miserable looking and I'm just over it. I get home and throw in my favorite pair of sweats and thermal in the dryer and then I get in the shower, dry off and throw them on and hop in the bed and turn on the movies and I'm chilling. Most people don't realize that they are blessed enough to do something so simple that bring so much joy, while others cannot. I love the fact that I can zone out and relax after the problems of the day. I'm thankful for the fact that I can do something that's so relaxing and chill.

19. Water | This also should come across as a no brainier. We all know that there are parts of this world, a couple right here in this country, that doesn't know what clean water looks like. A lot of people take for granted the ability to walk into the kitchen and turn the facet on a stare at crystal clear water. That same thing goes for walking into your bathroom, into your work bathroom and even into restaurants that have clean water. When I was in Iraq and I had to live the last week of my life there with no running water, I wanted to get home with the quickness. There's not a day that goes by that I don't thank the Lord for clean, running water and the fact that I have access to it.

20. Weekends | I think this is one of the things that everyone who doesn't have to work would be grateful for. I mean heck even if your weekend is sometime during the week then it's just during the week. Having those two days back to back to do whatever it is that you want is pretty awesome, (granted you get everything you need to do done during the week). I'm thankful for the fact that I can get out and enjoy a nice Saturday out and about, or a chill Sunday somewhere. I can catch all of the prime time shows on Sunday as well as the sporting events during the day. I'm just thankful that I get to enjoy those two days back to back without any kind of worry and it allows me to take in life in all of it's glory.

21. A Bed To Sleep In | I don't know about you guys but I love the fact that I can go home and jump into my bed, especially after a long stressful day. I'm lucky enough at this point of my life to have a king size bed after having a twin for the past the 4 and half years due to being in the military. It was definitely annoying but I made it work, but that time is over. Even though recently I was jumping on it, (do not ask why), and I broke the frame of it, I still love my baby lol. That's a lot to say even though most are without a bed. I thank the good Lord that I've finally upgraded from that twin to a full size, all the way to an awesome king.

22. Movies & Television Shows | Yes I'm thanking movies and TV shows for being around lol. More times than not we take for granted the sources of entertainment that, well .. keeps us entertained. As you know I'm a big movie guy, that's why I do movie reviews. Sooner than later I will get into reviewing TV shows after the season is over to give people an ideal of what to check out. But for me watching movies and TV shows is great because it is a form of art that many don't master. Believe it or not there are ways to watch tasteful things, be completely enthralled in it and not compromise yourself or your morals. I know a lot of people don't watch a lot of things because it has a certain actor or it's a certain genre; me on the other hand, I watch whatever, whenever I want to watch it. That's why I understand a lot of peoples views on things and how they come about in this world. I know for a fact that sometimes I just want to get lost in a movie to escape the world at large, even if it's for an hour or two. I'm thankful for these forms of art and entertainment that will usually leave me satisfied, as long as I choose the right thing to watch lol.

23. My Situation | "Wherever you are, if you’re reading this you are already in a better situation than the hundreds of millions of individuals who are struggling to have two square meals a day. Be grateful for your situation". That was the quote I read when I was looking for ideas to write about for this 30 day challenge. Sometimes you have to sit back and put things in perspective while comparing yourself against others. I know that you shouldn't compare yourself in any kind of circumstance with another person, but when it comes to these kind of situations you simply should. There is currently the refugee crisis going on, there's a bevy of homicides going on in America, there are people still struggling to put food on the table for their family and there is a soldier right now struggling with PTSD. I know that I'm not in any of those categories, (or too deep in any specific one), and that's because God put me in this situation. I'm just thankful for the fact that I can continue to fight another day without fear of losing the chance to better myself and make the best of my life as possible.

24. Electricity | Most people know somewhat the effect of not having electricity in their life can do. This is probably the equivalent to when your phone dies and you have nowhere to charge it. You know that overwhelming feeling you get when you can't charge it and you're somewhere that forces you to use your people skills or actually have to pay attention, yea that's what not having electricity feels like. Believe it or not there are a lot of people out here in the world without electricity, with most making it just fine. I've lived without electricity for a couple of days on a trip to the woods and it wasn't bad after the initial shock of not having a phone. But in regards to everyday life, I'm good on that front. I'm just thankful that the good lord continues to bless me with a roof over my head and utilities to match.

25. Wisdom | Everyone grows up but not everyone matures. I've come to realize that more and more as I get older and I'm starting to become fine with that part of life. These days I often find myself sitting in a large gathering asking myself "why am I here"? I mean I'm there because I was invited, but why exactly am I there? I don't enjoy myself, the topic of conversation isn't conducive to what I want to hear and I'm simply just not interested to hear gossiping or other things that I've grown out of. I'm focused on making life better for the future and preparing myself to be a husband and father. I recognize that I have some shortcomings but that just means I recognize and I'm ready to be better. I was told that comes with time, age and maturing; basically wisdom forming. I thank God for the situations that He put me in so I can see what I need to do be better.

26. Time | "Although we often don’t think there’s enough of it, time is something we shouldn’t take for granted". Another quote that I saw when I was looking for things to add to this list and it's the perfect one for the day we celebrate family and togetherness. You have to remember that time waits for no man and you simply cannot get hours or the seconds of your life back that you waste. Of course there are those age old adages where people always say cherish your loved ones while you're here. Well I ask the simple question "what about your time"? Well just as much as you cherish other people while they are here; cherish your time that you're here as well. I'm thankful that God has allowed me to do what it is that I want to do when I want to do it, right or wrong; it's led to a pretty interesting life I'll say.

27. Nature | Being in Iraq and just seeing sand sucked, I realized that when it rained and everything turned to slush. I'm from South Carolina so I like to spend ample amounts of time outside in nice cool weather while drinking with good people and eating food. That's my thing and fortunately these days I get to do it, but not as much as I like to. There's also nothing that can compare to running around outside in the weather and just taking in all of the smells. I know there are people that hate being outside for any reason but they are also people that annoy me, so that solves that problem. I just thank the good Lord for giving me the ability to appreciate natures wonders, even if it's just for a moment. 

28. Music | The one thing that everyone should be thankful, regardless of genre. I'm completely enthralled with music. I listen to it pretty much every single day and I need to in order to keep my sanity. There were days when I didn't want to talk to anyone and just wanted to listen to music to keep my head above water. There was also that playlist that I had for my morning wake up routine when I was in Iraq. Sometimes we just need that extra umph and music does just that. I know that it's become kind of watered down in recent years with everyone labeling something either a classic or corny. Me, I just enjoy the tunes and thank God for endowing people with the ability to give me exactly what I need, when I need it the most. 

29. Laughter | The one thing that people need the most in this world I enjoy on a daily basis. Three things that annoy me about people:

  1. They take themselves way too seriously.
  2. They try to be way too cool for their own good.
  3. They are too ignorant to open their eyes to other things in life.

Those three things hinder people so much to the fact that that they don't really don't enjoy life. Like I love The Big Bang Theory on CBS and I was asked "why do you love this white person show"? Like the level of ignorance in that comment scares me to the point that I just stopped being that persons friend. I can watch that show and still laugh and appreciate Martin. I can watch Game of Thrones while holding NY Undercover as an all time classic. This doesn't just apply to TV, same can be said for jokes and everything else applicable. Laughter is needed and if you are stuck inside of a little tiny square to enjoy it, then you've already lost. I thank the good Lord that he gave me the ability to laugh and smile at any and everything. Further more I'm thankful for the fact that he gave me the ability to understand life as it comes and all that will come in order for me to laugh off a lot of things. 

30. Me | That's right, I'm thankful for me on the last day of this glorious month! Haha, I know a lot of people that would find this vain, but if you don't celebrate yourself, then who else will when the time comes? Regardless of what people may think, I'm the absolute shit and I will continue to be. I've lived enough of life and seen enough of the hard times to realize that I've come a long way with the help of some great people and by my lonesome for me to think anything less of me. I just want to thank the good Lord for creating me and making me into the version that I am so that I can continue to bless those around me.

That's it for my 30 Days of Thanks and it was sure an interesting one. I already have the concept for next year going on and I'm ready for it to roll around already. You don't have to wait until November to be thankful for what you have in life. Most people recount five things they are grateful for on a daily basis, you can too. I'm glad I did this challenge, it put a lot of things into perspective when I needed it the most.
Until next time guys!
  1. Wow, that was inspiring. I really enjoyed reading this. :-)



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