One of the biggest realizations this gratitude project has elicited is that I’m so grateful for my family. You’ve all probably noticed how ubiquitous they are both in my posts and in my reality and for some time, I was embarrassed of that. When I started college, it was as if my closeness to my family and the absence of a large friend circle I spent all my time with predicated something wrong with my social skills. In every family dynamic, we all have different needs, reactions to idiosyncrasies and personal traumas we carry. In my case, I’m lucky my family is a consistent source of gratitude. How often is it that you meet people who are so invested in YOU? Your story, the odd and ever changing cast of characters in it, your emotions, your quirks, your need to chat for hours…it’s really a massive blessing, a metric I measure my success with and a key component of my well being. I struggled writing some of the posts in this series – the ones about Aindra baba and my father were drawn from places of deep vulnerability. I wish I could say we live in a society where it’s easy to share our positive memories of other people. The sad reality is that we often wait until someone passes away (because it can take that long and that absence to realize it) to let them know how much they mean to us. It can be nerve wracking to randomly share your happiest moments or statements of gratitude with someone who has so far just been in your thoughts. Not to sound like a Nike ad, but just do it. I can tell you now, from personal experience, that doing it is INFINITELY liberating. They know how you feel, you know how you feel, it’s concrete and isn’t just floating in the ether of your mind. Sometimes they’ll forget but you’ve shared from your heart what they meant to you and often, that is everything. How my family ties into this you ask? Well, they consistently encourage me to be me and write my heart out, sure, with a healthy dose of judgment, the occasional revelation that they didn’t read a post or two but always with the reassurance that no matter what I say, they’ve got my back, fam. That, to me, is everything.