2016 has been one for the books.

We lost Prince, Muhammad Ali, Phife Dawg, and Shawty Lo. Y’all remember what happened in Orlando, FL and Nice, France? Kanye West is finally getting the mental help he needs, but not before canceling his TLOP tour with 21 cities remaining, (one of which I was hoping to attend) and professing his support for our new president-elect. Our first Black President and Family are leaving us for that same fascist, racist, xenophobic bigot previously mentioned, who will remain nameless from this point on because #HeAintMyPresident.

Crazy, depressing, stressful, new, scary, exciting, and a heck of a lot of other things that would take up this entire blog post to mention, is this year in a nutshell.

Through the madness and apprehension for what the future holds, it’s easy to lose sight of all the things that are good in the world and in our personal lives. But cheer up, it’s the holiday season, y’all! Thanksgiving his here and Christmas is right around the corner. That means it’s the perfect time to drown out the bad/crazy in this world with our grandma’s greens, beans, potatoes, and tomatoes (I had to) and reflect on the things that are most important.

That’s why, for this post, I have collected all of the good, great and amazing things in my life and compiled them into a list of 50 things that I am grateful for (in no particular order). Take a look below:

  1. I woke up this morning!
  2. Good standing health and insurance to sustain it.
  3. Family, aka my everything.
  4. My sister, Toria, for her support, sense of humor, and the connection we have had since we met 23 years ago.
  5. My Daddy, who is literally my world. He’s the true definition of a real man and has taught me everything I know. You can read more about him here. 😊
  6. My niece! She’s a little over a year old and she’s my pride and joy. Literally all that I do is for her to have a better life one day.
  7. My apartment in (Bed-Stuy) Brooklyn, NY that I prayed into existence.giphy.gif
  8. My job, which is the first of my career. Read more about that here.
  9. The food that I have in my fridge that I paid for with MY money.
  10. The clothes in my closet that I bought with MY money because I literally used to share everything with my sister and rocked hand-me-downs like a mutha.
  11. David, my recruiter, for being used by God as the vessel that would give me my first job, my first chance, my first shot.
  12. All of my co-workers. They have made my first job post-grad the best experience ever and have taught me so much.
  13. The few amazing people I can actually call “friend”.
  14. Davon: you are off to Boot Camp now and I won’t see you again until July. I am deeply saddened by this, but also overwhelmingly proud. As my “manager” and friend, you have left me with enough laughter, fond memories, and encouragement to carry me until your release date hahaha.
  15. Tim: My truest A1 Since Day 1. We’ve seen each other grow so much over the last 5 year (has it really been 5 years??). I’m super proud of all of your Presidential endeavors  and can’t wait for you to take over the EPA and hopefully keep the Earth from melting even more.
  16. Kyle: You came at such a vital time in my life, man. A time where I was going through so much and truly needed a friend. You made working at Plato’s bearable and since our departures, you’ve made so many amazing strides. Can’t wait until we can live together in New York hahaha.
  17. Annastasha: You are the newest inductee into Aley’s Friend Hall of Fame, welcome. You’ve been my rider ever since we reconnected, and since then, we’ve been taking New York by storm. Thank you for your decisiveness and for always being down to hit up a function (whether we know it’s gonna be lit or not hahaha).
  18. My sense of humor: like truffles and any many of the world’s delicacies, it’s an acquired taste fit for only the most superior of palettes.
  19. My personality: to know me is to love me.
  20. Personal growth.
  21. The development of my confidence because it used to be sub-zero. But I’ve been working on all aspects of me and I look forward to my continued progress, because honey, the job is never done.
  22. My growing relationship with God. He is so merciful and gracious of me even when I fall off from my path. I am so grateful to have Him in my life.
  23. The glo-up.
  24. The fact is, I was hurt y’all, but thank God for placing his hand of cosmetic favor over my life that I have and am still blossoming into a true gem, inside and out.
  25. YouTube: for I have learned so much from you.
  26. My Youtube mentors: The Bronze Goddess, Jackie Aian, Ashley Empowers, Patricia Bright, HeyFranHey, Joulzey, and TheNortoriousKIA.
  27. My Instagram mentors: Heather Lindsey, Karen Civil, Alex Elle, Solange, Shiona Turini, Rajni Jacques, Cris Cavallari, Charlamagne Tha God, and Entain Bereola.
  28. My Snapchat mentors: UpscaleVandal, Diddy, Elaine Welteroth, and Vashtie.
  29. My degree.
  30. These loans that keep me humble.
  31. My HBCU, Claflin University: for the experience, the culture, the people. 
  32. NYX, e.l.f, and ColourPop. You all are the holy grail for us beauty/makeup lovers on budget. Don’t change for anyone.
  33. President Obama: thank you for being the first Black president of these (un)United States. Your legacy will live on forever.
  34. Michelle Obama: because Michelle Obama. Like, have you all seen this Queen lately? I have cried over every magazine cover, talk show appearance, school visit, and State Dinner gown that she has rocked over the past 8 years. And I cry even more so over her successor. Still, she can never be replaced. #ForeverMyFirstLady
  35. Chance the Rapper: thank you for your Black Boy Joy and music that has shifted the culture.
  36. Cardi B: for being unapologetically you, and only being 23, like me, and killing the entire game.
  37. Pastor Steven: although I have never physically visited Elevation Church, if anyone asks me who my pastor is, I will kindly point them to you.
  38. Beyonce: thank you for dropping Lemonade at such a pivital moment in our culture. And for using your platform to finally show us that you are with us, and Black asf.
  39. Solange: thank you for presenting the world with A Seat At the Table. Thank you for your style and thank you for being unapologetically you. You are an inspiration to us all. 
  40. All of my shows: Insecure, Being Mary Jane, Queen Sugar, and Blackish.
  41. Summer 16: literally the best time of my life. The concerts, the music festivals, the day parties, the adventures. Simply legendary.
  42. My singlehood.
  43. All of the f*** boys… I mean… young men who broke my heart or simply fell off the face of the Earth without notice or even a “goodbye” text. They were not for me and thus made way for the one who is.
  44. As much as I want a boyfriend, I can say that I have grown so much from my season of being by myself, while finding me and learning who I am.
  45. My future husband. I’m still praying/waiting/preparing for you, honey.
  46. I wouldn’t have made it this far in my life if I was still holding on to the events/people that stripped pieces of me. I had to forgive a lot of folk, some of which may never know. But that has nothing to do with me anymore. All I have to worry about is whether my heart is good with the Lord.
  47. My blog. It has come a mighty long way; from design to the content, and everything in between.
  48. My new docuseries, ‘Round My Block. Have you watched yet?
  49. For my loyal readers. Man, I can’t say how much you all mean to me. I’ve experienced a number of ups and down with my site, I’ve struggled with consistency, confidence, and maintaining inspiration to write. But this is my baby. This is what I love and I’m going to keep producing more content for you all to indulge in. This **** is for us! *in my best Solange voice*
  50. Peace of mind.
  51. Bonus: what the future holds.

Of course there are more things that I’m grateful for. I think we get a little clouded by the troubles of the world and forget to reflect on all that we really have to smile about, to be happy about, to be thankful for. But today, I challenge you to really take a look at your life and examine all that you have, you’ll easily come up with 50, 100, maybe even 1000 reason to be thankful. Be sure to leave a comment below and let me know what you’re thankful for!

And of course, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Peace, peace, peace,

Aley Arion

Posted by:aleyarion

when i first set out to create my blog, i just wanted an outlet to balance my mundane college schedule. but over the years, it has become so much more. writing is how i process my world & the events that take place within it. through aleyarion.com, i seek to help my fellow 20-somethings, like me, working to find light when their paths seem darkened and learn from my mistakes so i can save you the trouble of repeating them. aleyarion.com is witty, vulnerable, and transparent, but most importantly, it's me, unapologetically. peace, peace, peace Aley Arion business inquiries: aleyarion@gmail.com

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