By Mithaq Alshammari
English Language Program
Do you appreciate things in your life? I am writing this while it is raining outside, and thinking about everything that has happened in my life. How did I get here? Why did I get here? When did I get here? And lots of questions – some might matter and some might not.
I am in the 20th year of my life studying abroad in the United States far away from my home, my family, and my friends. Is it hard? Yeah sometimes. Is it a great experience? I would say loudly “Of course!” My way of thinking has changed. I became more responsible and mature, and the most important thing is that I understand myself better after coming here. I am more aware of my desires and my interests compared to when I was back home. For that reason, I appreciate the opportunity to study abroad.
In addition, I started to think about my future more deeply and manage my plans for a better future. In April 2022, I opened my first business in something that I am passionate about, which is clothing design, with zero experience in marketing and accounting, but I did it at a young age. I design abayas and scarves which are the Saudi women’s traditional clothes. I started to promote my products on the social media platform Instagram, and there were some difficulties attracting customers. However, with the support and the help that I received from my family and friends, I overcame those difficulties. After that experience, my appreciation for the good, supportive, loving people in my life grew.
I remember something my dad said to me when I was 14: “Feel the value of the things around you, appreciate the value of the smallest things in your life.” He always gives me advice about life, but this was different. I never forget these words. I started to appreciate the smallest to the biggest things in my life: appreciating the picturesque nature and fresh air, appreciating a cup of coffee early in the morning, appreciating the presence of someone who understands you, appreciating work and studying, appreciating chocolate, appreciating good and loving people, appreciating sleep with a calm mind, appreciating security and safety, appreciating love, appreciating a supportive family, appreciating music and songs.
Why is appreciation important? It makes us feel safe and peaceful, which is what frees us to do our best work. Personally, when I started appreciating everything in my life, the little details as well as the big important aspects, I became a peaceful person, calm, positive, and comfortable. I noticed that I don’t get bothered or upset by small things as usual. However, appreciating the things you have in your life does not mean that you do not aspire to be more and better. On the contrary, appreciation gives you the motivation to aim for the best. And if you don’t appreciate the things that you have, you will focus negatively on the things that you don’t have and this will make you as a person who doesn’t appreciate any thing in their life, less productive, and compare your life to other people’s life, which is unhealthy.
I wish all people can take a pause and start searching for things in their life that are worth appreciation. It might be difficult for some to feel that appreciation because they might be taking things for granted. Especially things that repeat and are part of a routine. However, don’t let repetition take away the observation, don’t forget how wonderful your friend is, how delicious your coffee is, or how comfortable you are in most of your things, and do not allow the coldness to prevent you from appreciating the good things around you under the pretext that they are ordinary. Ordinary things are often great otherwise you will not continue to live with it. Give yourself inner peace, and satisfaction that there is nothing more beautiful than the feeling of peace.