What Are You Thankful For?
By SDM StaffNovember. Thanksgiving. A few days off from school. Turkey. Football games. Turkey leftovers. Christmas shopping begins. Warm weather ends. More turkey leftovers. Leaves in the gutter, now brown and dead. Pilgrim forefathers, now also dead.
Surely there must be more to this season. Thanks ... giving. I asked our SDM Team what they were giving thanks for this year. You may be surprised.
What Are You Thankful For?
November, along with bringing tons of great food, brings the incentive for people to consider what it is in their daily lives that they are thankful for. With the presidential election coming up, I began to think about how great it is to be a woman in America today. We have so many more rights and opportunities than we did even a century ago. Now, when I turn 18, I can vote, just like any other person.
Karalynn, 17, Washington
I am thankful for so much, it's hard to put it in just a paragraph. I'm thankful for a good life, my friends, family, and boyfriend. Also, my grades and so much more. God is very good to me, and I appreciate him being in my life. Make sure you thank the people who are always there for you, including your Lord. (:
Chelsea, 14, Virginia
With the American Thanksgiving coming up, it reminds me of home back in Texas when everyone will be eating their turkey dinners and watching the parade on TV. It got me thinking about everything that's going on in my life and what I am thankful for.
First, I'm extremely thankful for my family, no matter how silly they can be sometimes. My mom and step-dad are extremely supportive of the decisions I've made, and even though they only live five hours away, they still send me care packages with all kinds of treats in them. My little brother is an amazing little boy who loves me unconditionally, and I'm extremely thankful for him in my life.
Secondly, I'm thankful for the opportunity to get a post-secondary education. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am and slack off in my studies, but I constantly watch the news and realize that there are children around the world who would kill to have what I do. It puts me back into study mode.
Thirdly, I'm thankful for all of my friends from around the world. I've been lucky enough to live in two countries and have friends from all walks of life, shapes, sizes, colors, races and sexual orientations. Without them, I don't know what I'd do. They remind me that things can only get better.
Finally, I'm thankful for Sweet Designs. Even though I've only been with them for a short time, I feel like I'm making a difference in young girls' lives. I've gotten to write about all of my past and current experiences and I get to continue writing about them.
So what are you thankful for?
Emily, 19, Newfoundland
I'm thankful for my parents, my sister, my friends. I don't know what I'd do without them. They are the world to me. We've been through it all. I am thankful for books because reading is an obsession of mine and helps me get away from it all when I need it the most.
Danielle, 17, New York
I am thankful for my two amazing best friends, Brittany and Conor. They have stuck with me through the good and the bad, and have shown me the true meaning of friendship. I don't know where I would be without them, and I am truly thankful to have them in my life.
Kate F., 17, New Hampshire
I'm thankful for being able to have a family, to be living in a home where, even though money is tight and the rent is late, we still have each other. We still have love. I'm thankful for God. Without him, nothing would be possible. I'm thankful for life itself. We grow as babies, curious and trying to find ourselves in this world that has already given us rules and regulations, society telling us what we can be and what we shouldn't be. I am thankful for not being a follower and going by society's rules, but by trusting myself to make my own decisions and knowing that I don't have to follow in anyone's shadow, just because they tell me to.
April S., 25, New Jersey
I'm most thankful for the experiences that I've had in my sixteen years of life. I've experienced some of the best and worst things, but I came out of them stronger and ready to show the world that I'm going to be just fine.
I'm also thankful for my family and friends. They are so amazing in their own ways. I just love them so much, no matter if we are still close or not. They are there for me no matter what, and I thank them daily for it. They love me whether I'm nice, mean, sick, happy, or anything in between :)
Gia, 16, Florida
I'm thankful for every day that goes by and that I'm still standing here breathing. That I have an amazing family. I'm thankful that Kayla (my old dog), who was 7 years old, isn't suffering anymore, and I'm sorry I couldn't help her. I'm thankful for the new puppy I got, Bella. I'm thankful for my friends and how much of an impact they have made in my life. I'm thankful for every waking moment I have with Tim. Even though I don't mean anything to him, he means everything to me. I'm thankful my parents care enough to ground me and not let me do whatever I want. I'm thankful for the education I get every day because without it I wouldn't know right from wrong. I'm thankful for everything I have that has made my life worth living.
Taylor, 15, Ontario
What am I thankful for? This year has been a roller coaster. There were twist and turns, slowly climbing, waiting for the drop, and when you're flying down, the wind blowing everywhere, it's hard to keep track of. All you can do is sit back and enjoy it. I'm thankful most for the opportunities that I was blessed to have. I've gotten to do so many amazing things this year, including being accepted as one of the writers for the magazine. The choices that we get to make in this country to get an education, and decide for ourselves where we want to progress further. The mistakes that I made, and learned from. This year was full of different opportunities, and I hope next year will be no different.
Libby, 14, Wisconsin
What I'm thankful for is my parents and family, of course, and my boyfriend, but overall every person who has ever been in my life. Whether they were a good influence or a bad one because they all showed me what true love is and isn't. That's what I'm thankful for this holiday season.
Dru, 17, Ohio
Well, I know I definitely cannot pinpoint one thing that I am thankful for. There are many. I am very thankful for my entire family and group of friends. Without them, I wouldn't be able to live as happily as I do! But there are a few specific people who stand out. First, there are my parents. They support me in everything I do and they are like my best friends (well, when they're not yelling at me! ;)) We do a lot together and we are always having fun, whether we go shopping or we're just watching TV. My parents have always been there to guide me and keep my confidence strong, and I can't thank them enough for bringing me into this world and making very well sure that my life is the best it can be!
Second is my incredible boyfriend. We're not just your average couple. We've been best friends since the sixth grade, which is almost 8 years! We've only been going out for 2, but they've been the two most amazing years of my life. I am so grateful for him because he truly lights up my life. (I know that sounds corny, but it's true!) He is my most consistent support system in everything. From my singing to my calculus, he has more confidence in me than I do! He keeps me strong and cheers me up when I'm sad. He's always there for me, good times and bad, and that is only a few reasons why I love him to death! Then, there is my five-year-old cousin. I am so thankful to be such a huge part of her life. I've watched her grow up and she is like a little sister to me.
Last, but definitely not least, are my closest, best friends. They are a huge source of my happiness and they're always making me laugh. They would take a bullet for me, and I them. They're always there to support me and they sincerely care about me. My life would probably be pretty boring without them! Overall, I am most thankful for all the people in my life. They will always be there for me, unlike an iPod or a computer. I am thankful for all of my material things as well, but I could live without them. I don't think my life would be possible without these many important people. I love them all!!
Briana, 17, Pennsylvania
I'm thankful for my family. I'm also thankful for my friends. I'm thankful for life, and for my loving boyfriend.
I'm thankful for having people I can always turn to on Sweet Designs also. (:
Abbie, 14, Louisiana
I am thankful for my family, and their health and well being. I am thankful for all the natural talent I have been given. I am also thankful for all the opportunities I have been given to excel in life. I am thankful for all I have been given to live, all the hope that's helped me through everything. And for my dream of being a recording artist slowly becoming a reality. If I listed everything I have been thankful for this list would never end. So I am thankful for my life.
Erika, 14, Florida
This coming holiday season is a great time to look back and be thankful. This year, I am just thankful for having a loving and supportive family and friends system. Though my parents are divorced, I'm thankful for being able to have two families, two moms, two dads, and three brothers! Anytime I need any of them, I know I am able to yell their name from wherever I am and I know I am able to count on them. My little brothers (ages 7, 11, and 11) are one reason for why I should be a positive role model and have my outlook on life just positive. Having a loving and supportive family is one of the reasons why I remain less stressed than many of my other friends who may have troubled families. Another person I love is my dog, D'eog (pronounced literally D.O.G). D'eog is a two year old dog. Though we just met last year, I have been able to take my family portrait and just paste him next to all of us. Though he can sometimes be the most annoying dog ever (such as when he wants to come inside and he's wimpering), I know that D'eog will always have unconditional love for me because he honestly doesn't know any better. I am greatly thankful for my entire family. I love you Mom, Dad, Keisha, Zack, Jalen, Jordan, Daushaun and D'eog!
Jasmine, 14, Michigan
I personally am thankful for many things, including my family and the fact that we are all in good health, but I would say that what I am most thankful this Thanksgiving is that Bush is leaving office and, as of the polls today, we won't have another Republican president this time around!
Kristin, 14, California
This holiday the thing I am most thankful for is my little brother. Many of you don't know, but on June 21st, 2008, my little brother was born outta of my mom's second marriage. His intended due date was July 23, 2008. So, that said, you can tell he was born premature. I happened to be visiting my birth father over the summer when my mom called me and gave me the news that he was going to be taken out early. As premature babies are born most have respiratory problems, and brain damage at times. My brother had difficulty with his breathing for the first few days, but thankfully that straightened out. After that the doctors said they were going to have to run 2 majorly important tests. The first was for SMA. This health issue means disability for the rest of your life, forced use of wheelchairs, and walkers. The 2nd test was for a health issue that if positive in my baby brother would mean that he would have about a year to live, and then he would die an instant death. These two tests were very frightening.
Thankfully when the tests were being run I was able to get home to see him before we knew the outcome and his future. A week or so later he was released from the NICU (the baby section, mostly for premature babies) and was free to come home with negative responses on both tests. He will have no problem with disability and no life threatening illness that would take his life after a year. My baby brother was blessed with a healthy life. The Lord was watching out very carefully for my baby brother. This is the thing I am most thankful for, the birth and life of my baby brother! The Lord has wonderful powers and has blessed me and my entire family with just an amazing baby boy. This is what will make this Thanksgiving and this year so memorable and important. And that's what I am thankful for!!!
Kyleen, 15, Arizona
For this Thanksgiving, like always, I am thankful for being here, living each day as if it were to be my last. I am thankful for having my family and friends in good health, and for being able to pursue my dreams. Furthermore, I am thankful for being a part of Sweet Designs Magazine! I hope to continue changing the life of other individuals through my writing!
Mayra, 18, California
I am personally thankful for the country I live in!! We get to make so many decisions for ourselves. I'm in college and value my education so much. There are so many other countries that don't give females the right to an education. We also get to choose who will be our president. We have so many rights that I think we take for granted.
I'm also thankful for my family, friends, and everyone else in my life. My family is the rock of my life. Without them pushing me I wouldn't be where I am now. My friends are also SOOO important. They are always inspiring me to go beyond what I think I'm capable of.
I hope that the holidays will be safe for everyone!!! And if you are able to vote go and let your voice be heard!!!!! Be safe and have fun!!!!
Stephanie Rose, 18, Tennessee
As ironically trite as it is, I am thankful for originality. An original guitar riff can wake a soul and an original idea can spark a revolution. I am the revolution; I take pride in knowing who I am. I've tried to repress my oddities. In the past, my spirit has been crushed by the unrelenting dominance of the mainstream. Since my ignorant freshman days I have come to this simple fact. An object cannot be measured if the scale is wrong. Things that are on completely separate levels cannot be compared and ignorance cannot be argued.
Our society has cut down whatever self-confidence that I used to possess. The media sells us ourselves on a daily basis and we are made to feel like we are missing a part of ourselves. What people see on television and in magazines imprints itself into their minds, like a parasite. These images negotiate what forms of femininity are acceptable in society today. Thought is not free. As a modern teenager I have been force-fed garbage. Plastered all over our tiny universe is the mold of what we are told to be. No tangible reason exists that says I cannot just be myself.
I am the revolution. I want to be what I see, not what I am told to be. Nothing else matters, as long as I'm pleased with what's radiating back from the mirror. I don't require anyone's validation anymore.
I am thankful for the encephalitis that ravaged my brain. It produced the solitude that led to my sophomore epiphany. All that was around me was the sweet dissonance of music; music and its culture became a catalyst in me. It drove for change. It drove for confidence. I have evolved, but not like a caterpillar turns to a butterfly. I evolved from the outside in. Paint on a face of confidence and dress to kill. Volumize the hair, use paint for eye shadow, and cause seizures with my clothing. These quiet risks have allowed me to embody my true self. Who is that girl in the mirror? With a smile I can now say that is me. My quiet rebellion is being myself in a world of fakes.
Carly, 16, Ohio
What am I thankful for?!?!?
A very simple answer for me would be EVERYTHING! I'm thankful for every morning that I wake up with life, every breath that I take, and every step that I take. Though my life hasn't been the best but it's made me who I am today! And I would never change that!
A lot of times we say I wish I could have this person's life or just live in it one day ... Personally my life has taught me the most valuable lessons in life, and what makes it so important is that I made each decision. In other words I molded myself! I'm thankful for that because I know who I am and where I'm headed and where I want to keep going!
Of course, my life wouldn't make any sense without those selected few who make every day worthwhile. First and foremost, I'm most thankful for my God!!! Without him life wouldn't be easy. He's my strength when I'm weak, my faith when all is lost, my guide when I'm without direction, in short words ... my all!!
I'm also very thankful for my parents who gave me life. My mom who knows everything that has to be known about me and my dad who seems to be the quiet yet most influential person in my life! My three brothers who make my life bearable each day ... Without them life would totally suck. I need them, or else who would I beat up?!?! My grandmother, who is my inspiration. She is one tough cookie!!! She's been through so much, yet she remains strong, a fact that I admire because that's how a woman should be - strong above all the circumstances! Last but not least, those people besides my family who make my day go by more smoothly ... my friends. They are only a selected few, but they are the definition of what real friends should be. I don't call just anyone my friend, but these people have made it past my barrier. I won't mention names because I don't want anyone to feel bad, but those real friends of mine know who they are. I love you all sooo much and I appreciate all the wonderful moments you have all brought to my life!
So I could go on and on about what I'm thankful for but these summarize the most important things ... but I left one thing out that to me is the most important - my spiritual life. I'm a daughter of the Most High, which is God, and I value my relationship with him more than anything in this world. My faith in him is the hope I live by each day! So these are all the things I'm thankful for in life. I didn't mention material things because in short I don't believe they can bring the greatest joys in life, but other than that, I'm thankful for my life and everyone in it!
That's it for me. Take care, everybody, and enjoy these holidays. Take advantage to value everyone in your life, take out the bad things, and keep the good things in life really close to you!!!
Rebecca R., 20, Wisconsin