I’ve come to the realization that I was quite privileged growing up. Not to say that I grew up in a mansion with a silver spoon in my mouth, but I was, and still am, pretty lucky. I didn’t have to worry about basic necessities like food or shelter. I was well taken care of, and I never thought twice about it.
Growing up I’d say one of my biggest privileges was travel. If I look back on photos of me as a toddler, they’re photos of me growing up in Manhattan. I have pictures taken of me on swing sets and playing in my mom and i’s studio apartment. Home videos of me capture my first words, my first steps, the art classes my nanny took me to; a whole plethora of things. Along with that there are photos of my first cruise, a Disney cruise I went on with the whole family in celebration of my grandparent’s anniversary. I’m captured sitting on a hammock in the beautiful Bahamas, or posing in front of palm trees as a tiny tot.
I’m half a year away from being 21, and I can’t begin to explain how blessed I’m feeling at this moment. My mom has given me opportunities I could never have dreamed of. And I didn’t fully understand the extent of them until I hit college. In high school, when I was romping around Hawaii and Europe with my mother, so were some of my friends. But when I came to college, it took me till this year, my third year, to understand how lucky I am. Now I don’t want you to think that I was blissfully unaware of the people around me and their lives. I just don’t think it struck me that everyone hasn’t been to at least one European country.
Reading that I feel like a pompous asshole who lives in my own bubble. But I swear I’m not. I’m actually regretful of my time spent abroad. By that I mean I wish I had fully appreciated it in the moment. While I know I was lucky to travel so much at a young age, I almost wish I hadn’t so that I could experience it all for the first time at an age when I would truly value the opportunities presented to me. Instead of snapping a thousand useless pictures, perhaps I would have stopped to admire the beautiful Italian artwork.
So I guess what I’m saying is appreciate your life. And everything in it. Count your blessings and be thankful everyday that you’re experiencing what life has to offer.
Disclaimer: I don’t want to sound ignorant. I’m aware of today’s hardships and the troubles that plague our world. This is just how I’m feeling right now in regards to my life and the experiences I’ve had.