Giving thanks: Thankful to be me

A+lot+of+people+wake+up+each+morning+wishing+that+they+weren%E2%80%99t+themselves.+However%2C+The+Sidekick+staff+designer+Avani+Munji+is+grateful+to+be+herself+this+year+and+the+journey+she%E2%80%99s+been+on+to+get+to+this+point.+Graphic+by+Avani+Munji

Avani Munji

A lot of people wake up each morning wishing that they weren’t themselves. However, The Sidekick staff designer Avani Munji is grateful to be herself this year and the journey she’s been on to get to this point. Graphic by Avani Munji

Avani Munji, Staff Designer

This Thanksgiving, I’m very grateful that I get to be Avani Munji. I’m grateful for the chance to keep growing as a person while simultaneously being OK with the person I am today. It’s been a long journey full of ups and downs to get to this point though, and a lot of my journey is still left ahead of me.

I spent too much time with myself last year. Every day was a new day with time to spend picking myself apart endlessly, which made me hate the person I was, from the way I looked and thought to the way I talked. To put it simply, I hated everything that made me Avani. I spent day after day making my perception of myself worse and worse. 

I didn’t have a sudden epiphany where I realized how badly I was hurting myself. In fact, it wasn’t until I could look back in retrospect that I could see how bad things had gotten. 

However, once I did stop and think about what I was doing, I realized that I had to put in the time and conscious effort to try and reverse the course I was on. I tried to fix all the holes I had made in my self-esteem and tried to block out the negative voice in my head. Of course, at no point was it a perfect or easy journey. There were many days I went backwards instead of forwards. There were many days where I felt completely stuck, unable to progress. 

Nevertheless, over the course of time, I made progress, as slow as it was. 

And that’s good enough for me.

I have the wonderful things that many of us tend to say we’re thankful for this Thanksgiving: good food, good friends, a loving family and a roof over my head. But for the first time in a while, I’m also thankful for who I am today and who I have the chance to be tomorrow. I have a future ahead of me that I can shape exactly as I want it to be. I know it’ll be a constant, lifelong process of learning to find things to like about myself. Even with the progress I’ve made, I’m still constantly struggling with how I see myself. 

But I’m OK with that.

Because as long as there are days I can wake up and say I’m glad to be me, Avani Munji, all the work will be worth it. 

Follow Avani (@a_munjii) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.