Can Teenagers Be Grateful?

By: Kaylee Bowling (freshman in high school)

Thanksgiving is a time of love and gratitude.  It’s a time to spend with close fiends and family and let them know what you are thankful for.  When people think about what they are thankful for it’s all the same.  Some say they are must happy to have a roof over their heads and food in their fridge.  For others it may be that they survived another year.  These are the easy things to say but it’s much more difficult to think of things that have a deeper impact.

Today I came with my step dad to work.  Everyone was chilling in the downstairs office listening to him speak.  I was just leaning against the stair railing half listening to my iPod and him at the same time.  He said that X Factor’s gratitude show inspired him to do some sort of gratitude circle so he went around asking everyone what they are grateful for.  Everyone said the same things, they are thankful for being sober, having the opportunity to work for BTS Communications and to not spend another holiday locked up.  When John got to me I couldn’t really think of anything on the spot.  ‘Food’ I said.  Cool shows how grateful I am.  I wondered why I couldn’t think of anything more.  There is so much I should be thankful for, why didn’t I just say something other then food?  So I listened to John speak.  His gratitude was really meaningful and personalized.  He said he was thankful for his new office, newborn nephew, family and other personal things.  I won’t say word for word what he said but it made me happy to hear something different.  I wanted to share what I was really happy for too, and it’s not just food.

Now that I can take a moment to analyze everything, I know that I m appreciative for a bunch of things, for one my brother Austin.  Yes that must be a shocker to some people but he has been helpful just letting me know he is willing to listen to me.  Even though I don’t always accept his help I am thankful for being able to trust him.  I am also tremendously grateful for Beit T’Shuvah.  Without it my mom would have never gotten sober and I would still live in foster homes.  She would not have met John and gotten married.  I still wouldn’t have a dad, but she did get sober.  She got me out of foster care and I have John as my father, which I never thought I could have.  I am grateful for my life being turned around and my family being brought together.  I also couldn’t be more thankful for the friends I have…they are everything to me.  When all hope is lost in my dramatic teenage life they are there for me.  And when I am content they keep me that way.  I am grateful I have gone through so much with people who make me happy to be alive and discover true friendship.

Now obviously I appreciate a roof over my head and food in the fridge, to have been able to survive another year, but there is so much more, I just had to put a little thought into it. So now I ask you… what are you really thankful for?

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9 thoughts on “Can Teenagers Be Grateful?

  1. Wow Kaylee!!! So many beautiful things said…such an honest piece of writing that obviously came from your heart. I am so proud to know you and to have watched you grow and blossom over the past few years. What an amazing spirit!!! Love you kiddo ❤

  2. I’m grateful for 164 pages that I didn’t need to believe in to work. I’m also grateful for becoming more and more like my father and father in law every day. I am grateful for the relationship I now have with my 6 year old daughter who gives much love and teaches me more and more every day about what making real amends is about and that true forgiveness is an action. I have more friends than I could call in one day but would drop everything for me at a moments notice. My life is a real life today and my feelings are mine. The Beastie Boys got it right- It’s called gratitude! That’s right!

  3. What a beautiful article! Looking at your image alone we’d never know the history you have and what you are truly greatful for! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Your spirit shines through your words and you are truly a blessing! Great writing and I am so proud to say that you are my daughter. Thanks for taking me back! I love you!! xoxo

  5. Kaylee, I am overwelmed at what you said. You are a wonderful writer who is able to express your deepest thoughts and feelings. Not many people can do such a feat so you are very fortunate. Also, to be able to do this where you know all will be reading it, is amazing to me. You are more then special in my eyes and I love you so very much! And yes, I am shocked at what you said about your brother!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Hi Kaylee –

    I just got back from vacation today and just read your blog. Everything you said was so honest and truly beautiful – you are an amazing young woman! Keep up the good work!


  7. Happy birthday. Kaylee. I cry tears of joy at your achievement.

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