I am thankful for....

  1. A very supportive, loving, generous family
  2. Supportive, fun, intelligent friends
  3. That 1 has grown me up with a strong religion, so there is never a point where I'm looking lost for the "meaning of life", I'm guided with set of right/wrong, and if nothing else makes sense this instilled, very logical backbone will InshAllah always be there to guide me. 
  4. Food. Lots of food. When I'm hungry. When I'm bored. Food when whenever I want food. Options for food. Options to buy food. Chicken Tikka and Nihari and Bryani and Maggie Noodles and Pomegranates and NUTELLA and daal/chawwal and lasagna. [only half of that stuff has to be made by my awesome mom...] 
  5. Fruit Parfaits from Red Mango at JFK Airport (NY). These things are AMAZING.
    My absolutely favorite Mediterranean Veggie sandwich from Panera Bread.
    (You'd think with all this food stuff I eat a lot or something, but I really don't)
  6. My iPod Phone! I don't think I realized how much my life is enhanced by my iPod (Phone) until my mom got a new windows phone and now she is always showing me, "Look at this video Maria!" "Look at this website?" "Did you know...?". My iPod helps me stay communicated, play games, watch websites, do homework, organize events, and so much more. It's insane that the need of my laptop is so decreased due to a device less than 1/20th the size. The device is such a privilege that at feels like necessity and I am ever so grateful for it.
  7. Water. About the same description as food, only that I don't make an effort to drink water and I surely am not as thankful for water as I should be. With water-diseases and lack of water such a common problem worldwide, it is such a humongous, amazing privilege to have the amount of clean water I do whenever I want/need it. 
  8. Ellen. The Ellen Show. I've been watching a lot of clips these days and this show/person puts a smile or makes me laugh endlessly. Liking this show doesn't mean I stand for every single thing Ellen does, but I think it opens my mind. The amount of generosity and kindness she has, the goal to make people's day brighter, just the simple happy-go-lucky personality is such a model. 
  9. Pakistani Channels. This may be short-lived, since my dad wants to cancel our subscription :) but I can be thankful for having 10 years with "desi" channels. One of those "you don't know what you have until it's gone"....or almost gone. Growing up in USA and having desi channels has taught me so much about Pakistani culture, Muslim holildays (big and small), Pakistani history, expanded my Urdu vocabulary, and very much kept me connected with my birthplace 7,000+ miles away, and that really is a blessing
  10. Education. It's actually disappointing that it took me 8 numbers to get to this. In all honesty, the past few months have really made me reevaluate the magnitude of gratitude I should have for the education, quality of education, accessibility of education I have been blessed with.  Especially after the shooting of Malala Yousafzai (I haven't read the linked CNN article about her, but a quick skim made it seem a positive/accurate summary. hopefully) and watching/reading tons of stories about just how hard it was for this eager girl to get an education. And how much she yearned for and fought for it. And then an epiphany is made on how I have never had to fight for education (okay, minus those few times I had to convince my mom to let me go to school when I was slightly sick). I'm pretty sure the concept of education will show up in this list in different ways in the future, because it deserves it.
  11. An anatomy reading guide about Heart Beating stuff I believe.
  12. Health. Life. Livelihood.
  13. A house.
  14. Heating.
  15. Air conditioner.
  16. MY NEPHEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (okay, he's family. but he has a special place :)
  17. Health care. Because I firmly believe health care and education are the two most important institutions that every individual should have the right to. But sadly, most do not. 
    An when your eye doc gives you waay too much time to "let your contacts settle", you find ways to do fun photography with her equipment. Wait, you aren't supposed to use cameras in the docs office. Don't worry, it was just my iPod. It doesn't hurt the machines' magical tech system. I think.
    1. My laptop. I don't feel like explaining why :)
    2. Colorful pens. Because life is 100x more exciting when I can highlight all my tests/quizzes in different colors and write spanish verb conjugations in different colors. :D
    3. This isn't really an example of colorful pens. But it's close, because colorful ribbons serve the same purpose :D Picture of flashcards of a class, divided by unit and tied together with ribbon bows!
    4. FUN FONTS! Adding to this colorful pen thing, life is 100x more exciting when you're taking notes or typing a homework assignment and you can make your header some fun, crazy, semi-hard-to-read font. Okay, not that hard to read, especially when you pdf it and print it, it *magically* becomes clearer! If you wanna join in on the free font fun try:,,
    5. Nailpolish. So I can do fun things like this, this, and this. And more :)
    6. Pinterest nail ideas!
    7. Henna. I love henna! It is such a peaceful, fun, satisfying, beautiful activity. And it's much better than covering your body in permanent tattoos. 
    8. One of the random "I'm bored" times during summer vacation.
    9. Sunsets. Especially seeing one on a body of water. 
    10. YELLOW SHOES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!                                                                           
    11. Flowers. And that whole honey-bee-photosynthesis-pollination system that keeps me alive somehow. Yah those are two different processes, i know that. maybe. 
    12. I believe this was the day my bus was an hour late so I decided to photograph my yard's roses. 
    13. Halal marshmellows, gummy bears, gummy worms, chocolate.
      Thank you Turkey for making Halal Gummy Bears and distributing them to America.
      Only that these don't taste that great...
    14. Greenery. (Is that a word? I'm not sure. But I really really love seeing grass and trees and green stuff everywhere. nature is fantastic.)
      Even my school is pretty! Fun side story: In an interview for a school-local volunteering organization, they asked the 4 of us what our favorite thing about our town was. I was the last to go after the other 3 talked about our fabulous teachers and band and classes and whatnot. What did I say? "I love the greenery!" haha...but the corn fields and beautiful blooming of the trees in spring and colorful leaves in fall are a big part of my childhood! I did get into the group, so maybe they liked my creative answer! ;p
      1. Chocolate. Chocolate is like one of the most amazing things ever. I am told I have an abnormal obsession with chocolate. But I really, really like chocolate.
        Failure cupcakes, because I couldn't find the cupcake tin-thingy since my mom wasn't home. Not sure how I would live without her.
      2. Opportunity to learn more languages and educate myself about other cultures (aka other people's definition of "normal")
      3. WiFi 
      4. Ceramic class. literally looked around my room and saw my ceramic pieces and thought it's a good idea! let's me explore but not-so-creative side :) (I'll take a picture of one and put it here at some point...)
      5. Clothes. My obsession with buying dresses and probably owning too much....thankful that I CAN do that. 
        A dress I own, minus the cardigan
      6. RAINBOWS 
        this is two-fold, because this was a crazy tornado storm day and obviously super thankful to be safe and sound but then little things like this are AWESOME. double rainbow outside my window!
      7. An amazing High School Education. I know I already said "Education' above, but as I graduate in a few weeks I think I can separate this...because my HS education has literally been an immense blessing. From the amazing sponsors/teachers who made me a better leader/person, to a great group of friends who were always there for me, I'm extremely grateful to have spent the past 4 years in such a great place.
        Generic HS Picture, but not really :)
      8. To be continued...

      See this post for the "story" behind this page :)