I’ve had the word “ungrateful” thrown in my face more than a few times in this lifetime. Often these unbased accusations stem from well-meaning people who think they know me better than I know myself. Each time I bristle with disdain and indignation at their unfounded assumptions that I am somehow displeased with where I am in life and with the general direction that everything is going.

Ladies and gentlemen, family, former friends, ex-boyfriends, I assure you that I could not be happier with where I am in life. Just because I would like to see myself in a better place in the next two, five or ten years doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate what I have now. Sometimes people confuse ambition with dissatisfaction but what most people don’t realize is that it is possible for both of these emotions to be mutually exclusive from one another.

From years of worrying over things beyond my control, I’ve learnt to live life by the saying “Expect the worst but prepare for the best”. By expecting the worst, some may mistake this for pessimism or discontentment; but in reality, all I’m doing is the opposite of setting myself up for disappointment.

Ironically, over the past few years as a full-fledged adult, I’ve also learned to see the good in everything. Instead of getting hung up on my losses, I’ve slowly mastered the art of counting my blessings of which i realized there are plenty. Even in the worst of times when it feels like everything is crumbling down and I come close to losing something or someone for good, I can still rest assured knowing that it could’ve been worse. Somewhere out there, someone is living a harder reality that is so much more painful and distressing than my worst nightmare will ever be, filled with more trials and tribulations than even I, with my wild imagination, could even comprehend.

While in no way do I condone using someone else’s misery to play off my own misfortunes, it helps to put things into perspective. In fact, it’s humbling almost knowing that in the grand scheme of things, my problems are minuscule compared to everything else that’s in stored and everything that has already happened.

So before you call someone ungrateful, think twice. While they may not always exude rainbows and sunshine everywhere they go, everyone is trying to get through life to the best of their abilities. I’m not ungrateful, I just aim high. But just because someone has goals and aspirations that takes them far, far away from your own complacent bubble, it doesn’t mean that they don’t see the beauty in where they are now.