Mental Health: Week 10 - Gratitude Challenge

What opportunities from your childhood are you happy you experienced? Why were those experiences necessary?

My family and I at Bubba Gumps in Charleston, SC

My family and I at Bubba Gumps in Charleston, SC

I am forever grateful for the amount of traveling I was able to do with my family as a kid. Almost every year, we were exploring new places throughout America, learning the history, admire the land and of course embracing the cultural differences between each state. I know last week I talked a bit about traveling, which is why I won’t spend too much of your time today, discussing that; but I do need mention, I truly am grateful for the opportunity to travel as much as we did when I was a kid.

Besides traveling, my family made it appoint to take me out around the Twin Cities. Whether it was musicals at the Children’s Theatre or the Ordway, or a dinner exploration of new restaurant, my parents made trying new things a priority. This lifestyle I think was vital in helping me explore different forms of art, making it easier (and more fun) for self-exploration and discovery. There would be nights at the theatre, dinner dates at the Macy’s tower (which is no longer around) in Minneapolis, or even local puppet shows at the park. Yes the puppet shows were just about as lame as they sound. But hey, when it’s August, and your parents are just waiting for the school year to start, they will do anything to get the kids out of the house! All of these experiences, helped me find a part of myself which would eventually manifest and curate into who I am today.

My husband and baby playing at the park.

My husband and baby playing at the park.

Now that I am a mother, I want to instill the same opportunities for my kid. I don’t want to spoil them with toys and the latest gadgets, I want to spoil them with memories and experiences that will last a lifetime. I personally am astonished at how many families don’t experience things together. They don’t go out to eat, or check out a museum or hang out a park together. They just each live their lives separately in the same home, barely developing relationships. But as for me and my family, experiences and building relationships mean everything. I don’t want to be the parent doesn’t know anything about my kid. I want to be the parent who is actively in their lives with healthy personal boundaries. You don’t get to know someone by never spending time with them. And I think that is where our society is led astray. We are shown day in and day out, people living on their laptops, or cell phones, developing fake relationships with people they will never actually meet, and we tend completely ignore the people who are right around, ready to unconditionally love us and grow with us. Don’t be the sheep glued to their screens, letting life pass them by. Be the cheetah, making a life for themselves as they explore the world around them.

Mom and Dad, thank you so much for giving me memories and opportunities that weren’t necessarily tangible, but they were meaningful and have taught me more than I could have ever imagined.


45782367_400274247177376_5467314555434565632_o.jpg

Meghanlee Phillips is the Editor-in-Chief of The Volk Magazine. With a passion for fashion, a love for writing and her lifestyle focused around mental health; she has been able to bring all three together to create the mid-western fashion/lifestyle magazine, The Volk. Keep up to date with her and her vibrant style by following @msmeghanlee (Instagram)