35 and Feeling Alive!

People and experiences. Whether they’re the fabulous, smile-inducing ones, or the ones that leave my heart broken and eyes filled with tears, these two things are what my life is all about.

Tomorrow, I’ll turn the big 3-5, and as I look back on the last year (and all the other years, too), I am so grateful for this life I’ve created. Expressing gratitude is as important to my wellness routine as the workouts and the healthy eating — my mental well being is the foundation that everything else is built upon.

So, I want to take this blog to express a little gratitude to those people and experiences that have shaped the life that I have today and the life that is to come...

I’m grateful for my mama and my godmother, Aunt Deb. Thanks to them, I’ve been blessed with two mom’s who love me unconditionally and have challenged me to live a life where I don’t settle for being comfortable — whether that’s personally or professionally.

I’m grateful for my core group of girlfriends. Lane, Lindsey, and Chaun, you have seen me at my best and at my worst. From amazing trips to nights of drinking too much champagne, I treasure each of you. And to all of the other friends who have lifted me up with love and support, you are a big chunk of my heart, too.

I’m grateful for my dad, who passed away several years ago. I watched him battle depression for half of my life. He loved me hard. I was a daddy’s girl. But boy could he be an asshole, too. From him, I learned that a lot of the time, the way people treat you has nothing to do with YOU — it has more to do with what that individual is dealing with. I learned that when dad was an asshole, it didn’t have as much to do with me as it did his illness. And understanding that helped me to love him in spite of the bad behavior.

I’m grateful for all of the writer colleagues and friends I’ve met throughout my assignments and travel. I have such respect for all of you — especially those kicking ass and taking names doing the freelance thing full time! Similarly, I’m grateful for my fitness friends and go-to instructors. Amy, Cara, Caroline, Idia, Ellie, Brianna, Alex, the list goes on and on — y'all rock!!

I’m grateful to have a full-time job that I enjoy and that challenges me. Not to mention, I’m grateful for the amazing bosses I have and have had. How lucky am I to have full-time AND part-time gigs I enjoy??

I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had and will have: the travel, the crazy first dates and loves, the books I read, the operas I’ve attended, the zip lining in crazy spots. I've had to learn (and am a work in progress in this area) to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. 

And finally, thanks to all of you for your support over the years. This blog and my writing is a labor of love that brings me plenty of joy and occasional stress. But it's the work I always wanted to do and feel so lucky that I get to do it! 

On that note, I’ll leave you with this wonderful quote from L.R. Knost that my mom sent to me a few months ago that I am forever referring back to for inspiration as I continue on this awesome journey that I get to call my life:

“Life is amazing. And then it's awful. And then it's amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it's ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That's just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it's breathtakingly beautiful.”