36 and Loving It!

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From my Sex and the City-moment with my cover story on dating in Buckhead to discovering the most amazing trail and series of glacial lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park, 35 has been a year for the record books. What could 36 possibly have in store for me?? 

On Thursday, I will officially enter my late 30s, y’all — and geez do I have so much to be grateful for! 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, following in the tradition of last year’s birthday blog, I want to take this opportunity 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 Europe and South Florida to nights of drinking too much champagne and eating Subway at 3 a.m., I treasure each of you. And to all of the other friends who have lifted me up with love and support, and who have entered my world this year, 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 y’all — especially those kicking ass and taking names doing the freelance thing full time! Oh, and then there’s my fitness friends and go-to instructors. Amy, Holly, Julie, Brianna, Alex, the list goes on and on — thanks for keeping this body lookin' good!!

I’m grateful for the amazing bosses I have (and have had). And the support they’ve given me as I figure out how to challenge myself over the next 30 years. 

I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had and will have: the travel, drinking Cristal on a beautiful yacht, the crazy dates, the operas I’ve attended, the trails I’ve hiked, the moments eating Doritos and drinking wine by a creek, and mountain biking (and falling off said bike). 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 last year and I’m 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.”