New Year and New Beginnings (#8)

With each new year comes new opportunities. I am lucky enough to get to write about gratitude and how important it is to each and every day. Whatever 2017 looked like for you, whatever highs and lows you experienced, it’s over and it’s in the past. You get to make the intentional choice to make 2018 everything you want it to be.

One of my friends texted me before I left for LA telling me about a tattoo she hopes to get and why it’s important to her. She said how 2018 was her year and it resonated with me. She gets to make that choice for herself once she speaks it into her existence. My friend specially said she was planning on leaving behind negativity and doubt but I think she’s making a bigger choice than that.

Whether or not you set and hold yourself to any kind of new years resolutions, think about what you want to accomplish in the new year for yourself. So often I worry about my relationships with others and how they perceive me. I think 2018 should be the year of ‘you’. Discover new passions and dreams. Try new foods and do something you know you shouldn’t. Be vulnerable, make mistakes, and have fun doing it.

I hope 2018 is your best year yet, but first be grateful for the year that was. Happy new year, internet!


Today and this year, I’m grateful for…

  1. My family. My parents have been so positive and encouraging while my siblings constantly support me.
  2. Bridgewater State University. There are so many people, mentors, and teachers that have impacted my life for the better and will forever be important to me.
  3. Cambodia, building water filters changed my life and I connected with some incredible people.
  4. UMass Amherst because of my job, my Peer Mentors, my cohort, and all of the opportunities I have there to learn new things and continue to grow.
  5. My cat, Ned. It was really helpful having something to take care of in my first semester of grad school and he’s a great listener and super chatty.
  6. Old friends and new friends. People come and go in your life but if you make the effort, they’ll be there.
  7. So. Much. Good. Music. There have been songs that have helped me through my lowest points and songs that have helped celebrate my highest highs.
  8. Frank and Holly who taught me to love my process at a time when I felt lost and unsure.
  9. Being able to volunteer around MA and meet some pretty incredible people in the process.
  10. All of my involvements at BSU and the people who made that time special. I am who I am today because of them.
  11. Being able to share my story as the commencement speaker for my graduating class was freeing and the most fun I’ve ever had public speaking.
  12. The Boyden steps and the time to process some of my biggest challenges.
  13. My grandma and her relentless spirit. She’s been fighting this battle for a long time and she still finds a way to be positive.
  14. The tools I have developed that help me navigate challenge. Journaling every day has really opened my eyes to how much good there is in my life.
  15. For warm beds, cozy clothes, and anything that makes me feel like safe and at home.
  16. The rain and the promise of new life when nothing seems to be going right.
  17. Sharing love with others. I have been able to both give and receive love and it is a powerful and infectious feeling.
  18. Time to exercise. This is kinda lame but sometimes getting a good sweat at the gym has turned my whole day around. It’s been my time and my space to just let go.
  19. Car rides to secret places. Sometimes you just need to get away and sit with yourself and those moments have brought me peace and clarity.
  20. All of the new people and experiences that have been present in 2017. Never would I have thought at the end of 2016, I would be where I am now with people I had yet to meet.
  21. Gratitude itself! I am the luckiest human in the world for so many reasons and I get to recognize and give it meaning when I exercise gratitude AND you can too!!
  22. People who motivate and inspire. Whether I met them in person or saw them online, there are some really special people on this earth and their stories have truly made me think.
  23. All the little moments. It would be impossible to write down every second that made me smile or think but there have been enough of them to get me here today.
  24. Times I was wrong and moments I was challenged. Life is a rollercoaster and you can’t appreciate the highs without experiencing the lows. I’ve been wrong PLENTY of times throughout 2017 and as much pain and difficulty as it has brought me, I am a better person because of the learning from my mistakes.
  25. The opportunity to reflect on my journey and my process. I didn’t get here alone and feeling like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be has brought me freedom and happiness in more ways than I can quantify.

Author: Jake Ames

Grad student, feline father, twin brother, buffalo chicken enthusiast, and gratitude writer. Using this blog to hopefully inspire others on their journey. Love your process, whatever that looks like.

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