Out Of My Control (#268)

I probably sound like a broken record to my friends. I think I started when I was in England because I recognized there was only so much I could do thousands of miles from home.

“I’m not worried about the things I can’t control”

There was no point! I wasn’t going to keep stressing when life took the choice out of my hands. Life is impermanent. Things change. I had to keep reminding myself of these things with a hint of gratitude.


Today I’m Grateful For

  1. Handstand practice
  2. My educational leadership class
  3. Rainy mornings
  4. Time at the gym
  5. One to one meetings with my peer mentors
  6. Teaching CORE class and working with students
  7. Leadership lessons
  8. Cozy slippers
  9. Good parking
  10. Old man basketball
  11. Seeing my family
  12. FaceTimes before bed
  13. Gratitude
  14. Liverpool
  15. My job as an LCG and the support I get
  16. The change in foliage
  17. Irish breakfast tea
  18. Being outside
  19. Bike rides through campus
  20. Buffalo Chicken Calzones
  21. My teammates and coaches
  22. Good teachers
  23. My favorite hoodie
  24. Feeling balanced
  25. This very moment

As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

Featured image from Seawall, Maine. Julie and I had so much fun being there together.

The Places We’re Made (#249)

For me, so much of who I am today has been influenced and created in the places I’ve been. Sitting and journaling, reflecting, and processing a whole new environment with gratitude has been influential in shaping my current being.

I won’t sit here and write how you have to spend thousands of dollars on hotel and plane tickets but I will suggest you step outside your comfort zone. I’m fortunate and privileged to have traveled to my list of various places below but all this can be done within your community. I learned from these places and experiences because I allowed myself to.

Use gratitude to; recognize how far you’ve come, to give value to what you have prepared for the future, and to find yourself in between, the present moment.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Cambodia
  2. Edinburgh
  3. Colchester
  4. London
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Alaska
  7. Mt. Monadonock
  8. Cape Cod
  9. Vermont
  10. Mexico
  11. Florida
  12. Los Angeles
  13. Washington
  14. Ashland
  15. Mt. Rainier
  16. Liverpool
  17. Rhode Island
  18. Ohio
  19. Amherst
  20. New York
  21. Judas Tree
  22. Iceland
  23. Canada
  24. My backyard
  25. This very moment

As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

Featured image of one of my favorite plane pictures.

A Summer To Remember (#224)

That’s it.

I have a hard time believing it’s somehow already August 3rd. I still remember jumping up and down in my room in sheer disbelief I was offered a paid internship working in England for the summer. I called my parents immediately to share the news, quickly followed by the anxiety of organizing a trip that would take advantage of every second I spent abroad. I had plans to go to Italy and Spain, I had to think big! I found my way to Iceland, I navigated big cities in the UK, and I did it all on my own. I was enjoying this new freedom I felt…and that was all stripped when I found out I filled out my VISA incorrectly. I was sent home shortly after starting my international adventure and suddenly my world began to crash before it even had a real chance to take off.

Sitting at home was a nightmare. My positivity could only last so long. I was lucky enough to see my brother graduate high school but once the shine wore off, I couldn’t get out of my own head. I was resilient up until the point I wasn’t. I struggled to wait to return to England and when I FINALLY got back, I felt homesick and depressed. I never would have thought transitioning back would have been as hard as it was. So I buckled down, I developed a new routine for myself and made a plan. I took control of my time and I stopped making excuses for my negativity. I realized I made a mistake but there was no changing the past.

Gratitude. Gratitude is what allowed me to be present more than anything else. In another life, I was born and raised in England. I’ve wanted to visit the UK for as long as I remember wanting to travel anywhere in the world. AND, I got to be there during the World Cup and enjoy the sport’s biggest tournament with people like me. No, my summer was far from perfect but it didn’t have to be. I learned something new about myself every day abroad and found new purpose within myself. Who knows if the same would be true if everything had gone according to plan. Change is good and it may not always feel like it but it propels us in ways we could never imagine on our road to BECOMING.

I want to thank everyone who reached out over the summer, my readers, my followers, and my family for keeping me going. I could not have done any of this alone and my gratitude for you all deserves more than a line in a list. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I am a stronger person because of the kindness and patience that has been shown to me. Thank you. This was a summer to remember.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. A couple deep breaths
  2. Learning through adversity
  3. The reliant sunshine and summer warmth
  4. Exercise as a tool for my mental health
  5. Morning hikes and catching the sunrise
  6. The World Cup and sharing it with my brother
  7. My parents and their unconditional support
  8. The smell of the ocean and the sound of the waves against the dock
  9. CLEAN WATER! Check out my project and see how you can get involved!

  10. Talking things out with my sister
  11. My summer audiobooks and the escape they provide
  12. My parents’ home cooking. I tried my best this summer but I miss theirs
  13. Getting organized and having a plan for the fall semester
  14. New perspective and clarity
  15. Time to journal and having a place to spill my thoughts
  16. Shared laughter and fun memories
  17. Change, and all it brings
  18. My comfy green sweatshirt as I wait through my 20-hour layover
  19. Good music to get me through my lows
  20. Walks through campus to work in the morning
  21. Routine and consistency to ease my mind
  22. Finding my way in a completely different country
  23. Sharing my daily gratitudes
  24. Life itself. I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be
  25. The here and now


As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.


Featured image of my favorite night in England this summer. I’ve been saving this picture and between the colors of the sunset and the moon, I’ll always have this. 

It’s All Part Of The Process (#196)


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. World Cup games
  2. Journals from Iceland
  3. Organized music
  4. Taking things slow
  5. Time at the gym
  6. New audiobooks
  7. The weekend
  8. Calls from home
  9. When things go right
  10. My cat, Ned
  11. The feeling of clean teeth
  12. New music
  13. Nights outside by the fire
  14. My favorite Sudoku book
  15. The mixtape my dad gave me
  16. The smell of Bacon
  17. Bagels on Sundays
  18. Falling asleep to the sound of rain
  19. Signs from the Universe
  20. Carpools to Soccer
  21. Clean clothes
  22. Good candle smells
  23. Sharing laughter
  24. My Peer Mentors
  25. The present moment


As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.


Featured image of a blurry London. I’ve enjoyed exploring the city and making the most of my time here in England when possible. 

Redefining Myself (#191)

For me, going to the gym is great for my mental health. Working hard and getting a good sweat really helps improve my mood and clear my head.

Unfortunately, routines like this can become bland. Maybe it’s our drive to work; we used to sing along to the radio, listen to podcasts, or appreciate the foliage. Over time, this routine has become a negative. We’re frustrated with the traffic, our car makes weird sounds, it’s just not the same.

We have the chance to redefine who we are. Start new habits, look at things differently, create change. We don’t have to wait for something to fail before we adapt. Whether it’s the gym, your drive, or something else in your life…be grateful for what it was but don’t use that as an excuse not to let go and try something new. If it doesn’t work, rinse and repeat.

Happy July!


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. The blogging community
  2. Starting over
  3. Time for naps
  4. Good communication
  5. When things make sense
  6. What patience brings
  7. Passion and art
  8. New music
  9. Love of all kinds
  10. My brother
  11. Time on the beach
  12. Change
  13. A few deep breaths
  14. Yoga and stretching
  15. Cuddles from my cat
  16. Support
  17. Good teachers
  18. New perspectives
  19. Walks through campus in the sunshine
  20. Taking things slow
  21. Talking things out
  22. The sound of rain on my window
  23. Tattoo stories
  24. Walks around the pond with my grandma
  25. The here and now

As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

I’m happy to be here but I’m also looking forward to seeing my cat again. Featured image of my buddy Ned taking a quick nap before I had class.

Be Mindful (#187)

I’m not perfect. In fact, no one is. We all make mistakes in one form or another. I think that’s why mindfulness is so important. Why a deep breath can help us find our way back to a balanced mindset. Life throws us in every direction, I’m just grateful when I can find my way back.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. My family
  2. The unexpected
  3. Good conversation
  4. Friends for life
  5. When things work out
  6. Time with my brother
  7. People who inspire others
  8. Clarity
  9. The cleansing rain
  10. Walks into town
  11. Peace and quiet
  12. A new adventure
  13. Peanut butter
  14. Warm sweatshirts
  15. Safe travel
  16. The warmth of the sun
  17. Lessons learned from sports
  18. Local pizza
  19. Honest people
  20. Sharing music
  21. Time with my cat
  22. Signs from the Universe
  23. What patience brings
  24. A good feeling
  25. The here and now

As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.

Featured image of London lit up at night. What a beautiful city. I’m grateful to be exactly where I am.

Everything Has Its Place (#186)

Everything has its place and everything has a purpose. I spent weeks worrying about my work and my future. I was negative, unmotivated, and resentful of my current situation.

I was in the wrong space. 

We all belong to the present. We all belong in the here and now. Otherwise, we’re distracted and misplaced. We have enough to tend to in the present to stress about everything we can’t control. I’m grateful I’m here. I’m grateful I’m with my brother. I’m grateful for the people who remind me I don’t have to go through life alone.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Catching the last train home
  2. The lights in London
  3. A clear sky and a bright moon
  4. Sharing laughter
  5. Change
  6. New podcasts and perspectives
  7. Bonfires in the summer
  8. Getting my steps in
  9. The sunshine
  10. Getting things done
  11. The people I work with at UMass
  12. My introvert time
  13. Mindfulness and breathing
  14. Movies before bed
  15. A hot shower
  16. Check-ins from my parents
  17. Getting lost and getting lost again
  18. My personal mission
  19. Books on tape
  20. A little understanding
  21. Days I get to sleep in
  22. An empty email box
  23. Random acts of kindness
  24. Healthy habits
  25. The precious present


As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.


Featured image of the London Eye. Spending this time with my brother has been special. I’m grateful we’re here together and I’m happy to be getting back on track. 

Life Is About Change (#164)

I’ve had a really difficult time writing about gratitude this past week. I have enjoyed being home and the time off has been the break I have been looking for. That being said, this was completely unexpected.

I’m grateful this has all coincided with my brother’s graduation but this was never the original plan. On Wednesday of last week, I got an email saying I needed to return back to the U.S to fix an issue with my work VISA. This news was devastating. I wanted nothing more than to just BE in England this summer. Living and working at the University of Essex was a dream come true. I felt like I was letting people down like I was letting myself down for not catching this before it became an issue.

I felt ashamed that I was back in Ashland, just waiting for my VISA to get processed. After talking things through and really taking a breath to consider the entire situation, I know I can make this work. Soon enough, I’ll be back in the UK working as an intern in the same position like nothing had happened. I’m currently working remotely from home in the meantime. I’m grateful for my parents and their unconditional support. This is something I know I need to learn from.

The reason I titled this blog about change is that none of this was the original plan. I was never supposed to be home for my brother’s graduation or these special moments with my family. Yet, here I am. Life doesn’t always work out the way we think it will but with a little bit of patience and a positive mindset, I’ve found myself here, happy.

The waiting game is tough and I feel bad about my lack of presence in England but I’ll be back before I know it. I’ve gotten some really good advice from friends and family about the situation and I’m grateful to have these people in my corner. All I know is that I just have to take this life one day at a time and the rest will figure itself out.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Ice cream trips with Mel
  2. Family dinner
  3. Relaxing with my cat
  4. Good timing
  5. New music and good playlists
  6. FaceTimes with Bryan
  7. Time with my cat
  8. Monopoly nights with my dad and brother
  9. The green trees and foliage around my house
  10. Honesty
  11. Trying again
  12. Reassurance and support
  13. Positive people
  14. Catching up on Gratitude
  15. The change of seasons and warm weather
  16. The authors who inspired this list
  17. Safe travels
  18. Good health
  19. Runs through town
  20. Summer Grilling
  21. Learning something new
  22. A couple deep breaths
  23. Good advice and helpful reminders
  24. The smell of the flowers outside my home
  25. The here and now


As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.


Featured image of a building in London. I appreciated the architecture, color, and angle of the building. Something I’m looking forward to returning to when I go back to the UK this summer. 

Catching Up (#163)

This blog comes a few days late for a very good reason. I’ve been enjoying myself being home and ad quite a bit going on. I’ve done this once before but I’ll use my journal to catch up and keep my gratitude list promise.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Being prepared
  2. Lunch with my mom
  3. Heart to hearts
  4. The cleansing rain
  5. My friends who check in
  6. Safe flights
  7. A good plan
  8. Naps when I can take them
  9. A little support
  10. Time with my family
  11. People who are on time
  12. The tree outside my home I used to climb
  13. Ashland Pizza Palace nights
  14. Sharing things
  15. Popcorn and movies
  16. Chill music and good headphones
  17. A clean car
  18. My opportunities at UMass
  19. People who believe in me
  20. Peace and quiet
  21. Time to journal
  22. A good night’s rest
  23. Home cooked meals
  24. My team at Essex
  25. The precious present


As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.


Featured image of a rose given to me one night in London. I enjoy filling this page with color and this certainly does the job. 

Speak It Into Your Existence (#156)

How many thoughts do you think you have in a single day?

How many of them are positive and encouraging? How many of them do you tell yourself that you are capable and loved?

There’s a lot to be grateful for but I think that all starts with the self-talk that goes on in our heads. It stems from our routines and our habits. It extends to our relationships and communication. Be the person you want others to be for you. Be kind. Be honest. It starts with us. We have that power. Let’s use it for good.


Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Funny stories and fond memories
  2. New friends
  3. Time outside
  4. Delicious food
  5. Lessons learned from sports
  6. My supervisor, Adam
  7. Unquestioning support
  8. Time to organize my music
  9. Starting work tomorrow!
  10. Sharing gratitude
  11. Talking things out
  12. Inspiration
  13. Interesting Netflix Documentaries
  14. Creators
  15. Checking in
  16. When it’s honest and from the heart
  17. Coaches, mentors, and role models
  18. My dad, for so many years of love and support
  19. The power of music
  20. A little help and direction
  21. A new belief
  22. Time to breath
  23. A hot shower
  24. Pleasent surprises
  25. The here and now


As always, check out my first blog, 25 Things I’m Grateful For (#1) to know why I’m writing this list and why I want you to start yours.


Featured image of me in New York after my first day at Swift Kick. I thought it only appropriate to highlight how change and new beginnings can bring so much learning and growth into our lives. As I start a new chapter tomorrow, I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had and the support that’s helped me get here.