Why Reflection Is Important (#15)

Tonight is my last night in Los Angeles and there is a lot to be grateful for. Each day was beholden and full of new learning, new experiences, and new people. This was so far from what I expected when I got on a plane two days after booking my flight and planning my trip.

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I need to thank my Uncle Jeff and Karen for letting me stay with them for this amount of time. Typically, I only see my Uncle on Christmas so spending this time with him and connecting with my family has been incredible. Karen has been such a bright light and we have had numerous conversations about life and spirituality that I will remember and appreciate.

DSC_0240.JPGI want to talk about reflection because it is an essential part of learning. You don’t need to journal daily or write a blog about your day, but it is important to think back on experiences you’ve had and what you took from them. Maybe those instances did align with your expectations, maybe it was completely different similar to my situation. Whatever it was, learning happens when we go over what was presented. It almost is like homework for yourself in a sense to remember everything that happened in a day but can be crucial to your own development.

fullsizeoutput_3852I got to do so many cool things this week in LA and will definitely be making time to come back and visit again. We meditated every morning, I tried new foods and drank more tea. I was open to new experiences and because of that, I felt like I got more out of the trip. There were times my Uncle and I didn’t see eye to eye but we were both spending real time together for the first time in our lives as adults. There are things I’m going to hold on to and bring back to Massachusetts that I want to share with my friends and staff. I’m grateful for so many conversations that changed my perspective and opened my mind.

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Tomorrow I head back to Massachusetts to start up my second semester of Graduate School. Going to LA for a week was a great escape but I am excited to come home. In many different ways, my 2018 starts again. I’m excited about the new opportunities and challenges with my staff, with my family, and with my friends. I’m excited about new learning and fun memories with all of those same people. I just have to remind myself to be patient and take it all one day at a time in the process.

01.07.18

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. Flourless chocolate cake
  2. Playing soccer growing up
  3. A day at the spa
  4. My family
  5. In N Out Cheeseburgers
  6. Comfy sweatshirts
  7. The neck pillow I’ll use to sleep on the plane
  8. Late night diners
  9. New Music Friday and Spotify Discover Weekly
  10. Time at the gym
  11. Waking up moments before my alarm to turn it off before it wakes me up
  12. The feeling after 10 deep breaths
  13. My time in Los Angeles with my Uncle, Karen, Erica, and my dog cousin Shayna
  14. Clear days and starry nights
  15. Dinsey and Pixar animated movies
  16. New England sports teams
  17. Having my mom work at the school that I attended K-12
  18. Whenever my brother sends me his artwork
  19. Happy dreams and unmistakable signs from the Universe
  20. A good pencil box in elementary school
  21. My mom’s cooking
  22. My student staff that I work with at UMass Amherst
  23. Patient people
  24. My newest pair of noise cancelling headphones
  25. My west coast adventure and the people who made it special

Start Your List (#12)

It doesn’t have to be 25, it doesn’t even have to be 10. Finding time to think about gratitude at the end of your day can be powerful and if it’s just one thing, one person, that makes you thankful then I think that’s important.

01.04.18

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. Soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies
  2. My dad and the rest of my family
  3. The time and space I need as an introvert
  4. Fresh air and sunshine
  5. Naps of all lengths of time
  6. The support I get from my friends
  7. Gym time on vacation
  8. Music with relatable and powerful lyrics
  9. Dogs of all kinds (sorry Ned)
  10. Discovering new blogs!
  11. Trying new foods
  12. Tools that support my mental health
  13. My immunity to poison ivy
  14. A full moon on a cloudless night
  15. Lewis Watson and The Morning album
  16. A good night’s rest and waking up feeling refreshed
  17. Patient people who are willing to talk things out
  18. The creation of Honey Mustard
  19. The feeling I get when I look down at my beads from Cambodia
  20. My internship with Swift Kick and my ‘intern soulmate’, Sami
  21. Donuts after basketball games with my dad
  22. A moment to breath
  23. Taking the time to be prepared
  24. Soup when I’m sick
  25. To be where I am

No Expectations (#9)

Today was perfect. It was the first full day with my Uncle in LA and we did so much. Packing so much into one day has left me exhausted but grateful above all else.

Coming into this trip I had no idea what to expect. I thought this vacation was going to go one way and it has gone in a very different direction. I’m so happy with how my time has been spent here and none of it was planned this way.

To me, this emphasizes the need to live in the present. Let go of expectations of the future and the rigidity involved in making plans. Let life happen and go with the flow. Be grateful for each moment along the way and it won’t matter if your day is planned to the second or you just have an idea of what you’d like to do. Take a deep breath, and make the most of every moment.

This was the best way to start my 2018 and I hope you were able to do the same.

01.01.18

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. Morning mediation
  2. Organic fruit and healthy food
  3. Funny stories and uncontrollable laughter
  4. Hidden restaurants and delicious food
  5. Unexpected hikes
  6. Family of all kinds
  7. The feeling after you brush your teeth
  8. Peanut butter
  9. Nights on the balcony watching the sun go down
  10. Drunk texts from my brother
  11. People who share their gratitude with me!
  12. Sunday mornings in bed
  13. The feeling after a finished to-do list
  14. Home-made Pizza
  15. The warmth of the sun on my skin and the beautiful weather in LA
  16. The stars and how they connect us all
  17. Five Guys Burgers
  18. Nature and the great outdoors
  19. People with kind and gentle hearts
  20. Neck pillows for flights across the country
  21. Sharing pictures and experiences
  22. Harry Potter Movie Marathons
  23. Any kind of dessert
  24. People who give good hugs
  25. The promise of a new year and new opportunities

First Steps (#7)

As I start my time out here in LA, I am so incredibly grateful just to be here. The sun is warm and my body feels new energy with each breath. As much as I love being home and everything about Massachusetts, change is both important and necessary. I had an honest conversation with my mom before I left and we talked about stepping outside my comfort zone. There haven’t been many moments in my life where I have branched out because most times I live cautiously with a guarded heart. Yesterday, I made the conscious choice this was something I needed. I am trying to embrace this feeling of freedom and I hope to act on it again and again as I move forward in life.

I’m excited to share more stories and pictures from my time here! Also figuring out what time and when to post the blog while I’m here so thank you for your patience. 

12.30.17

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. West Coast Smashburger
  2. Extra legroom on long flights
  3. Friendly faces and new connections
  4. Increasing independence
  5. Meaningful dreams
  6. Good music and new playlists
  7. A warm sun (sorry Massachusetts)
  8. A good stretch in the morning to start my day
  9. New adventures and new experiences
  10. My Family but especially my Uncle for so many reasons
  11. Conversations that go beyond small talk
  12. The Good / Better / Best for a day
  13. A beautiful sky with the promise of more
  14. Anytime I can brag about TB12 and my Patriots
  15. People in LA who don’t mind when I ask for help or direction
  16. Puppies of all kinds
  17. Safe flights. Taking off and landing will always stress me out
  18. Having the opportunity to learn about different religions and beliefs
  19. Not having social media anymore, it is freeing
  20. Being able to grow a beard, my face is always warm and it’s great
  21. Music by Tash Sultana (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVDJ8O3lPBA)
  22. An ocean breeze
  23. Our National and State Parks, nature is important
  24. A good pair of sweatpants
  25. Inspiration in all forms

Time To Make Time (#6)

What’s something you always wish you had more time for? We only have 24 hours in a day and far too often, it doesn’t feel like it’s enough. With another 3 hours in a day, who knows!? We might be able to pursue interests and hobby’s, become professionals doing what we love. Unfortunately, that 24 hours thing seems pretty set in stone. That leaves us with only one option, you have to make time.

Tomorrow is a mystery and continually saying we’ll make time for that trip abroad “one day” just won’t cut it. Set a goal, identify the steps, and like I said yesterday, don’t give up.

Whether this means you have to wake up earlier, manage your time better, or let something go, your bucket list isn’t going to accomplish itself. So I’ll ask again, what’s something you want to make time for in the new year? Why not start tomorrow?

12.29.17

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. Clearing my head at the gym
  2. Dancing in the rain
  3. New adventures
  4. What patience brings
  5. Warm clothes from the dryer
  6. My discover weekly on Spotify
  7. My family and their constant encouragement
  8. My favorite RA floor partner, Stenie Simon
  9. My fellow SOCs, past, present, and future
  10. My very comfy mattress pad
  11. Living in Shea Durgin
  12. Dr. Kevin Curry and everything about Cambodia
  13. A good pair of goggles that doesn’t let water seep in when you dive in
  14. Blue Gatorade because it’s obviously the best flavor, even though blue isn’t a flavor…
  15. New personal records
  16. People who encourage your ‘best self’
  17. Homemade food
  18. Piano lessons when I was younger. It helps me appreciate real musicians that much more
  19. When you lucid dream
  20. Warm days and cold nights
  21. That day I snuck into the movies with my friends, only to find out we went to the wrong movie
  22. Soccer tournaments with my team
  23. Honest people
  24. Travel and everything you learn along the way
  25. My process

Tomorrow I’m traveling to Los Angeles to stay with my Uncle! I’m excited to share pictures and stories while I’m there.

Don’t Ever Give Up (#5)

Resiliency.

Perseverance.

Endurance.

People have a tendency to give in when things get hard. You question yourself, your direction, and your purpose when the answer has always been right in front of you. Faith. Faith is unique to every individual you come across. Whether you believe in God, The Universe, or a giant spaghetti monster in the sky, do not lose hope and do not falter. You hold these beliefs for a reason. You’ve made it this far, for a reason. It’s hard to trust the unknown. It’s hard to put faith in tomorrow when today may have seemingly failed you. That’s up to you to decide. Gratitude allows us to find the value in each day. Gratitude can be the fuel you need to keep going when you’re going through hell.

Don’t ever give up. (motivational video link)

It’s easy to make excuses. It’s easy to say this is too hard and too much work. You stand in the face of opposition and it feels like your entire world is closing in on you. The self-doubt you hear in your head spreads like a virus to the point of indecision. Paralyzed with fear, it’s easier just to give up and call it quits. You can make yourself feel better by resorting back to old habits and feeling comfortable again. Let me say it loud enough for the people in the back.

DON’T GIVE UP.

12.28.17

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. My cat Ned
  2. Unpopped bubble wrap
  3. Songs that make you think
  4. A moment of peace to meditate
  5. The support I get from my friends
  6. Autosave when my laptop crashes
  7. A good lazy river
  8. Not only feeling heard but understood as well
  9. Peanut Butter Sandwiches
  10. Walks in my local state park
  11. Memories on Cape Cod
  12. 10 Deep Breaths
  13. Both years of working Orientation at BSU (shoutout to my secret OL x2)
  14. Warped Tour Music
  15. All 67,106 yards and 493 touchdowns Tom Brady has thrown in his career (postseason included)
  16. The fact that I no longer sleepwalk around my house in the night
  17. The smell of burgers on the grill in the summer
  18. Foam rollers and good stretches
  19. My fam
  20. Discovering new places
  21. Laying on the quad and sitting on the Boyden steps
  22. When your airplane finally lands safely because flying stresses me out
  23. An empty email inbox
  24. Signs from the Universe
  25. My process and being exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Just The List (#4)

I love writing and it’s something that truly helps me process but I think I’m still learning about how I want to use this blog. I want to keep true to my pledge and will continue to share my gratitude list to hopefully inspire your own, but today I don’t have as much to say.

I know every day has the opportunity to be a new and great adventure. What we choose to pursue, the paths we choose to take, it all matters. Jelly Beans may not seem like the perfect metaphor for time but this is one of my favorite videos. Spend your time meaningfully and be grateful when you can. Think about all the great adventures you’ve already been on and all the adventures still to come. That’s certainly something to be thankful for.

12.27.17

Today I’m grateful for…

  1. Popcorn and movie nights
  2. RHA Wednesdays
  3. Noise cancelling headphones
  4. Smiling until your face hurts
  5. Cheesy Mozzarella Sticks
  6. Hikes in Washington
  7. Drinking games
  8. Moments of learning
  9. Mambo Number 5
  10. Leadership education
  11. Waking up for the sunrise
  12. How far I’ve come. My process and my growth.
  13. Live music
  14. A clean apartment
  15. Working with my Peer Mentors
  16. Spending time with my family
  17. NPR Tiny Desk music
  18. Hanging out with my cat
  19. Good vibes
  20. Being an RA at BSU, it was the first step to getting involved and changing my life
  21. Boston Celtics Basketball
  22. Fluffy pancakes and fat omelettes
  23. Having my dad coach all my different teams growing up.
  24. Getting a sweet parking space
  25. The here and now