With The World At My Feet

Hello Internet!

Happy holidays to those that celebrate. Otherwise, I hope you are enjoying your spring weekend in fun and inventive ways. Yesterday was a big day for me. After what has been two years of graduate school, one semester of writing, and months upon weeks of planning my presentation, I have successfully completed and presented my Integrative Thesis Recommendations. This assignment has loomed over me and consumed my time and energy for far too long now and I’m grateful to be done.

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I couldn’t have done it without these people among many others. Something I have learned through this process is the importance of asking for help. This project was a culmination of long nights and worried weekends. The support and encouragement given to me was the fuel I needed to march on.

“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” – T.S. Elliot

My hope is that with the conclusion of my research I can propel myself into whatever comes next. Uncertainty continues to mark my visions of the future. Maybe I learn to poorly play the violin, the instrument’s strings wailing under the pressure of my practice. Maybe learning a new language would be most fulfilling. Exploring new corners of the Earth I have yet to consider simply by listening. Whatever comes next, it is time I am most eager to learn about.

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost

I’m not interested in easy and I detest the idea of being average. I hope to change the world in extraordinary imperfect ways with time as my accomplice. One day at a time.

Back In Time (#008)

Yesterday I realized my total number of blog posts didn’t match the corresponding number. I went back through and realized this trend started because it took less than 10 days for me to miscount to the correct number lol.

Because it’s three numbers I missed, each will have a theme. #008 is all about a blast from the past. Gratitude for what got me here and what has made me who I am today.

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Soccer practice after school
  2. Playing in the culdesac
  3. Guitar hero and DDR with friends
  4. Walks home from school
  5. Board game nights with the family
  6. My parents letting me decorate my room
  7. Basketball in the driveway
  8. Sledding down the hill
  9. Top 10 plays in the morning
  10. Weekend cartoons
  11. Being an RA, so much has come from taking advantage of this opportunity
  12. Mentors and good supervisors
  13. My family
  14. Stereo and CD jams
  15. Running through town before school
  16. Nights at the train station
  17. Starlight exploration
  18. Theatre arts classes and after school musicals
  19. Middle school band memories
  20. Home cooked meals and summer grilling
  21. Our Disney World vacation
  22. Life lessons about trust
  23. Visiting family on the west coast
  24. Late night ice cream
  25. Formative years and learning from experiences

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.

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Practice, Practice, Practice (#282)

Just like anything, gratitude takes practice. Repetition helps us learn skills. For example, I’ve been working on handstands for the past month and I’ve seen real progress.

It’s taken me a lot of work to just get this far and I know I have a long way to go before I hit my goals. Gratitude works in the same way for me.

I’m constantly trying to find gratitude in little moments and unfortunate circumstances. I’m training my brain to use positivity to reshape my thoughts and experiences because I’m working towards a goal of living a happier life. You don’t have to master these things in a day. It’s a practice and that requires your time and attention every day until you get it right.

10.15.18

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Granola Bars in the morning
  2. Positivity
  3. Green plants and trees
  4. Nighttime stretching
  5. A clear sky and a warm day
  6. Waking up next to my cat
  7. A clean apartment
  8. Runs through campus
  9. The changing colors of fall
  10. Anything shared
  11. A couple deep breaths
  12. Intentionality and meaning
  13. Progress and growth
  14. Lessons time teaches you
  15. My family
  16. Kindness and understanding
  17. Good timing
  18. Teachers and mentors
  19. Learning new things
  20. Music you can dance to
  21. Trust and patience
  22. Sleeping in
  23. Time to journal
  24. UMass Amherst
  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.

Keep It Up (#277)

If you need to hear it from someone, let that person be me.

You’re doing a great job.

What you do, matters.

Just take it one day at a time.

Thank you for being you.

10.08.18

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Clean water
  2. Big comfy sweatshirts
  3. Safe travels
  4. My family for making me laugh
  5. Car rides with my cat (I’m serious!)
  6. A clean apartment
  7. Good surprises
  8. Doing things for others
  9. Time at the gym
  10. Great teachers
  11. Morning bike rides with Julie
  12. A couple deep breaths
  13. My local grocery store
  14. Late night ice cream
  15. A clear night to see the stars
  16. Instrumentals to put me to sleep
  17. Warm, clean laundry
  18. Hot showers
  19. UMass Amherst and my continued education
  20. Good coaches and mentors
  21. What patience brings
  22. Naps in Iceland
  23. My fraternity brothers
  24. Sleeping in
  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 from the first sunrise in Maine!

Gratitude in Remembrance (#263)

09.11.18

For my American readers, today is a day we all know too well. I was too young to remember any of the images but what I do remember is my parents. My mom, in tears desperately trying to reach my dad. Teachers at school, stunned. My heart goes out to those impacted by today and I have gratitude for the first responders who gave their lives.

We can use gratitude in so many different ways and we feel it for so many different reasons. But today, I just want to say thank you.

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. Spotify Discover Weekly
  2. Home made anything
  3. The fan keeping me cool
  4. The green trees in western Mass
  5. The view from my balcony
  6. Hot tea in the morning
  7. Time to read
  8. Shared silence
  9. Getting things done
  10. Tubing in the winter
  11. Singing in the car
  12. Safe travels
  13. Good health
  14. Peanut butter sandwiches
  15. Good parking and no traffic
  16. Getting rides to school in the morning from my mom
  17. Bike rides with my family
  18. Learning new things
  19. Games in gym class
  20. Chocolate desserts
  21. Being busy
  22. Staff meeting
  23. Life map timelines
  24. My Kennedy peer mentors
  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 the Liverpool Dock

My First Day (#256)

Today was my 20th “first day of school”. Hard to believe it very well may be my last. From getting dropped off at the bus in the morning to a full-time graduate student course load, this year is special to me.

I have A LOT of gratitude for every single one of my teachers and professors from over the years. My mother is a teacher so from an early age I understood the care and energy that goes into working with students. Whether or not the teacher may have been the most effective, I’m grateful. For each one worked hard and gave their time because they believe in the power of education. Here’s to all the first days of school.

09.04.18

Today I’m Grateful For…

  1. My family
  2. Backyard sports
  3. FaceTimes before bed
  4. Learning new things
  5. Running music
  6. Time for photography
  7. My introvert time
  8. Crimson memories
  9. Summers working at camp
  10. Carpools with Carley
  11. Time at the gym
  12. The feeling of crossing things off my to-do list
  13. My supervisor, Adam
  14. The vibrant sunset
  15. Weekend bike rides
  16. Saturday morning premier league
  17. What hard work brings
  18. Doing things together
  19. Walking to the beach
  20. A little competition
  21. Honest communication
  22. Speaking at commencement
  23. My mentors and role models
  24. Cheap textbooks
  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 from a year ago! One year in, one to go.

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.

08.03.18

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.

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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.