I AM GRATEFUL
This year has been testing to say the least. I have traveled through seven different countries. I had to say goodbye to my Grandma. I left my life and love in Australia. I watched ten of my close friends say "I do" to their wonderful significant others. I created this website and began to share my story with the world. I visited Cuba and fell in love with the culture. I lost an incredible amount of weight and was in the best shape of my life. I explored parts of the United States I hadn't seen before. My mind was blown by Iceland and it's extreme beauty, but my heart was shattered four days into the trip. I lost my love to suicide. I struggled with depression and attended counseling. I trekked to an altitude of 5,416 meters on the Annapurna Circuit and fell in love with the healing energy of the Himalayas. I experienced the biggest gap of wealth in India with five star hotels next to slums learning constantly about the caste system and the daily practices of Indian culture. I have been the happiest I have ever been and then quickly back at my lowest of lows. I have made new friends around the globe and formed a family near and far. I turned twenty-seven and spent Christmas at home with loved ones. 2017 was a whirlwind and now 2018 is here. Is anyone else feeling as anxious and apprehensive about the future?
At the beginning of a new year many people take this time to write down goals and what they plan to accomplish in the coming year, I personally have no idea my direction or plan, but I will continue to travel in order to reach my goal of fifty countries by the age of thirty. Instead of writing down goals for this coming year I want to take this time to reflect on the positive things that have happened this year. 2017 was one of the hardest years of my life and I have been very open about how down and out of sorts I have been feeling so I feel it is important to write down what I am grateful for.
To start, I am grateful for my body. I am grateful for the ability to be able to wake up everyday and go on a run. It amazes me what the human body is capable of. It can endure much more than I ever thought possible. This year was a year of transformation for my body. I successfully lost over thirty pounds and feel great in my skin. This year I had the honor of visiting Nepal and trekking through the Himalayas for over 17 days in very high altitude. I am proud of the strength my body continues to exert and more importantly I am proud of the confidence I now have in my own skin.
I am grateful for the chance to visit seven countries this year. I started this year in my home away from home, beautiful Melbourne, Australia. No words can describe how much love I have for that country. I had one of the best years of my life exploring all around the land down under and I wouldn’t trade that time for the world. I am grateful for the time I was able to spend traveling around Indonesia with my friend Alanna. I am fortunate for the time I spent in Cuba and absorbing all of the rich culture. I am grateful for the chance to visit Iceland with two of my close friends. I am beyond blessed to have traveled with two of my guy friends through Nepal and India. These two countries have me in complete awe. I am grateful for the opportunity to travel through the states. A couple road trips allowed me to see Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Washington, Oregon, Florida, and Louisiana this year. The fact that I was laid off with an acquisition was the best thing that could have happened to me. It has given me the best gift of all. The gift of traveling. The gift of rebirth. I feel incredibly blessed to be able to say that I have successfully traveled through thirty countries in the last thirty-two months.
I am grateful for my support system. First and foremost, my family. Traveling has opened my eyes to how lucky I am to have grown up with loving parents and amazing siblings. My family unit is strong and they have given me incredible amounts of support from the beginning. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. Being able to come home to my family is the best part about traveling. I appreciate them more than they could ever imagine and I am so lucky they put up with my nonsense and continue to push me to do what makes me happy. I am lucky to have a witty grandpa and caring extended family who have also continued to support me through all of my endeavors. As I get older I realize how fortunate I am to have such amazing friends and now I have friends that span all around the globe. The connections and bonds I have with some of these beautiful souls cannot be replicated and I need them to know how much I love and care for them. I am grateful to have formed an Australian family and could not have gotten through this year without them. They know who they are and they have been consistent form of support that I could not survive without.
I am grateful some of my friends have found their soul mates and invited me to share their special days with them. This year I attended ten weddings of my close friends and my heart is so full for each of them and their significant others. Meeting your soul mate is not something everyone gets the chance to do. It is amazing to see such strong relationships at our young age.
I am grateful for my health and the health of my loved ones. After struggling with my eating disorder for so long I have always been fearful of the repercussions. Although there have been some minor illnesses and ailments throughout this past year, my loved ones and I are blessed to be able to wake up everyday and lead a healthy life.
I am beyond blessed to have had a beautiful relationship with my grandma, Ruth. There are no words to describe how special she was to so many people. Her heart was large and without her love I would not be who I am today. I am thankful the strokes took her quickly and allowed her to join the afterlife with minimal amounts of pain. I am fortunate to have such a caring guardian angel looking out for me from above.
I am grateful for the time I was able to spend with Jesse and find comfort in knowing I was his last love. Although my brain often plays tricks on me through this healing process, there is no doubt the love we shared for each other was real and strong. The moments I had with Jesse will forever be held in my heart. Although it breaks me to know I will never get to hear his laugh again, I know he is free of pain and living his best life in the spirit world. I am proud to have known and loved him while thanking my stars he chose to love me back.
The end of 2017 is daunting. I have been continuously telling myself and others that I cannot wait for the year to be over in hopes that 2018 will be brighter, but I now realize how scared I am for the new year. The unknown used to entice me, but this year I am a tiny bit fearful of the unknown. The heaviness in my heart has not lessened and I know it will continue into 2018 and that is okay. Adjusting to my new normal is something that I will continue to work on. I will continue to try to be a better person. This year has made me stronger and proven to me how fortunate I am to live the life I do. It has proved to me that although life is unfair at times, it doesn’t give you more than you can handle. I am strong. I am grateful. Happy New Year to all my friends and thank you for all the continuous support and love! I know 2018 will be better!