To off-set the negative tone my blog (and life) has seemed to have taken the past couple months I have decided to make a list (shocking I know) of all the wonderful blessings that I have. Because despite all my disappointments and challenges the past year I do have a wonderful, amazing life, I have just been to caught up in my "poor, pathetic life" to remember that sometimes. I am grateful for Tim, my "adopted dad" who loves me enough to remind me how lucky I am to have the life that I have, despite all the crap that occasionally poops on me all at once. So even though it is not Thanksgiving here is a list of why I love my life.
1. I live in America where there are strangers (and some friends) who are willing to fight for my freedoms.
2. I have had the opportunity to live and teach English in Kunming China, and Changzhou China. LIVE, not just travel to, stopped in on a layover, or seen on a map, I had a legit address where I could send and receive mail.
3. I have family and friends all over the country that love me. This is an easy one to forget, especially on days like today when I am alone, but it is true. I have roommates from freshman year who still call to see how I am doing. I have people from Spring Summit who know me better than anyone and continue to laugh at my silly stories. I have friends from China who send my texts to let me know they are thinking about me. I have a best friend who picks up my stolen car even thought it takes 3 hours and who calls to tell me how excited she is to see me again. I have "adopted" families who count me as one of their "daughters" and will drive 4 hours to see me graduate from college. I have a mom and grandma who will drop everything they are doing to help me and will make me anything I want when I come home to visit. I couldn't imagine my life without these wonderful people in my life.
4. I have graduated from college and become a certified therapeutic recreation specialist, I have a wonderful career in that field straight out of college. I get to work with precious babies and toddlers everyday and help enrich their lives.
5. I have had the opportunity to live on the beach in Hawaii (seriously the beach was my backyard). I regret ever taking it for granted, it could have been one of the best experiences of my life. Regardless I am still grateful for the chance I had to do something that I have always wanted to do (despite the fact that I gained 15 pounds while I was there). Hopefully one day my path will lead me back to Hawaii.
Sunrise from my backyard
6. I had the opportunity to participate in a 35 day expedition to Southern Utah with 15 of the greatest people I have ever met. During this trip I learned that I am physically, emotionally, and spiritually capable of doing anything that I desire, I am actually worth something, and finally that our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth for us to enjoy. As cheesy as this sounds I learned to laugh, live, and love, for which I am eternally grateful. This trip is the single event that changed my life.
A year ago this month I was graduating from college,
A year ago this month I always had somebody to eat Sunday dinner with,
A year ago this month I was making silly music videos to Hercules songs (go here),
A year ago this month my time was filled with bon fires, game nights, hiking, boating, canyoneering, white water rafting, roommate bonding, movie nights, and occasionally some homework,
A year ago this month I lived with 5 amazing girls who I knew would do anything for me,
A year ago this month I was running 5 days a week,
A year ago this month I knew I had at least 10 people I could go to if I ever needed help,
A year ago this month I lived in one of the most beautiful places on earth,
A year ago this month I was ready to move on and live my life,
This month I would give anything to be where I was a year ago.
Cleveland has not been an easy move. As a dear friend told me this week, "Everything always poops on you all at once..." She is in fact right after all in the past 4 months 2 weeks and 5 days I have....
~had my car with 99% of my belongings stolen the day before I moved across the country
~ moved across the country anyways and started a new job
~received word that my car was found with "all my belongings"
~found out that not all of my belongings were in my car
~had to wait (and continue to wait) to get my belongings back
~had my computer crash resulting in losing a good chunk of my pictures, documents, and music
~continued to have a ridiculously hard time making new friends
~had migraines almost every day for the first 3 months I lived here
~had a very painful and unpleasant wisdom teeth extraction
~an infection in my L cornea
Lucky for me I have a knowledge of the gospel and the Savior's atonement which makes all of these disappointments and trials bearable. As I have journeyed through life I have taken many different paths, most of which I have wanted to take and some of which the Lord has given me the opportunity to take (such as Cleveland). There is always something to learn from each experience, I need to find out what he wants me to learn here.