Dear friends, 

I’m writing to you with a full brain. I am knee deep in studying for my licensure exam. It’s been interesting studying for this test. It’s almost as if I’m dusting off old books that have been stored in the attic of my brain. I keep finding myself saying, “Oh right. THIS theorist!” It’s been kind of exciting to know that the knowledge hasn’t gone anywhere, it’s just been buried under other things. With that said, I’ve been fighting off so much anxiety around this test. It’s an important test in my career, probably the most important test of my late 20s. In reality, if I don’t pass it I can take it again. However, I really want to come from the mindset of the only option is to pass. The test itself is expensive and preparing for it has been taxing on my mental and emotional state. 

I’ve been thinking about gratitude every single day. I know that I have gotten off track in terms of posting about what I’m grateful for each day. I do continue to wake each morning and be grateful for so much. A snoozing Adder, snuggled up next to me keeping my body warm and her cute face keeping my heart warm. I’m grateful for heat from the radiator as well as warm sunlight. I’m grateful to look forward to going into work, as it has kept my mind occupied during this tough emotional time. I’m grateful for all of the people in my life who support me always. I’m grateful for deep, cleansing breaths. I could go on and on and on. 

Three important things have happened within the past two days that have brought me to tears. I had the privilege to be invited to attend a talent show for one of the kids that I work with. He choreographed an incredible dance that left the entire audience on their feet. I was so moved by how joyous and passionate he was during the performance. He was completely lit up the entire time, reveling in the spotlight. Afterwards when he saw my work partner and I, he ran towards us with a gigantic grin on his face. Leaping into my arms he gave me a huge hug, stating that he was so glad that we had come. What a fantastic evening to be a part of. I feel like his joy and gratitude will stick with me for the next few days. 

This morning I woke up to a Facebook post by one of my oldest friends. She stated that her daughter was reciting the things she didn’t like: monsters and crocodiles, and then she also stated the things she did like: me. I was so moved and touched by this. This young girl is adorable and I am such a huge fan of her. Unfortunately, I only get to see her a couple of times a year since I don’t live in my home state anymore. It is incredible to me that she is able to remember me. That in all of the people she could name to like, that I was the one who popped into her head. I felt humbled knowing that I have such an impact on her, even after months of not seeing me. Just goes to show that I can leave an impression on people. That interactions no matter how far apart they are, can totally matter in a three year old’s world. 

Last night, after the talent show I went to see one of my favorite bands. During their encore the lead singer said something that was so moving. He asked everyone in the crowd to take all of the bad and gross stuff that has been weighing them down and to imagine crushing it into a ball in the bottom of our hearts. He then asked us to reach our hands up to the sky pushing that ball out of our hearts and into our arms, feeling it travel through our arms, past our elbows, into our hands, and then into our fingers, releasing it into the sky for it to dissipate. He then asked us to focus on the space left in our hearts. To focus on the openness and that all that was left was warmth and goodness. It was totally powerful. I felt the energy shift in the room after that. And then everyone went nuts dancing to the last song. I’m still feeling the openness in my heart today. Wow. 

I don’t know what it is, if it’s the combination of all of these events or what. I feel really contemplative, humbled and loved this afternoon. 

Today I am grateful for:

Realizing my impact in my relationships with others. 
My job and the meaningful work I get to engage in everyday.
The connectedness I feel when at a show. Everyone coming together and feeding off of each other’s energy. 
My own self care and belief in myself.
Combating anxiety with interval training on the treadmill- stops worrying thoughts in their tracks! 
The possibility for reconnection.