Guess what? TODAY’S MY BIRTHDAY! May 29th is the best day ever 😀 Before I start to express my gratitude for having the privilege of living through one more year, I would like to announce the winner of my Spartan Race giveaway! The winner is Jasper!! Congratulations! Jasper was emailed this morning with the code for his free race registration. After a long, difficult year, it feels good to be turning over a new leaf. I can’t believe that I’m 27 – an age that feels so incredibly old to me. It’s awfully close to 30, but for the first time, it feels like I’ve really grown into the age that I am. I finally have a career I’m passionate about and feel really good about my life – even though it’s terrifying for me to go through these “growing pains.” The changes I’ve made in my life this year have set the stage for a future I am truly excited for. Growing older doesn’t have to be scary – especially when I’m aggressively following my passions and doing the best I can. I’m grateful that I took a leap of faith 3 years ago. I started graduate school 3 years ago and now I have a job that challenges me in the exactly the ways I want/need to be challenged. Changing my path was a LONG transition and it looks like I still have a long way to go, but that’s what life is about, right? At least, that’s my view – we need to constantly challenge ourselves and continue to set goals. Life would be boring otherwise! I’m grateful for the good and bad times that I experienced at age 26. This year was so tough – probably the hardest year of my life and in unexpected ways. I thought my internship would be hard, but that was nothing compared to leaving my former coworkers, having my mom in the hospital for over 4 months, my boyfriend moving an hour away, and losing my beloved cat, Molly… among other things. It was a lot for me to take in and I am not the same person I was one year ago. I’m a little more jaded, but I’ve learned that it’s important to not let life get me down. I’ve got a long way to go 🙂 I’m grateful for the letter I wrote myself 6 months ago. My internship class professor had us write letters to ourselves at the end of the fall semester. We opened them during class on Wednesday evening and I was surprised at how positive my letter was. I was so kind to myself, which is odd because I’m normally tough on myself. I think of my letter as a sign that I trusted myself and knew I’d do a good job at my internship. It was just what I needed to read this week! I’m grateful for rainbows that always come after rain 🙂 cheesy, I know, but this is true. After being a workaholic and dealing with other stress this year, it feels like I am finally seeing the rainbow after a storm. Plus, I saw an actual rainbow the other day and took it as a sign that everything is going to work out. I’m grateful that I got to spend Memorial Day Weekend with my family. I’m grateful for training plans because they really help me stay in shape! I’m grateful that I get to become a marathoner for the second time this year! I’m grateful for endorphins. A good run turns a bad day around quickly! I’m grateful that I get to spend my birthday weekend with Andy! I’m grateful that Andy and I just got invited to another wedding! I love weddings, what can I say? I just thought of this one because the photo above is from a wedding, haha. I’m grateful that Andy and I are already looking for apartments! It’s so much fun looking at places we might live in the very near future 😀 I’m grateful for my new job. It’s incredibly challenging, which gives me a lot of anxiety, but it’s also just what I needed. I’m also grateful for my internship. I feel incredibly empowered by my supervisor and other coworkers to grow as a clinician. It’s so sad that I’ll be done there in less than 2 months, but then I’ll have a full-time job already! I can’t believe it. I’m grateful for these people… … And these people … … And these people … … And these cuties … … And all of my college friends … … And my friend, Annie, who made my new header for Mel’s Miles 😀 … … And my friend, Sara, who always inspires me to race more and helped me set up this blog in the first place… … And you lovely people who read my blog! <3 I’m grateful for all of life’s challenges because, without them, I’d be bored out of my mind! Here’s to 27! I can’t wait to see what this year will bring! What’s your favorite kind of birthday cake? What did you do to celebrate your last birthday? What are you grateful for today?