9. My brother - I'm thankful for the coolest little brother in the world and the amazing experience of watching him become a father for the first time.
10. My extended family - I'm so lucky to be surrounded by so many interesting, compassionate, and passionate people who I would CHOOSE to be around even if they weren't related to me.
11. My childhood home - It's amazing that I grew up in a space that has always welcomed family and friends with open arms, a clean bed, and some good company. I am especially grateful that I was also able to get married in this home just a couple weeks ago.
12. The written word - It sustains me, it makes me feel alive, it brings me peace.
13. Being able to enjoy nature on a regular basis.
14. Family vacations.
15. My nieces and nephews - I'm discovering that being an aunt is one of the most awesome roles I've ever had in life.
16. Old friends who love me no matter what.
17. New friends who keep me going when I'm living so far away from my family.
18. The roof over my head. It's something I really try to not take for granted.
19. Technology, especially its ability to keep me connected, informed, and inspired.
20. Having the freedom to marry the man I love. One day, I hope anyone in the world will be able to marry the person he or she loves. Period.
21. Airplanes. Seriously. Living so far away from my family is hard for me, but knowing that I can get on a plane and be home in 6 or 7 hours gives me a comfort that sustains me when I'm feeling most homesick.
22. My colleagues. I have the opportunity to work with so many incredible people.
23. Becoming a vegan. It's one of the best things I've done for my health and well-being in recent years. It also doesn't hurt that I'm helping out the planet and living out some important values - like compassion - in the process.
24. My car. Living on the outskirts of a sprawling metropolis makes me appreciate the freedom my car gives me. Ideally, I'd be able to ride my bike or walk everywhere I needed or wanted to, but until that happens, I'll take my little car.
25. My education. Today at the graduation ceremony for the college I work with, we were reminded that less than 30% of all Americans have a bachelor's degree and less than 3% have a doctorate degree. Education is a privilege many people never have the opportunity to pursue, and I work hard to live out the belief that with great privilege comes great responsibility.
26. Changing seasons. I grew up in a place where the seasons don't change that much and one of the things I love about where I live now is the way the seasons change. It reminds me that beauty comes in many different forms, that life is cyclical, and that sunshine always comes after the rain.
30. All the other people, places, experiences, and ideas that enrich me, sustain me, and remind me that this life really is an incredible journey.