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parker lake june lake tree pose

Hi, my name is Rachel, and as of today, I am twenty-eight years old.

Weird, weird, weird. 

I have to keep reminding myself that in the scope of life, I'm still relatively young. Each phase of life feels like the oldest I'll ever be, and then I prove myself wrong and keep on getting older (knock on wood times a million). 

I thought it would be fitting to start my twenty-ninth year of life with a little bit of gratefulness for how good I have it, and how lucky I am to be alive. Many of you have probably seen the status update challenge called 7 Days of Gratitude going around on Facebook; my friend Staci nominated me to do that challenge, and I failed completely. I struggle with gratitude. It's near the top of the (very long) list of things about myself that I'm working on. So, in lieu of a bunch of status updates or a deep post about how it feels to get older, I've decided to compile a list of 28 gratitudes that I've been mentally collecting over the past couple of weeks. Ready, set, go. 

I am grateful for:

1. My health (despite being a ridiculous hypochondriac and avid peruser of WebMD for far too many years).

2. My large, relatively sane, intact family.

3. My community of friends, far and wide.

4. Toby. I'm 99% sure he is the only person on this earth who could ever truly put up with my craziness to the extent that he does. You guys don't even know. 

5. Hershey bars, Goldfish crackers, ravioli, whiskey, and ALL THE CHEESE. You are all the light of my life.

6. Having an extremely comfortable bed to fall asleep in every night. Sometimes I daydream about my bed during the day. 

7. Los Angeles. I complain about you too much, beautiful city. You're a little outta control, but I'm fulfilling one of my dreams by living in you, and I need to remind myself of that more often. 

8. My fantastic childhood.

9. The ability to travel, whether it's flying back home or driving up the coast or into the mountains. 

10. Freedom of movement. I have all of my limbs, they are all in working order, and I can run, jump, hike, swim, bend and climb to my heart's delight whenever I want. Working up a good sweat is one of the best feelings in the world. 

11. Rent control. 

12. Technology - my camera, my editing software, the internet, cell phones, television, laptops, all of it. It's addicting as hell, but it is an absolute marvel that we are able to do all of the things we do. 

13. Books, big and small. 

14. Access to water and food, even in the middle of a drought.

15. People I can trust no matter what.

16. Love.

17. Every single person and company who has ever offered me money to do any kind of job since I moved to LA. 

18. This blog, and my wonderful blog friends it has brought into my life. 

19. Nature. Awe-inspiring, relaxation-inducing, overwhelming nature, and everything it does to soothe my haggard soul. 

20. Music. 

21. The fact that I just finished paying off my car in August, and I now have an extra $162.25 to put towards all of my other bills every month. I may have screamed when I got the notification in the mail. 

22. My parents. They should have been at the top of this list. I'll never be able to express how much I respect and adore them for every single thing they have done for me, and for giving me the most amazing life. I love you guys with all my heart.  

23. Photography.

24. Rain, whenever and wherever it happens (it thunderstormed like a motherfucker when we were in the mountains this past weekend; lightning, hail, downpours, raindrops on the roof of our tent, and it was glorious).

25. My mind. It is anxious and constantly moving and it very often drives me crazy, but it works, and I know myself so well because of it. It is me. 

26. Thoughtful, constructive conversations that remind me I'm not alone in the world.

27. Whoever invented the tent. Seriously, give that person a gold medal and a lifetime supply of chocolate. 

28. All of you, dear blog readers.

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Happy first day of autumn, friends. Let's make it a good one.