The big 3-5

I'm currently sitting in a Lisbon hotel waiting for the clock to strike midnight and mark the start of my 35th birthday. Since birthdays are typically a day where you say thank you for gifts you receive, I just want to show a little gratitude today for a few of the more significant blessings I'll be taking with me on my new journey around the sun. 

And since I'm now midway through my fourth decade, I thought I'd narrow this down to the three (and-a-half) things I'm most grateful for that have come my way in the past year.

1) I'm really grateful for my boyfriend. Yeah, yeah, I know that's schmaltzy, and I never thought I'd be one of those girls. But - literally - I never thought I'd have the opportunity to be one of those girls. I spent my entire twenties single. I mean, really, really, depressingly single. Then from ages 30-33, I was in an on-and-off relationship that, looking back, I can only describe as "not-at-all-healthy." Then I got dumped, moved to London, and was really, really single again for over a year. So I guess what I'm saying is, it is possible to meet someone who is kind, who makes you laugh, who challenges you, and who makes you feel good about yourself ... even well into your thirties (or beyond!) It's supposed to be easy, I kept telling myself whenever I imagined what a good relationship would look like. And as I found out this year - when you get it right - it really is easy.

2) I'm really grateful for my experience training as a yoga teacher. I've blogged about this a lot this year, and yeah, I'm disappointed that I've barely taught since then, but the feeling of awe is real. I've never enjoyed learning about anything this much before. It brought a lot of emotions to the surface, helped me continue to get to know myself better, and gave me hope and clues that just maybe, there's something out there for me.

3) I'm really grateful for this blog. I'm grateful that I've stuck it out, and that it proves to me I am someone who can get things done, who can be motivated and creative. I've found importance in something that virtually no one else even knows about, and I've put a little piece of myself into all 324 entries thus far, and goddamn it, I'm a writer. Not a published one, nor a successful one, nor even a good one. But I write because it means something to me, and this blog is my proof. Happy Moments, warts and all. 

3.5) I'm continuously grateful for this life, even when it frustrates, angers, or saddens me. The fact that I even have Happy Moments to write about - that I have a terrific family, crazy-wonderful friends, a roof over my head, money coming in, opportunities, and even scary unknowns is pretty wonderful. Call me a walking cliché, but there you have it. I don't say thank you enough for all that, so here it goes: Thank. You.

And with that, let's get this party started.

Joëlle, 35 and still growing