This blog has been stagnant for approximately 4 months. Initially, I wondered why I did not find interest in blogging about the things that I usually find delightful. I still enjoy reading others’ blogs, so why not keep nurturing my own. Upon reflection, I have determined that it is because I am missing a piece/peace of myself. For the past 4 months, I have been living about 2,000 miles away from friends, family, and the love of my life. This all has a grand purpose. I am completing a six-month internship in my dream job. While I should be happy, I feel myself just going through the motions. I love what I get to do each day, but being so far away from my home, I am missing part of me. And no, I am not “depressed,” I work in the mental wellness field, so I can assure you of that. It is simply that I have such love in my life, that when I am separated from it, I become acutely aware of that fact. As I spent some time feeling sorry for myself I realized something: how incredibly lucky/blessed (take your pick) I am to be a part of such a loving lifestyle that it could impact me in this way. I think that many people go their whole lives searching for that kind of love, and there are others who don’t know what they are missing or are too afraid/hurt to experience it. Regardless, I write this blog as a testament to the gratitude that I feel for being able to feel such love that I could miss it this way. This includes the incredible relationship that I have with my parents and their genuine interest in spending time with me, and knowing who I am. Never trying to be nosy or controlling. I was also surprised at how much I’ve missed my sisters. I have been acutely aware of the common transition into adulthood that breeds really wonderful sister relationships. This has happened for us as well. My ability to think of a million things that I cannot wait to do with them when I return home has much improved over the past 4 months. I also miss friends, family friends who for all purposes are family. I am grateful for the opportunity to appreciate these relationships, and take steps to further nurture them. And of course, there is the love of my life that I have mentioned. We are getting married this year after what will be 6 years of dating. This is not a result of the infamous “off again, on again” arrangement that so many people seem to gravitate towards. This is because I met him when I was 17. You do the math. Quietly and efficiently, he has become my better half and not in some unhealthy, codependent sort of way. In a beautiful, supportive, be who you are and I will love you all the more sort of way. The skeptics and cynics out there will read this and cry bullshit and wonder just what nasty secret he or I or both of us is hiding. But we’re not. We’re two soul mates who allowed ourselves to be open and ready for all the potential love the universe had in store for us. As this internship draws to a close, I find that I have never before been so aware of the changing seasons in my life. I look back and see a long, cold winter despite the fact that I have been living in a hot desert. I am however, grateful. I think gratitude is the foundation for happiness. And I appreciate this experience for teaching me to be grateful for the simple gifts in life. Love. To give and to receive. And as the season changes again for me, as we move toward spring, I sense the flowers blossoming anew, the new growth that is possible because of the long, cold winter. Grateful indeed.