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You can take the girl out of the west, but you can’t take the west out of her soul...

Yesterday marked the first day of classes for what we Hoyas affectionately call “the Hilltop” or Georgetown University.

The entire campus was abuzz with incoming Students. Families helped beloved freshmen move last minute odds and ends into the dorms, wise seniors discussed important matters in groups on the lawn and graduate students like myself, wondered at mountains of reading already piled high.

As I made my way onto the sprawling 104 acres of land which makes up the school, I marveled at just how at-home I now feel in this space. In so many ways, my first year of graduate school was a blur. This year, while walking slowly across the green expanse of lawn so carefully tended by Georgetown staff (seriously y’all, those folks NEVER slow down!) I realized that the “low-and-slow” feeling in my tummy is called calm.

It is called peace. It is called quiet.

And it is such a gift.

Navigating the building where my first class of the semester was held, I wandered a few new hallways, reviewed some readings in the sunshine of the rooftop and mentally made a list of all the things I am thankful for, because the list is long.

The list is long, but it is one I make every day.

Whether jotted down on a cafe napkin, little blue notebook or simply noted mentally, it varies from day-to-day. But I always find the thread of gratitude for the same recurring things interesting.

These were some of the items recorded on yesterday’s list:

  • The ability to get out of bed on my own, move my body with ease and find clean drinking water

  • Feeling safe during morning coffee and writing

  • The ability to communicate with loved ones

  • The unwavering adoration of one very hairy, slightly chubby blue dog

  • Sassy retorts

  • Reading and books, specifically the revolution of the printing press (yes I am a nerd, no please don’t ponder why my brain operates this way for too long)

  • The gift of being a woman, empowered to go wherever I choose unaccompanied and independently

  • Guitar strings and Red Vines

  • The kindness of strangers

  • Paint outside the lines

  • Dogs who make you feel like you’re the only one that matters on the street (IE Duchess, a bully/pit I met who OOZED joy

  • Community and real friendship

  • My sister and her wildly inappropriate responses to people who are creepy or mean

  • Being able to call my grandparents whenever I like

  • The ability to say “no”

  • Buttered sourdough biscuits

  • Bobby Bare songs

  • My momma

It is, at times, a silly list.

But the thread that ties the majority of these daily lists together is one primarily made up of the incredible people around me. A support system through family is unlike any other, and something I don’t take for granted.

My freedom, independence and health. Learning. The basic necessities: good (sometimes healthy) food and clean water. Shelter. Safety. Companionship. Giggles. Dog hair. Art.

Everyday I use, employ or take advantage of one of the things listed above so casually it is almost shocking.

But a little list every day, helps to remind me of just how precious each thing is.

Today, I am adding another thing I am grateful for…..




(a cowgirl in concrete)

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