I love writing my yearly favorites at the end of each year. It’s a fun way to reflect on the year. Now I want to start a new tradition where I write what I’m grateful for each Thanksgiving. So here goes!
Family: I love living near my parents. My sister lives in Africa now, but the rest of us are all a short cab, crosstown bus, or subway ride away. My mom is always up for an adventure and we did a triathlon, duathlon, and a 30-mile bike ride this year. My dad and I have dinner every single Sunday and, because he lives 10 blocks away, I end up seeing him at my childhood home often. I frequently turn to my family for advice and am so grateful that they are always there for me (and vice versa) when things are great or tough.
Friends: I have an amazing group of friends. One of my best friends lives half an avenue away. I live with another of my best friends. I have close friends from my sorority and college in the city and around the country. I know it can be difficult to make new friends as an adult, but I’ve been fortunate to make so many amazing friends from Six Degrees Society, other networking, blogging, and writing. They are some of the first people I call or text during good times and bad.
Journalism: The other day someone asked me what I would do if I could do any job in the world and money didn’t matter. I said exactly what I’m doing now. I am so fortunate that I was able to turn writing into my full-time job. Now that I am writing full-time, I have more time to explore different topics like tech, psychology, and even writing about celebrities.
Running: Well, here’s something I never thought would be something I’m grateful for (like, ever). I started running this year and ran my first 10K and then my first half-marathon. It is the best workout ever for decreasing stress! The endorphin high is real.
Elana Lyn: I was able to transition from law to marketing and journalism because of Elana Lyn, which was then called The Preppy Post Grad. I didn’t devote as much time to Elana Lyn when I was working at mllnnl and expanding my writing portfolio. I am so happy to be writing Elana Lyn more often again and hope to continue to write at least two or three times a week. I’m so grateful to everyone who reads Elana Lyn whether they read daily, weekly, or just pop in every so often!
Weekends: I worked from about 10 am to 6 pm every single Sunday during the past five years. I spent Sundays writing blog posts and articles because I also had a full-time job. Now I take the weekend off and it’s so nice to be able to go to brunch, go to a museum, go for long runs and not feel guilty about not getting work done.
New York City: Every single time I go for a run in Central Park, I think about how happy I am to live in New York City. I love that there is always something fun to do, whether it’s going to a museum, seeing a show, spending time in Central Park, or discovering a new boutique workout studio.
Collaboration: I know a lot of people through networking and everyone is so supportive. We really go by the mantra collaboration, not competition. Some of the best things that have happened in my career so far have happened because of people I’ve become friendly with — they recommend me to their editors (or vice versa), introduce me to people they know and think I should meet, or provide advice on everything from pitching publications to setting rates. I wouldn’t be where I am without them and try to be just as supportive.
The Wing: I am really good at working from home. I had so much practice from working on articles on weekends and late at night. I don’t get distracted (although I like being able to watch a TV show during lunch) and am better at focusing at home rather than in noisy coffee shops. But last month I joined The Wing, a women’s only co-working space and social club, and I absolutely love working out of the gorgeous spaces and some of my friends are members. I’m excited to start meeting more members at events.
Getting Out of My Comfort Zone: I’ve gotten a lot better about trying new things and getting out of my comfort zone this year. I’ve made big leaps like choosing to write full-time and smaller ones like writing about new topics and trying different styles like personal essays, news stories, and event coverage. I also started running, which was so out of my comfort zone and is now something I love.
What are you grateful for this year?