1. I love my dogs. They are such an awesome addition to my life.

2. I’ve never been so purely fascinated, enriched, engaged, and simultaneously in a constant state of hurt, disappointment, and anger as I have been in this Ph.D. program.

3. I really, truly miss my friends and colleagues from my previous University.

4. One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned in graduate school is how to narrow my focus in order to finish. In fact, it is in direct contrast with how I think and live my life: broadly.

5. I wear 85 SPF sunscreen every single day. I also wear sunglasses no matter the weather. Skin cancer is a real possibility for me. I’ve also never smoked – anything.

6. I hold others to very high professional standards. I think this is a fault sometimes.

7. For the first time in my life, I have managed to keep a New Year’s Resolution the whole year.

8. I dance more than once a day.

9. I quite possibly had the best match for a mentor, colleague, and friend in my masters program, and she’s irreplaceable to me in such a deep, trusting sort of way.

10. My partner is the most encouraging, smart, engaging, supportive, humorous, warmest, and bravest person I’ve ever had the pleasure to be in a relationship with. I often say to him that when we are out hiking with the dogs, I’ve never felt more like I’m in an L.L. Bean or Eddie Bauer catalogue. That imagery is something I’ve desired since I was a pre-teen. Now the real thing is here, and the feeling that goes along with that imagery is indescribable.

11. I feel alive and connected when I am teaching or practicing yoga.

12. Most people don’t understand my piercings or body modification in general. That’s okay. I don’t ask that you do. I just ask that you don’t judge me, because they are there for a deeper personal reason. Speaking of judging others, I don’t judge your personal choices, so I would ask that you don’t judge mine.

13. I miss my family, and they still weigh very heavily into every decision I make.

14. I've learned how to be more patient with the added complexity.

15. I finally, finally have a grasp on statistics. We had to battle it out for a while (years), but this semester, a leap in my conceptual understanding of it has occurred. It took, and continues to take, a lot of work.

16. I actually like his parents.

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