Rich Girl

This has been a year of profound realizations for me. Personally and professionally.

The holiday season always gets me verklempt and this year is no different. The lights, sounds, scents, gatherings, general feelings of positivity and love…gets me every time!

I recognized how #blessed, but earnestly, how RICH I am.

  • I have been blessed with great health: I actively work on my mental and physical every day and while some days are much better than others, I am thankful that I wake up in the morning and am able to get out of bed and “Just Live”.
  • Millennial outlier: I LIKE MY JOB! Again, some days and some years are better than others, but I ultimately love what I do – teach children how to exercise, play fairly, eat right, care for themselves, prevent the spread of diseases, share light and love. I adore my colleagues and am so appreciative for the laughs, advice, and general camaraderie we have. To quote a colleague (he says it every year at our opening day department meeting) “we have the BEST job in the world!” He’s right. We may not be rich in dollars, but we are rich in company, pedagogy, and have the awesome responsibility to enrich the lives of hundreds of children each day.
  • I am a BILLIONAIRE when it comes to my incredible support system: my husband 😍, my parents 😚, my brother and sister 😘, my in-laws 💖, my grandparents, aunt, uncles, cousins ❤️, our friends 🤗… they have shown me time and time again how love and friendship are timeless, forgiving, accepting, hilarious, caring, forward-thinking, genuine. To quote my dear friend, “…I can’t complain. I love my house and my dog and my husband. Broke or not life is great”. Amen, sister.

Listening and paying attention to all of the signs this world presents to me, gratitude was found in this message and memory that my late aunt sent me as a sign the other day (thanks Facebook memories):


Reflecting on this life and the people I have known and know, opportunities and experiences I have had, and the journey that is yet to come, I feel an overwhelming sense of grace, gratitude, positivity, and love.

My Christmas Wish for each of you is that you search and reflect and recognize how rich you are and how thankful I am to know you and have you in my life.

All my love (and all the Oxford commas in the world),



Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!

As the sun shines in my apartment on this beautiful (almost) winter’s day, I am reminded of so much light, positivity, and happiness that I am blessed with in this life. More so than that, the sun reminds me to SHINE.

Image by jubileelewis

We were so lucky last night to have a holiday get-together with friends old and new and truly catch up on the exciting and sometimes frightening unknown of THE FUTURE…dun dun dun.

There was a common theme of existential uncertainty in all of our conversations: “life is good for right now, but….”, “I’m not sure if this is what I want to be doing forever, but….”, “How did this whole adult-hood thing happen? What’s next….”

If you’ve been reading my posts, you may also notice a common theme, I LOVE to give advice.  I truly believe in the positive, I truly believe in trusting a Greater Plan, and I will always try to advise the silver lining and find the positive in any situation.

I had a moment of clarity while I was listening to my friends’ existential internal conflicts and while I was finding a way of spinning to the positive last night. If you read this far, here comes my unsolicited advice!

We all have this light. Like the children’s song, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!” It is our personal light; the positive side of our personality. Our sense of humor, our courage, our strengths, our compassion, our empathy, our love.

Sometimes, our light gets covered up. Sometimes there are circumstances or events or words exchanged or [insert what upsets you here] that shovels a scoop of dirt and darkness over our light. With conscious thought, we can quickly sweep away the dirt and darkness and continue sharing our light.

But sometimes, the circumstances are too constant, too overwhelming, too heavy to quickly sweep away. We let the darkness, dirt, toxicity sit there and become our new norm. We become detached from our light and we feel like a piece of us is missing. We feel like we have lost the warmth of our soul.

When this happens, we can do two things: one) we can accept the darkness and let this new norm consume us and live knowing “something isn’t quite right, but I can learn to be okay with how it is now.”

Or two) start the intense, mindful, conscious process of shoveling away the darkness.

“Hide it under a bushel. NO! I’m gonna let it shine.”

How does one start this intense, mindful, conscious process of removing the dirt, you ask?

  • Trust in your family, friends, faith! Talk it out, cry it out. Your family and true friends will love you unconditionally. You may even experience comfort in knowing that you are not the only one feeling this way and you can work on shining your light together!
  • Practice self-care! Even if it’s taking a few minutes each day to listen to music or sit in silence.
  • Keep a journal that focuses on Gratitude. Gratitude is a CHOICE. Be mindful, be conscious, be appreciative and watch that dirt disappear and your light shine through!
Image by BK
  • Be open to change. If something is not making you feel like your true self, have the courage to lean on your loved ones and “take a risk, take a chance, make a change, and breakaway” (thanks, Kelly Clarkson!)
  • Practice patience. When weeks, months, years have passed with your light being hidden, it will take weeks, months, years of conscious work and heavy shoveling to chip away the layers of dirt, toxicity, and darkness.

You are unique. You are beautiful. You are enough. YOU ARE RADIANT. Let your light shine bright. Be a beacon of hope and an anchor of love.

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Brightly yours,

Ariana xo