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It’s finally happened! Right now, at this very second, you’re reading my 100th blog post. It took almost three and a half years to accomplish, and I’m pretty proud of having gotten this far. This is the third or fourth blog I’ve had; it all started with my livejournal page in high school (which was pretty emo and full of song lyrics and cryptic teenage angst, but I’m counting it), then I moved on to short-lived blogs to document various trips abroad (like the tumblr I started for our time in Egypt), and for the last 3+ years I’ve been writing here. It’s crazy to think of everything that has happened in my life since I started this blog on the last day of 2012, and it’s also pretty cool to be able to peek back in time and relive it all in my own words.

Since it’s Mother’s Day, I thought I’d dedicate this post to my mom. Every day I become a little more like her, and it’s something I’m more and more grateful for as I get older (even though she somehow doesn’t age a day). My mom is one of the most compassionate people I’ve ever met; she’s taught me everything I know about how to see the best in people and forgive them for their faults. It took me a long time to catch on, but I’ve learned from her how to let things go, take the high road, and be there for people when they need you. She’s the best cheerleader, and is always the first one to brag about whatever I’m doing to her friends (and everyone at school). She’s also great at gathering gossip so I never feel out of the loop with what’s happening at home.

My mom works harder than anyone else I know, and never seeks recognition for how amazing she is. Once my brother and I started school, she went back to school herself and became a first grade teacher (she’d been a social worker in her pre-kid life). She told me once that the reason she likes it is that every year she gets a new batch of basically helpless humans, who can’t tell time or tie their shoes, and less than a year later she gets to send them into the world reading and writing. Even though they sometimes (frequently) make her want to pull her hair out, she pours her soul into making her students the best they can be every single year. If you ever want to watch someone follow their calling, go sit in my mom’s classroom for a few hours. Watching her work has taught me never to take short cuts, and that anything worth doing is worth doing the best way you know how. I strive to one day have the teacher voice she has mastered over the last 20 years.

While I’m sure my mom would be much happier if I stopped moving so far away from her, the truth is that the only reason I’m able to do what I do is from spending a lifetime watching and learning from her. I think I might even be more excited than my parents are for their trip to Europe next year, when I’ll get to spend a few weeks exploring and adventuring with them. Thank you, mom, for raising an independent, confident, big-hearted daughter. I love you and miss you every day, and hope you have an amazing Mother’s Day.

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