As we are wrapping up 2014, I have been looking back at my year and inspired by Jenny's post, I thought I'd share with you five things that have changed my life in 2014. To preface this, I want to mention that although the year ended on a good note for me, it has been quite a long and tiring one. I can't recall how stressed and discouraged I've felt with my life at the beginning of the year, or how many tears and frustrations I have encountered. When I look at how far I've come since, I still have hard time believing all the blessings that I have been granted despite all the heartaches.
"Everybody wants happiness, nobody wants pain, but you can't have a rainbow, without a little rain."

  1.  Starting graduate school at Johns Hopkins. Some of you might have heard about this university, especially during the Ebola outbreak news. It is one of the leading private research universities in the world. It has produced over the last 140 years, 36 Nobel Prizes and as you can see, being a student there is kind of a big deal. I had applied as a joke, and was quite surprised to be admitted. I mean, yes, I had good credentials, but I never thought them to be good enough for one of the best schools in the world. 
  2.  Becoming an official US Resident. In June 2014 I officially received my Green Card! As a former international student, this blessing in disguise has opened so many doors for me. Despite the fact that I cannot vote, I still get all the perks of a US citizen, and I can look for jobs.
  3. Starting my job as a Research Assistant. As of the beginning of this month I started my new job as a research assistant. I work in a Molecular and Medical Genetics lab, with a focus on immunotherapeutics and I love my job. I love the people I work with and being able to still work/see my friends and mentor (who is now my boss) every day. It is just wonderful.
  4. Learning to live with less. Over the years of moving around US and across the pond, I have learned to let go of this need to own things. I can now say that I am at a place where owning the strict minimum brings me so much joy. No more of piles of boxes and a wardrobe that doesn't close. Everything has its place and its necessity.
  5. Embracing a healthier lifestyle. Although I still enjoy my desserts, I have learned this year to eat better and to exercise more often. Alyse has really helped me with my fintess journey and having inspirational people (I look at you Mrs. Robertstad!) and girlfriends who run (Hi MJ and LeBlank!) has really made a huge impact in my journey to a healthier and fitter lifestyle. This time last year I was around 168lbs and now I am at a stable 147lbs, and looking at losing another 10lbs in the upcoming year.
As you can see, 2014 has been quite good to me. I feel like I am slowly reaching my life goals and reaching for my potentials. I cannot wait to see what 2015 has in store for me.

What about you, what changed your life this year?

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