Dear life 5

by Kim on July 8, 2013 · 21 comments

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
July 8, 2013
1:12 p.m.

Dear Life,

Thank you for my dogs who I just saw for the first time in over a year but who greeted me like no time had passed at all. Thank you for everything those old dogs have taught me: The value of play, the giving of oneself over to each moment, the joy of receiving attention, the utter contentment of naps.

Bear naps

Thank you for this office that I have set up in my in-laws basement. Thank you for teaching me the value of making space for myself. Thank you for allowing me to discover that I do not need an artists studio or a desk with pull-knob drawers or whatever else I used to think I needed in order to sit down and write. Thank you for teaching me to be adaptable and unshakable.

My office

Thank you for my in-laws who have taken such good care of my husband and I and our dogs. Thank you for the rallying of family.

Thank you for the comfort I have felt back here in Ohio, for the sureness inside of me that I am doing what I should be doing. Thank you for strength in all of its hidden forms.

Thank you for right now. And now. And now.




Athens, Greece
June 17, 2013
Blog: Leaving Cairo and Overland Hong Kong 

Dear Life,

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to create a life for myself in the beautiful country of Greece, despite her troubles.

Thank you for the teaching experiences you’ve passed my way.  Each child I’ve taught has given me something in return; an insight into myself and a humbleness that knows no bounds.

Thank you for the beauty of this country: from her island sunsets to the inland monoliths of the Meteora monasteries.

Sunset - Naxos harbour

Thank you for the Greek people who are incredibly kind and hospitable…who have opened their homes and hearts to me.

And most of all, thank you for teaching me to take life one day at a time, to learn the Greek phrase “Den Pirazi” (“Never mind”) and adopt this life strategy…to have faith & knowledge that between us, our kindness will help us thrive successfully.


Tracey T.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
June 23, 2013
10:00 p.m.
Blog: The Expat Experiment

Dear Life,

Thank you for…

Thank you for the lessons you have taught me, for patience, for the beckoning to change.

Thank you for the perspective you have given me, and the confidence, courage and peace of mind that came from it.

Thank you for making me question and for giving me the will to question when my view was not the popular one.

Thank you for timing the birth of my Son, your greatest gift to me.  His arrival into this life of mine has been my biggest reward and beckoned the best changes in me.

Family Photo 1

Thank you for bringing my soul mate to me, so early, when I needed him so much. Having him has changed your course and all I thank you for stems from that first chance meeting.

Thank you for all of the opportunities you try to present to me every day and how you continue to teach me to recognize them.

Thank you for growing and helping me to trust my never ending optimism.

Thank you for the adventure you hold for me.

Thank you for being so good to me.




Read more Dear Life submissions from So Many Places readers around the web:

Jade from Liphook, England

Thank you for the little things, like a cup of good tea. And thank you for the big things, like sharing that tea over conversations with old friends that have been a long time coming, but are no less easy and comfortable than the last… read more here.


Share your own thank you note to life.

Click here for details on how you can publish your Dear Life homage here on So Many Places. I’ll be publishing our worldwide declarations of gratitude on the blog every Monday all summer long.




{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Trish Moratto July 8, 2013 at 11:48 am

Oh, I want to do this! Maybe I’ll send you something. 🙂
Trish Moratto recently posted..Confessions from the Camino: 300 Miles In


Kim July 9, 2013 at 5:38 am

You should! It’s such a wonderful practice to sit down and write this out. I’ve really found that gratitude changes the way we look at the world.


Rhonda July 8, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Welcome home to Ohio… wish I could have seen your reunion with your dear pups:) I realize I never told you how I love that you carve out a little niche for yourself to write… complete with a piece of beautiful fabric.
Rhonda recently posted..Foto Friday


Kim July 9, 2013 at 5:39 am

I took a video! But it was just a bunch of barking so I’m not sure it makes for great viewing. It was so wonderful to see the dogs. It’s literally like we never left.


Rika | Cubicle Throwdown July 8, 2013 at 5:16 pm

I love these!! And your new ‘office’ was a good reminder to me as well. Thank you.
Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted..I am not a tree. (On changing my house, and other things.)


Kim July 9, 2013 at 5:39 am

Thanks Rika. They are so fun to write and read.


Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) July 8, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Kim! I’m so happy to hear about your reunion with your beloved pups—it’s the thing I most look forward to about returning home, although part of me worries about it too. One part of me fears we’ll walk through that door and our dogs will shrug their shoulders and simply go back to whatever it is they were doing and I discover that we’ve been supplanted by my parents in their hearts. And then another part of me worries they’ll be so ecstatic, so full of joy to have us home that I’ll never be able to find it in me to leave them again. I think I prefer it your way, where the dogs greet me like I’ve just come home from an exceedingly long day and now it’s time to snuggle!
Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..Sunday Sketchup: Sketches for a Reader


Kim July 9, 2013 at 5:40 am

Oh man, I understand Steph, I worried about those things A LOT. It will be hard to leave them again, but it’s nice to know that they are so happy with their new home. And, now that I know how they react when we come back I think it will make it a little easier.


Sarah Somewhere July 8, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Beautiful! Loved this week’s posts. Welcome home, enjoy your space, your pups, family and friends 🙂
Sarah Somewhere recently posted..School’s out for Summer! Instagram photo reel


Kim July 9, 2013 at 5:41 am

Thanks Sarah. I will 🙂


Helen July 9, 2013 at 2:44 pm

This is lovely Kim.
I’ve never thought of doing this but such a great idea. Going to do one now! 🙂
Helen recently posted..Gazed Upon by Angels – Journey to Victoria Falls


Kim July 10, 2013 at 5:29 am

Wonderful! Send it over and I will publish it 🙂


Pamela July 9, 2013 at 2:56 pm

It’s really inspirational to read these. It’s also a great reminder that we all need to be grateful.
Pamela recently posted..Being Independent on Independence Day


Kim July 10, 2013 at 5:29 am

Thanks Pam. I love reading them too.


Cherina July 9, 2013 at 7:02 pm

This is lovely, Kim! So much to be grateful for but so easy to lose sight of what’s important. I love this idea that you are working with. PS love the new office 🙂
Cherina recently posted..The Colours of Burano Island: Venice, Italy


Kim July 10, 2013 at 5:30 am

Thanks Cherina. And that’s a pretty sweet office, huh?


Nick (theboywander) July 10, 2013 at 12:49 am

This is such an interesting idea. I may have to send one off myself.
Nick (theboywander) recently posted..Fusion restaurants – yay or nay?


Kim July 10, 2013 at 5:31 am

I hope you do, Nick!


Marissa July 11, 2013 at 8:21 am

Hi Kim,

A couple of weeks back, sitting at my desk at work, I was feeling insanely sorry for myself. Bored, tired of hearing copy machines, and loathing every meeting I had coming up, I Googled: “how to quit your job and travel the world” (I know, so shamefully asinine). And as luck would have it, I came across your blog (so perhaps, not so asinine).

I too am from Ohio (Canton area), and I too work in a corporate setting and oftentimes find myself thinking, “what am I doing here? I don’t belong. This is NOT the right place for me.” So when I read your article, and saw the picture of the desk space you left behind, I was ecstatic. It was as if everything you said, I felt. Your articles are so inspiring to me, especially since we both are from Ohio… somehow your thoughts and views are more meaningful to me.

Do you have any advice for a 22 year old who wants to quit her 8-4 job to travel and write? I will finish my degree Spring 2014.

I’d really love to hear from you. Either on here or an email at: mcarnah3 at kent dot edu.



Kim July 11, 2013 at 11:30 am

Hi Marissa. I’m so glad you found the blog (and I love that a google search brought you…). I will send you an email. It might take a couple of days but I’ve written your email address down and will get back to you. In the meantime, hang in there and don’t ignore that voice telling you that there is something more. If you don’t feel that you belong it is probably because you don’t.


Bex August 1, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Hi Marissa,

I can totally relate to you! Take a peak at my website and you’ll see that it is completely possible.
I quit the ratrace in my 30’s and now teach English as a foreign language abroad, interspersed with some travel writing. It took me some time to get into the writing, but it’s worth the wait.


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