At the top of this year, I was hopeful. I gave myself a clean slate to work, love, and grow fearlessly with a promise to challenge myself day after day to become a better woman. Was the year perfect? Hell no. But despite every trial and tribulation of 2018, I’m leaving it behind full of gratitude.
Walking in full gratitude hasn’t always been easy, and to be honest, I’m not sure that it was ever a priority, because…
I’ve never lived life fully present in the moment. But all of that changed on July 12, 2018.
After celebrating my birthday with loved ones back in New York a week prior, and in Los Angeles just a few days before that day, I was full of love — I felt the love. Honestly, I was grateful to see another year, and I was feeling confident about what my new year would bring my way. Two days later my world shifted in an unimaginable way.
On that Thursday morning, I woke up feeling anxious and uneasy, but kept pushing and went to work since that was a huge part of my routine and how I found a lot of my personal value and normalcy. However, this day was different.
When I pulled up to work, one of my best friends advised me to check my email urgently, so after I got to my desk, I did. The email stated that one of my best friends had been killed by a drunk driver who was driving the wrong way on a major highway in New York City. My world shattered in a split second. All I could do was run to a quiet room in the office, call my sister-friend that sent me the email, and wail on the phone with her while we were 3,000 miles away from each other.
Mourning my friend’s passing, and healing, has come slow for me. While I never question God, I am often moved to tears by our shared memories, my friend’s wit, his encouragement, and, most of all, by the light that he was, and by the light that he is to me daily. Now, more than ever…
I strive to be better daily because of who he was to me and so many other people — a friend, a brother, a motivator, and an amazing soul.
Part of me being better has come with me growing up and having constant gratitude.
My mother always told me that gratitude is the attitude, and now I realize that she’s right. When things are going your way, you show gratitude. When things are looking down, you show gratitude for the moment that you’re in and for the lesson that you’re in the process of learning. When you love people and when people are kind to you, show gratitude. And, most importantly, whenever you are in the process of getting down on yourself, take a beat, reflect, and show gratitude for the space that you’re in.
Because of my dear friend, who is no longer on this earthly plane with me, and the lessons that he taught me, I have nothing but gratitude. His life, legacy, love, and support isn’t as obvious as it was when I could hear his laugh loud and clear, but I feel him every day, and for that, I am so grateful.And through him is how I came to fully understand why gratitude is the attitude and the way to appreciating everybody and everything, especially myself, my soul, my talents, and my life.