I believe that with each new year certain themes take precedence in our lives. This time last year, I had written a blog post expressing nothing but my sincerest gratitude for all that I had experienced in 2015. Keeping that theme in mind, I made it a point to express gratitude to all those I encountered throughout 2016. I consciously and consistently told those who showed me kindness, showed me empathy, and showed me support that I appreciated them. I said, “Thank you,” a lot; and you know what? People responded with warmth and acceptance. It goes without saying that 2016 for humanity, as a whole, was rather disheartening. We, collectively, witnessed our species at its lowest, most bigoted, and most disparaging. It was a tough year, and due to the actions of some we humans – especially those in this country – will have to endure the consequences of our foolish and selfish choices. I will be honest, I am wary of the next four years to come.
At 19 years old, his build was stocky and solid, with not much height to work with, and hands that were larger than expected. He walked with a slight bounce in his step, just on the ball of his foot; and a wide, bright smile, always, on his face. His mission, it seemed, was to make everyone around him laugh. He was laughter, and fun, and lighthearted, and, at times, child-like. Without warning he, somehow, etched a niche for himself in our little home among our little family in South Central Los Angeles. We did not have much, but what we did have we shared openly with him. In this way he became our brother, friend, son, confidante, grandson, soulmate, and nuisance (as little brothers, real or adopted, should be.) He took his life two years ago. He was 27 years old. I wish I had known we only had eight years.
To live and to thrive are two very different concepts indeed. One is to simply go through the motions of existence, while the other suggests blossoming within that existence.
Presented with two, equally good paths for my future, I had to dig deeply to assess which of the two would be the best for me.
It has been over a month since my last blog post, which was not my intention. This blog was started as a form of catharsis and as I way for me to reflect upon my life’s journey. I would not say that my reflection – nor my journey – are over, but there has been a shift in my focus as of late. Firstly, let me announce, with joy and gratitude in my heart, that I have been accepted into my school of choice, Academy of Art University, to pursue a Master of Arts degree in Fashion Journalism. This fall I will begin a new and uncertain chapter in my life in the beautiful city of San Francisco, CA, and I could not be more thrilled! More terrified! And more proud of myself, than I am right now. Since my acceptance, my entire focus has been on preparing for my move. I leave behind my family, friends, and my hometown for the longest period of time in my entire life, and I am not sure …