I read a Dear Abby article in the newspaper last week (yes I read the daily local paper) about a woman who went through a tough time in college and had one friend in particular who without being asked went above and beyond to support her through a severe bout of depression. Life happened and the two friends lost touch over the years. One day the woman decided to reach out and thank her friend for her support and was sad to discover the 10 year old obituary for her friend who had battled some personal hardships herself later on in life which contributed to her death. In her letter to Abby, the woman asked to share two important lessons that she’s learned through this experience. “(1) Thank people and tell them you care before it is too late, and (2) be willing to lend a hand and an ear to someone in need, because you may be that one person who affects their life.” I read many different articles and stories on a daily basis but this one really hit home for me. It has challenged me to reflect on my own journey, allow myself to vulnerable like I often challenge others to do and think about the people who I am thankful for as well.
I am so truly grateful for the people in my life. I’ve been blessed with some amazing opportunities and a career that has allowed me to meet some great people from all over the world. Unfortunately, not everything in life is always rainbows and sunshine. I’ve had days this past year where happiness was nowhere in sight for me. I’ve had days where I wouldn’t get out of bed because I didn’t see the point. I gained a ton of weight, (literally)and way to many interactions where I’ve had to paste a smile on my face so I could please the people around me even though they could care less about what I was going through. I had honestly started to give up on me. I felt more alone than I had ever felt and I had lost my faith and the excitement for life that had always been so easy for me to find. I knew something had to change. When I decided to come home to Florida, I didn’t have a plan but I knew I needed to work on me in a place that I love and be surrounded by people who know and love me as well. You really never know what people are going through sometimes, especially the people who are the best at making sure that those around them are doing well. To say that I am grateful for the people whom I’ve gotten to spend these past few months with would be an understatement. Thank you to the people in my network of support for the daily conversations, calls, texts, meals, hugs, pop ups, random check ins or messages just to say hello, but most of all thank you for reminding me that love, friendship and support systems are not one sided. You all have allowed me to fall in love with my life again and get back to doing what I am most passionate about; being a part of that support system for people who are not as fortunate as me.
Truly from the bottom of my heart,