Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful at 30

This year has seen a lot happen so I had to dust off the Gumbo just to share how thankful I am for the last 365. The more I think about it, the more I have to say and follow the old maxim of count my blessings.

I still need to write the 30 Things I've Learned By 30 and hopefully I'll do that before the year is up. For now, enjoy this and just indulge my joy. So since November 2013, here's some of what I'm thankful for.

I'm thankful for being able to see some of my family this year at my cousin's wedding. I hadn't been to Texas in 3 years so to see them again, it made me smile.

I'm thankful for finally going to see Boston and meet up with my brothers and sisters at NABJ.  Thankful to see how my friends have hustled and gotten great gigs and to feel like I belong with even more peers instead of just happy to be there.

I'm thankful that in Boston, I got to meet an inspiration in Dart Adams, who's writing/thought process helped influence my blogging career. More than any journalist at NABJ, I was happy to meet him.

I'm thankful for time spent with my brother Sam. Been eight years but we clicked like we never left. We shared pizza, baseball, ale and music while getting a tour of Boston.

I'm thankful for relationships on Twitter with people who challenged my thoughts, shared conversations and made me stronger.

I'm thankful for We Run LA and Blacklist LA encouraging me in my running journey. Thank you to folks like Brandi Garcia, Jaime, Rosa, Emma, Lily, Bryson and more who challenged me.

I'm thankful for the folks at Bro Jackson who not only sharpened my writing but is a great community of writers better than any sports blog out there. I'm thankful I got to branch off into TV writing with Game of Thrones recaps there.

I'm thankful for that phone call I got on a run in September that I was offered a promotion to a full-time job. It changed my life and got me back to a level I haven't seen since I quit my sports editor job in 2010.

I'm thankful that I've written features in three different newspapers in 2014. Thankful that I got to know people in the South Bay, Long Beach and San Fernando Valley. Thankful for the past month of getting better as a writer and storyteller. Thankful for editors who sharpened my focus. Thankful for opportunities of covering the College World Series and Lakers practices.

I'm thankful I was not hurt when I was robbed at the end of August. Thankful for insurance to help cover the costs of a new laptop. Thankful I found my phone in my car when I was emotional and hopeless after talking to the police. Thankful for the kindness of people to check on me such as the Palos Verdes HS community, Long Beach City College football coach Brett Peabody and longtime Long Beach columnist Bob Keisser.

I'm thankful for the memories of a great relationship. Although it is over and I'm single, I appreciate the love and what I learned in those nearly four years.

Finally I'm thankful for life. The day after I was robbed,  I learned my good friend Eric Wade died. Eric was a colleague and a brother. A man of style, a man who loved to kids great attention with his camera. E-Wade will live forever and in all that I've learned, I'm grateful to have chances to live and appreciate this time before God calls me home.

In a 40-day stretch, I was robbed, lost a friend, got a long awaited promotion, attended Eric's funeral, turned 30, celebrated and became single. It's a stretch that changed my life and I'm thankful for how it made me better. That's why life is beautiful. Whether good or bad, we learn from it and we need to be thankful among the various emotions - and believe me, I've felt all kinds just from that alone.

Enjoy your meal, your families and your blessings everyone.

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