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A time for me to give thanks...

It’s been a few weeks now and I’ve had time to gather my thoughts and scribble them down on some paper and share them with you. Thanksgiving and the holiday season as all of us know by now is a time where we pause from the daily hustle and bustle of life to give thanks for the blessings that we have received over the last year. Some of us host grand affairs with many people who come from out of town to celebrate. While others elect for a more intimate celebration with immediate family.

My opening celebration of Thanksgiving consisted of the latter. With many of my friends and family out of town or out of state, having such grand celebrations isn’t possible like it once was. That doesn’t dull the shine of the holiday and allows me to think about all that has happened this past year and the variety of things that I can be thankful for. Because of the smaller gathering, I was able to reflect on how I got here and the people that supported and believed in me.

For starters, never in a million years would I have thought I would be where I am today after leaving a job I occupied for 10 years. Working for Sherwin-Williams was a great experience and taught me a lot of valuable lessons, but the fact of the matter is that I was unfulfilled, unsatisfied, unmotivated, and wasn’t seeing the fruits of my labor.

Thankfully, I was able to find a position at Ohio Dominican University after the encouragement of my friend and mentor Aimee Haywood. She proposed the idea of graduate school and taking a graduate assistant position and I am forever thankful that she even decided to pitch that idea to me. Having that discussion with her and her assistant coach Devon Tabata on a March day inside a Moe’s on South Hamilton Road in Gahanna will always hold a special place in my heart.

It was an interesting start to my new position at ODU, no thanks in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only was I attending classes but also needed to remain flexible with games, events, and season postponements. Mostly the events of my first year of grad school have taught me patience.

It taught me to enjoy the ride and take each day as it comes. That was something I never was good at during my time at the paint store.

During my first year at ODU, I was privileged to meet some amazing people. Some of whom my encounters were brief. While others I hope to carry with me for a long time. These individuals helped carry me through a difficult year and into a year, unlike anything I’d ever seen. I even got a nice piece of jewelry for surviving the long year (shoutout ODU Softball).

The same people that I referenced a moment ago also connected me with various opportunities. I was able to work for a concrete company and photograph a wedding in a non-journalistic arena. While in my field I was put in front of some influential people that helped land me a position at Columbus Academy and I even landed incredible freelance opportunities.

I’ve been privileged to meet even more great people, touch more lives, and hopefully influence a generation to pursue what they love. I’m so incredibly grateful for those that love and support me in my journey and push me to be better every day.

I’m grateful for those who believed in me and thankful that I have been fortunate enough to enjoy success up to this point. Here’s hoping for an amazing next year and I’m looking forward to a great holiday season.

Love you all.

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