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20 Things I’m Thankful For

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1) John 3:16

2) My loving and supportive family.  Without them I would never be who I am today.  To be close to your family is such a beautiful gift.  I don’t know many people who enjoy spending time with their families as much as I do.  In some ways I think it may be a bit unhealthy, but I love them so much that I am thankful for any time I am able to spend with them!  I have the best parents and brothers that I could ever ask for, and an extended family like no other.

3) My creativity.  It keeps me sane, inspires me daily, and comforts me in times of loneliness.

4) Music.  Mine and other people’s.  Mine is more about the creative side of it, and being able to express that creativity through sound and performance.  There is also nothing more uplifting than the moment when you are able to touch someone through your art.  Listening to music is also such a beautiful gift.  I love discovering new artists, and re-discovering artists that I have listened to and loved for a long time.  Music ignites the soul, and uplifts the spirit.  There is nothing quite like it.

5) My friends.  They are there for me during the hard times, and share in celebration when things are going great.  They also inspire me and motivate me, while encouraging me to be the best person I can be.

6) My health, and the health of my family and close friends.  I have seen my family and friends struggle with health scares from time to time, and currently have a few people in my life who are in need of prayers for good health, but I do feel blessed that I haven’t had to deal with anything too traumatizing yet, and where my own health is concerned, I have been very fortunate as well.  I am very thankful for that, and hope to never take it for granted.

7) My sense of adventure.  There are so many things I want to do in this life, and I feel like there is never enough time to do them all.  Every day is a new opportunity to experience greatness!  This year I hope to check off a lot more things on my bucket list!

8) The ability to travel.  As much as I hate long lines at airport security, or living out of a suitcase most of my life, I remember how privileged we are to live in a time where we can get from one part of the world to another in less than a day (in general).  There was a time when no-one ever saw anywhere other than the place where they were born!  Imagine that!  I have lived on almost every continent, and traveled to almost 30 different countries (and the list continues to grow).  What a blessing.

9) Trinidad.  In all of my traveling, and all the places I have lived throughout the world my entire life, it feels great to have somewhere to call home.  Home is where your family is, and as cliched as it sounds, home is where your heart is.  No matter how far away I may be, a piece of me has always been in Trinidad.  It is a beautiful island with so much to offer.  I am still hoping to find a way to get home for Carnival, but if I am not there in person, I will definitely be there in spirit, and will live vicariously through all of my Trini peeps. 😉

10) The sun.  I do believe I have S.A.D. (Seasonally Affected Disorder).  When I am in the sun, the get up and go that I have is so much more than when I am in a cold place.  There is something energizing about the sun.  I can’t get enough of it.  Being away from it for too long definitely affects me in a negative way. Sunrises and sunsets are some of the most beautiful gifts of nature as well.

11) E.P.I.C. (Everyday People Initiating Change) – www.epicthemovement.org.  When Alexi Panos and I started this organization, we had huge dreams about where it could go.  We never realized how many amazing people we would meet along the way though, and how much it would affect us in such a positive way. It is probably one of the best things I have ever done with my life, and it continues to grow every day.  I have so much love for our friends and family in Tanzania too.  Each new village introduces us to more extraordinary people.  In Tanzania, I am constantly reminded that there are SO MANY things to be thankful for, starting with the smallest, and seemingly insignificant…

12) Water.  Clean water to drink (when so many in the world don’t have it), water to shower/bathe in, and water to swim in (the ocean is one of my favorite places to be).  Water is life.  Surfing, waterskiing, knee-boarding, scuba-diving, basically anything to do with water!

13) Being an Ambassador for Quiksilver Women.  I love the brand, I love the people who work for the brand, I love the opportunity to be a part of the brand, I love representing something that I support and believe in.  If you didn’t know that Quiksilver had a women’s line (not Roxy), then you should definitely check it out.  (And this isn’t a plug!  I genuinely love their clothes)  🙂

14) All of the people I have met on this beautiful journey of life.  It always baffles me how many remarkable people I meet in such a random way.  Some of them go on to being some of my best friends, while others are in my life for a time in order to teach me an important lesson, or stimulate me to grow in some way.

15) Facebook and other social networking sites.  As corny as it sounds, I feel like they have allowed me to meet some sensational people (see number 7), and keep in touch with friends and family better.  Sure, they can be a waste of time too, but not if they are used the right way.

16) Living in NY.  I complain about the weather a lot (I really can’t stand the cold), and at times I grow tired of having to hustle so hard, but I am so thankful to have the opportunity to live in arguably the best city, and the center of the world.  I remember coming to NY when I was a young girl, and I remember looking at it with such awe and admiration, dreaming of the day when I would be able to live somewhere so enchanting, and now that I do, I want to make sure that I don’t ever take it for granted.  There is so much to be thankful for here, and always so much to do.  There is never any real reason to feel frustrated or annoyed when the city is such a source of inspiration.

17) Art in its many forms.  I mentioned music already, but movies, paintings, sculptures, books (the art of literature? – It’s a stretch, but you get my point…), poetry, spoken word, some TV, etc.  The human mind is a source of constant wonder.  To get a glimpse into someone’s mind through their art is a rare honor.

18) My education.  So many people in this world (and shockingly in this country) do not have the basic educational skills to advance in life.

19) My muses.  Once in a while, someone comes into my life and turns it upside down for a time.  I may become resentful, because I feel like I have wasted time with them if they don’t end up being “the one”, or if I feel like I give more to the relationship than I end up getting, but I have realized that that is such a selfish (and inaccurate) way to look at it.  Every time my heart has been moved (whether in a big way, or just for a few moments), something inside of me changes, something within me is awoken, and for a while I feel alive and excited at the endless possibilities.  Human connection is a beautiful thing.  Learning to direct the connection in the most positive way is the key.

20) My thirst for knowledge.  I am forever growing, forever learning, forever seeking.  Sometimes I drive myself crazy with my thoughts, and I am learning the importance of not over-analyzing, and trusting more in God’s divine plan, but I am thankful that I was given an inquisitive mind, and a desire for truth.  I may never fully find it while I am alive, but the path to discover it has been filled with an array of captivating treasures.