Thanks, thanks, and more thanks

I’m not really good at tooting my own horn…I consider myself to be a confident person, but I suppose my cultural upbringing has prevented me from gloating much or talking about my accomplishments much firsthand.

But I’d like to take this time to thank my family, my friends, myself, and my luck for my life.

There was a point in high school where I was doing everything right, excelling in all areas. And then very abruptly came a time when I did exactly the opposite. Life did not seem worthwhile.

And then came LMU. I will say it again and again until I’m in a coffin. LMU was the best decision I made in my life. And the funny thing is, it wasn’t even my decision to make. God planned it out for me. I’m not one to often say that God has designed my path, but I’m definitely giving Him the credit for bringing me to LMU, for bringing me to a place so full of life, love, opportunity, and pure bliss.

It was at LMU that I cultivated my passions, discovered new people, took control of my life, my journey, my mistakes, my trials, errors, successes. It was hard for me to LMU to realize I was doing so much. Everyone else in my circle of friends had meetings 5 days a week, worked multiple jobs, took extra credits, applied for leadership positions. I didn’t see it at the time, but what I was doing was putting myself in the forefront of young adults in my “category.”

At my second interview with Five Acres, the director said to me, “Wow you have had a lot of leadership experience!” My response was, “LMU offered a lot to its students.” I didn’t say “Thank you” or “I know” or blush. I gave credit where credit is due. Loyola Marymount. That university allowed me to travel, to serve, to find God, to learn, to laugh, to experience life fully, and to fully live with those around me.

I know my parents are proud of me. They were skeptical when I told them I wanted to do post grad service. Going to NYC for a year? Hardly getting paid for it? Deferring loans? It all sounded crazy. But I did it. And it turns out, that one year of experience has led me to find a great new job that I’m starting next week.

I feel incredibly humbled by life. I feel so lucky that I escaped the hardships of an extensive job hunt. I’m grateful that my parents have not hesitated in financially supporting me for 23 years. I feel blessed. This life I live, it’s a beautiful one. The last 5 years have been amazing. I’ve been able to do all the things I love, I’ve been able to meet amazing people, I have been able to grow and continue molding myself. I love the person that the world has helped me to be and I hope I can keep expressing my neverending gratitude to the earth, to my family, to all of my community.

I drove by my elementary school today and a rush of tears overcame me. The image of my grandparents picking me up in kindergarten came to me. And I thought, If it were not for my grandparents taking me to preschool and kindergarten, I would not have been able to go to LMU. They helped me to build my foundation and I am forever grateful to them.

I will never take complete credit for this life I’ve lived. It would be a lie. Thank you to my grandparents, my mom, my stepdad, my brother, my best friends, former friends, future friends, teachers, mentors, associates, coworkers, roommates. Even if we have not been in touch, there’s a great chance I have not forgotten you. Positive or negative, every single person I’ve encountered has shaped me and I would not be where I am, with all the lucky opportunities I’ve had, without you.

Thank you for everything.

And a special note to the haters: you give me reason to work harder. 🙂

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