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Now that the holidays are here and the end of another year is quickly approaching, I think it is important to focus on the things/persons/situations that one is most grateful for. It's easy to look back on the year and focus on the situations that did not exactly go as planned, or the losses taken, but I figured in this post, reflecting on lessons learned would be most beneficial. So as you prepare to meet up with family you probably haven't seen in years (or months), break bread with friends or curl up in your bed to binge watch your favorite television shows, take a moment to reflect on where you are now and where you see yourself going.

I am grateful for my family - my small tribe of individuals who love me unconditionally and without hesitation.

I am grateful for the closure I received when I journeyed to Atlanta. Learning more about my dad, discovering that he and I are exactly alike and that a day never went by without him thinking about me, sealed an old wound that I tried to bury. I'm ok now. It was here in the moments that I spent with Sandra (my step-mom) where acceptance of self, acceptance of who I am, finally fell into place. I spent nearly my entire life trapped in a period of self-loathing. For most of my life, I battled secretly with self esteem. I hated mirrors. I scolded myself for not being attractive enough, for not being the pretty skinned woman with the easy smile, for not possessing the aesthetically pleasing facial features...for basically not falling into the collective of what I had been conditioned to believe as beautiful.

I remember years ago when I was child, my dad told me I was beautiful and as a child, it didnt mean anything to me then. But that memory means the world to me now.

Thank you Sandra.

I am grateful for those small pieces that remain of my father through Sandra. I can sense him around her and as much as I would love to be embraced in one of his big bear hugs right now, its a comfort in knowing that his energy is still present.

I am grateful for the amazing opportunities that sprung forth for me to attend. I met some amazing authors, and even more fantastic readers. I received support from people that I never expected to receive support from.

I am grateful for the hard lessons I received when it came to love and relationships. It was in this space of true heartbreak where I was able to rebuild myself into the person I am now. I fought for me like no one had ever done. In this space, I discovered and tapped into unknown parts of myself and I am happy to say that I am in love with me.

Let me say that one more time: I. Am. In. Love. With. Me.

Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, skin still raw and tender from the flames, I am a new me. My heart doesn't beat same way it used to. As a matter of fact, in order to access it, one has to have the new pass code. The next time I let someone in, his love will be without question. His love will be without abuse. His love will be specifically concentrated on me and me alone. I will not have to compete. I will not have to worry about what he is not saying. And most importantly, he will be a safe place for me to just be me.

As I conclude this blog, I hope you were able to walk away with some things to think about. Always be gratuitous,regardless of the situation because there is always something to gain, even if it is just a lesson. Do not allow the trials of 2019 to have happened in vain... let those trials be the foundation of greatness for your 2020.

Happy Thanksgiving from me to you :)

In order to know where I am going, I have to remember where I have been...

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