In light of my attempt to write down my thoughts every day, why not a thankful post for the holiday?

God has blessed me with a spectacular family that has, throughout the years, showered me with support, advice, and encouragement, in all that I do. Having them as the leading sponsors of my endeavors has allowed me to take the bull by the horns and overcome any tribulation life has thrown my way. From the darkest to the brightest of times, my mother, brother, and sister, have always shown up to the party. I am also quite lucky to have three out of my four grandparents still around to repeat the stories of their lives and enlighten me with their experience and raw wisdom. And regardless of whether I am in town or not, my uncles, aunts, and cousins have continued to keep my family’s culture alive and for that—I am so thankful.

These gratuitous acts also come from my friends. Those that have helped me grow the most by sharing important life experiences. The reason they help you grow the most, despite the support from your family (which I compare to winning the jackpot), is that these are voluntary relationships. They don’t have to be your friends. The only way to keep them as your friends is through the value you bring to them. Sometimes, we run out of value and some friends will search elsewhere for that value. This is not a bad thing, but a fact of life. It’s called scarcity. I’m happy to have been a part of their journey and they, a part of mine, and for that—I am so thankful.

But, even as we leave the environments and circumstances that brought us together, I have been lucky enough to retain some lengthy friendships throughout the years. I have friendships conceived in middle school, over 17 years ago, that are still strong. So strong I was recently part of a beautiful wedding with them. How is this even possible? Along with school, music has brought several of my friendships to fruition. I say fruition because even with me not playing music and leaving town to study the god-awful subject of economics, we still regularly share our experiences with each other. Additionally, food, drink, and grass have shaped many of the lifelong friendships I cherish so much and for that—I am so thankful.

For the last (almost) three years, I have been able to share virtually all my experiences with a special lady, Olivia. From the beginning, being an advocate for markets and voluntary transactions, I would ask her every three months if she’d like to renew her subscription with me. Not only has she chosen to deal with my crazy ambitions, my weird personality, my bad jokes, and flatulence, but she has agreed to live with it. It’s one thing to encourage and support this from a distance, but it takes a special, patient, wonderful person to embrace it in the same room, every day. I am blessed to have had such a wonderful partner in the last three years, during a crucial transition in both of our lives. We have fought, laughed, cried, and loved. Through all that, she continues to renew that subscription and for that—I am so thankful.

In addition to these special people in my life, I have been blessed with wonderful opportunities to be a part of exciting communities. Valencia College doesn’t get thanked enough as it got my foot in the door of education along with opening my eyes to the beauty of economics. Florida State University furthered this by offering me the opportunity to travel, wonderful networks in the field, and tangible skills needed to stay afloat in the competitive academic and policy arena. My professors, the organizations, the events, the deadlines, the people, and the town, were all such positive experiences in my life. GenFKD has been a game-changing organization that has empowered me to become better and more versatile in my craft through leadership, writing, and communication. The relationships and the work that have come out of this organization has and continues to align with my passion of “to making a difference in the world,” whatever that is supposed to mean. Just having the chance to figure that out is more than awesome! And now, the opportunity to be a part of a university and research center that inspired me from the beginning is a dream come true and for all that—I am so thankful.

Behind all of this is God. Although my faith has gone up and down since my early years, I know that He is in control of these outcomes. To the naked eye all of this seems spontaneous, and for all intents and purposes, it very well may be. But, I do not believe in coincidences, nor do I play with dice (anymore). The order comes from Him and for that—I am thankful.

Although I could write for days on all the things I want to show my gratitude, let’s all be thankful that I cut this short.287488-happy-thanksgiving

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