Well, today is the day that everyone puts up status’ on Facebook and Tweets on Twitter that they are thankful for everything they never thought about before! YAY US! 

Just kidding. But, seriously, why don’t we appreciate what we have everyday? Take me for instance – I lost both my father and grandmother within the last two years and I still don’t realize how precious life is. I understand and appreciate what I have; a lot of people don’t have a family that loves, cares and makes me laugh like mine does. And after Sandy, a lot of people don’t have anything. But I just wish I never forgot to tell everyone how much I was thankful for them because you never know when you aren’t going to be able to get the chance to.

So thank you to my family who always keeps me grounded, laughing and focused in what I am supposed to be doing. To my friends who keep me smiling, happy and excited about where our lives are going. To my mother who literally single handedly takes care of myself and my brother. To my brother who annoys me to death and then cracks me up two seconds later. 

To those who were hit hard by Sandy, you are in my thoughts everyday. I see the news and hear the reports on the radio. I really don’t understand how you go on everyday with literally nothing. But because you all do, you are inspirations to everyone who does have things because you are the people that help us realize that tomorrow is never promised. 

I need to realize that I have it made for me – I have a car, money in my bank account, a job, a roof over my head, a great family and beautiful friends. Thats what I should be thankful for. 

The Struggle of Reality TV

I have a hard time NOT watching TV. Yes, I am one of those people that watch The Voice, Vampire Diaries and Revolution. I know the characters and contestants by name, age and location. I know – thats horrible. But what can I say? Americans are completely and obsessively involved with watching reality TV. You know how the older generations are really upset with the fact that MTV rarely has any music anymore (except for Jumpstart if you’re still awake at 4am)? I would be highly upset if Jersey Shore, True Life or Catfish were removed from MTV’s programming.

It’s crazy to think what we would do if we did not have these TV shows. Would we live our lives like Snooki, getting drunk and arrested in Jersey? Would we become ex-military on a mission to restore power for the entire world? Would we go online to meet random people and fall in love with them? Probably not. [Except that last one. That one tends to happen a lot.]

Point is – we live our incredibly boring and habitual lives through reality television. I do not want to have sex with random men in Cabo on the Real World. Nor do I want to have to choose between Blake or Adam on The Voice. BUT its awesome to be so involved in characters that you get nervous or excited for them. 

Note to self – catch up on the last Vampire Diaries episode that I DVRed!

I learned something amazing today.

Ever feel like you’re about to just give up and quit? Like you have been busting your ass at work and the boss never noticed. But, finally, one day you got that compliment that you were looking for? Well that’s what happened today.

Today, after realizing years ago that I wanted to have a writing career, after submitting countless pieces to Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul years ago and receiving nothing but thank yous instead of congratulations, after 2 years of college writing classes that I thought were dead ends, I got what I was searching for.

Before walking out of the door at the end of class, my professor turned to me and said, “You know, I never got to say this but you’re good. You seem to know what you want and you’re on the right track to getting it”.

And yes, I’m about to toot my horn even more. My professor just happens to be the former editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine. In the 70s and 80s, Marcia Gillespie was at the highest point she’s ever been and living the life I could now see myself living, not only hoping to live. She got to interview and make friends with celebrities and some of the most influential people of that time. She got to manage and edit a leading New York magazine that was nationally circulated and that today, can reach anyone anywhere with a simple search on the Internet or click of an app. She got to attend parties, social events and press releases. And most importantly, she got the job she worked hard to get at the young age of 27.

Today, she is a professor at the SUNY College at Old Westbury teaching media and feature writing classes. She teaches with personal experience; something many students and young adults don’t receive at their colleges. And that is what makes her important. After so much success in her life she is passing on her knowledge so that someone else, someone as regular as me, can be lead down the same path.

Now I’m not saying I will get anywhere with just that compliment alone. But it definitely put things into perspective.

At 20 years old, I am a senior in college who has been trying to be noticed professionally for years. And today, I got the push I needed to keep going.

To be that regular girl who made it out of that small town of Valley Stream, Long Island that seems to lock people in. Who used her own personal experiences to light a fire under her ass to get up and make something of herself. And to give back to her family, who has been nothing but supportive and her own personal guidance counselors when things just didn’t seem to be working out right.

And maybe I won’t be a big time magazine editor in the future. Maybe I will be. But, at the end of the day, if I can do what my professor did for me today, to light a fire under someone’s ass with just a few words without even knowing they were waiting to hear them, I will be as successful as I could
ever be.

just a small town girl trying to get it together.