Hey, how are ya?!
Happy Thanksgiving! It is Thanksgiving Eve, and I am extremely excited for tonight and tomorrow. The day before Thanksgiving is like a homecoming of sorts and always feels like a High School Reunion. Friends I grew up with return home, and we meet up at a local bar. Reconnecting with people from different parts of my life – from former rivals in city-wide baseball to quiet kids from the back of the classroom – is always fun. It’s like seeing my life pass in front of me, but in a great way. Happy Thanksgiving!
In honor of Turkey Day, I decided to share six things I am grateful for. Six is the number of Super Bowl rings Tom Brady and Bill Belichek aspire for. Yes, I know the Patriots only have five rings right now. But everybody knows that these two champions are always thinking about “the next one.” It is the Patriot way. As a die-hard fan, it is my way too.
I wrote these in no particular order for one simple reason: if you asked Tom Brady which super bowl ring he likes most (I’d guess the 5th), he’d probably tell you they are all special. Same as below. Some are more important than others, but I will leave it to you to guess which ones rank highest in my book.
HANDICAP PERKS. Thank you, well-structured ramps, handicapped door openers, and elevators – you are all simply awesome. There is nothing better than parking at the front of a crowded parking lot. There is nothing more frustrating than wasting time driving around and getting into fights with people over parking spots. Trust me when I say I am grateful for accessible parking spots. I am also grateful for handicap-accessible bathrooms. The independence these bathrooms give us “handi-capable” people – like being able to do our business when we need to and not having to wait for someone to help us – is amazing. It gives us more confidence to live our lives freely and on our own terms. Every year that goes by, the handicap perks become better and more advanced. Thank you to all the advocates who pushed for our right to enter and exit happily.
OPPORTUNITIES. A big shout out to opportunities, for which I am hugely thankful. Just like the handicap perks help me seize the day, I see opportunities everywhere. Everybody has opportunities knocking every day. We have to pay attention and capitalize on them. To quote the late Robin Williams in the movie Dead Poet’s Society, “The world is your oyster.” I am always looking for great examples of people who seized opportunities. Look at Mark Zuckerberg. He started a social media app in college, dropped out, and grew Facebook into a massive company changing the world. Anything is possible if we seize the day with hard work and grit. Carpe Diem.
MY BLOG. This blog post goes hand in hand with opportunities. Deciding to write this blog was a huge undertaking, both personally and professionally. As I said in my last post, it isn’t always easy for me to open up about my life. However, I saw this blog as an opportunity to share my story. I knew I had to seize it. Reading your feedback makes it worthwhile and motivates me to keep going. What matters more to me is that my stories might be beneficial to someone who needs motivation that day. I hope this post brings you closer to what you are thankful for.
FRIENDS. They say you can’t pick your family, but you can pick your friends. I am just thankful my friends have picked me. They could have easily walked the other way to avoid getting close to a guy in a scooter. However, my friends have added normalcy, fun, and meaning to my life. Throughout my childhood, my time in high school, in college, and now, I have had some of the world’s greatest friends. I know that I am not always easy to deal with. My friends always have my back, especially when we are in a crowded place and they clear a path for me to scoot through; when I “accidentally” scoot over their ankles; when they piggy-back me around; when they help pick me up after I’ve fallen; when they carry heavy things for me. I could go on and on about all they have done for me. Just know that I am very thankful, and I’d do anything to be able to return the favor.
FAMILY. All things that I’ve mentioned before, this one could never exist without my family. Happy Thanksgiving, Fam! My family is the backbone of my support system. I have the best parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and dogs worldwide. My family has taught me loyalty. Without this important character trait, I would’ve been alone in my darkest moments. They are there for me. Period. Do not get me wrong. There have been (and will be) many moments when I would do anything to shut them up. But I always remind myself that we love each other no matter what.
BEING ALIVE. Life can be extremely challenging at times, but life’s beauty comes in taking the good with the bad. Life can bring you to your highest highs and lowest lows. Life is perfectly imperfect. What makes me so positive about life? The answer is simple: I’m still here. I still get to find and seize opportunities, spend time with friends and family, and plan for a future on my terms. I still get to do fun things, like a party in Boston with my buddies. Love makes the world go ’round – giving your life meaning- and brings out the best in people. The only way to feel love is to give it, so make sure to tell the ones who mean the most to you that you love them.
I really want to know what you are thankful for this year. Please leave some comments below! If you are shy or private, feel free to email me. Enjoy your time with friends and family, and make sure to eat lots of turkeys. Happy Thanksgiving!
One Love, Joey