The Kenyan Nomad

The Kenyan Nomad

Monday, December 29, 2014


First of all, today is pretty awesome. Why? It's my fantastic mum's birthday, and while she may be a few thousand kilometres away, I still absolutely intend to celebrate! She's been such a constant source of support my whole life, and is probably the strongest person I know. I'll definitely take any opportunity I can to celebrate her!

I've never really done a year in review in such a public space, but since this is a personal blog, mainly read by people I know, I felt that it'd be an appropriate platform.

2014 was such a long, eventful year, that it's hard to believe that only a year has gone by. I started off January by comping. It sounds simple enough, but it's a comprehensive examination that every Sewanee student has to take in their major before graduating, and how well you do may determine whether or not you're eligible for honours. It covers basically everything you've done in your major over the past three and a half years, and once you're done, your friends show up to 'comp' you and this leads to a party of wicked fun proportions. (My friends decorated my door so I thought I'd share it).

After that, the semester went by really, really quickly as I dealt with thesis preparation, presentation, and then my honors presentation. I had a wonderful 22nd birthday celebration with my best friends in Sewanee and I was absolutely blown away by the lengths they went to to ensure I had a wonderful time (I'll say it again; thanks guys!).  Before we knew it, graduation was upon us, and that week went by in a whirlwind of parties, goodbyes, and generally epic moments shared with great people. 

Relaxation was out of the question since barely a week after graduation, my sister got married. Those of you who've never attended an Indian wedding must try do so at some point (do avoid gate-crashing though, that's a no-no in most cultures). There was so much colour, pomp, laughter and happiness shared, and it felt really good to be with most of the extended family after such a long time. 

Unfortunately, a few weeks after that, the family got some sad news as we lost our grandfather back home in Kenya. It was definitely difficult being away at that point, but like the close-knit family that we are, we all rallied together from different continents to celebrate his life. 

Soon enough, there was more good news; two of our sisters (cousins really, but we've always been really close and refer to each other as such) were expecting! Aunthood is something I've been looking forward to for years now, so 2015 will definitely be an exciting one. 

The last few months involved me relocating from New Jersey to Iowa for a bit, and I started working as a marketing consultant and a marketing and communications intern. I FINALLY started blogging regularly, and saw my readership grow exponentially. I got to go back to Sewanee for a few days to see some of my favourite people in the world, and now I get to usher in 2015 with family in New Jersey again. 

Like I said, 2014 was extremely eventful and taught me a lot. It hasn't been the easiest of years, but I'm grateful for all the experiences I had and the people I shared them with. 2015 is one I'm definitely looking forward to. Aside from the whole aunt thing, it looks like there'll be a move for me at some point; whether this'll be back home, within Iowa, or to another part of the US entirely remains to be seen at this point. It's the first year that I'm not spending as a student in about 20 years, which is crazy and scary but still cool. 

Happy New Year everyone, and thanks so much for being a part of my journey this year! 

Enjoyed this post? Don't forget to comment, follow this blog, like my page on Facebook at The Kenyan Nomad or reach out to me on twitter @roshwalia !

Saturday, December 27, 2014

25 Before 25

Nearing the end of the year seemed like a good time to create a broad bucket list, so to speak! I've seen lots of these on various other blogs and websites, and it seemed appropriate to make one of my own (that could also be used by others)! I'm 22, turning 23 in March, so I figure this gives me a good two(ish) years to get exploring. Of course, the list is general enough that it can be used by most adults at any stage in life!

1) Pick up more languages: Personally, I'd like to finally master French, and attempt to tackle Italian, and the dialect of Irish that my phone calls 'Irish'. For others who're interested in languages around the world, the digital age we live in has made it SO much easier to pick up new ones; whether this entails using apps like Duolingo, or actually immersing yourself in a culture that speaks another language. 

2) Travel more: While I have family all over the world, and have travelled often, I haven't necessarily travelled to many different places (yet). Having graduated, hopefully I can work on this! An uncle of mine who regularly travels around the world for work told me that now is the best time to go out and see the world, and I think he's absolutely right (thanks Amu Faiz)! I've been fascinated by Ireland for some time now, for no particular reason, and so I hope to at least see this soon enough! 

3) Expand your musical skills: If 'musically challenged' was a medical disorder, it would describe me perfectly. I appreciate music, and enjoy live shows once in a while, but lacked the patience and skill to pick up an instrument (much to the dismay of my mum and teachers). However, singing doesn't seem (that) difficult, and at the risk of breaking all the windows around me, I think now might be a time to improve my skills enough that I can sing to my soon to arrive niece(s) or niece and nephew without cause for tears (did I mention I'm about to become a double aunt?) :)

4) Learn to make your money work for you: Younger than 25 may seem to some 'too young' to start worrying about money, but take clues from the successful (and unsuccessful) people around you. Just learning about simple investments that can be made and how to control spending habits could go a long way in the future!

5) Try an adrenaline sport: Honestly, I want to do banzai skydiving at some point. It sounds crazy, but fun! It may take me a while to get good enough to be able to do this, though, so I may stick to skydiving at this point!

6) Pick up photography: Or in my case, pick it up again. Bob (my camera) has been complaining of late that I haven't paid him much attention. Those classes I took while still in uni gave me an excuse to explore this art, but recently I've reduced my photography to taking pictures of friends and family when we get together. Yes, it's fun, but not necessarily what a DSLR was built for!

7) Give back, give often: 'Charity' has become so much more than giving money to those who're 'less fortunate'. I've been lucky enough to be in an environment where people are mindful of those around them, and I hope to be able to continue this as I get older. 

8) Learn to let conflict go: Sometimes we hold on to anger because we're too dogmatic to give in. By the time we realise that the relationship at risk means more than the silly squabble, it could be too late. I think the younger we learn to let go of conflict and move on, the healthier we'll be as we get older. 

9) Learn to let go of relationships: At the same time, sometimes it's important to recognise when some relationships have come to an end. These may be friendships that were very close to your heart, but may actually be detrimental to you. I read an interesting article recently on Elite Daily on 10 Toxic People You Shouldn't Bring With You Into The New Year , make sure to check it out!

10) Trust new people: I find that the older I get, the more comfortable I get with the comfort zones I create around myself. Being able to take a jump and try something new and meet new people does me wonders and I'm sure would benefit others too. 

11) Love yourself: I must have said this a thousand times before, but the best time to learn to spend time alone and be comfortable with yourself is now. No matter how old you are, no matter how many years you've spent with a negative self-image, with a little effort, this won't be hard to achieve at all. 

12) Make (and stick to) a fitness routine: Luckily, as of September, I've been pretty okay at this, but just hope that my streak continues! The benefits are definitely innumerable. I want to try accumulate at least 300 yoga hours in 2015, and be able to run at least a 5K so that when people learn I'm Kenyan, I can actually live up to the stereotype. 

13) Climb a mountain: This seems simple enough, right? The world has lots of variety you can pick from. Fortunately, Kenya does too, and I have lots of people around me who've already accomplished this. My best friend climbed Mount Kilimanjaro recently, and while I may not be ready to do this as soon as she was, maybe someday it'll happen. 

14) Learn to cook: Hurrah! I can almost check this one off, thanks to my sister who patiently showed me the basics. Six months ago, I'd never even broken an egg or cut an onion, but now I can safely say I would survive in a kitchen by myself. 

15) Learn to say no: I find this difficult to do, but am learning to do it more often. Sometimes, it's okay to think of yourself first and recognise that you have needs too. 

16) Say yes to things you would've previously turned down: You never know when a fun adventure may be right around the corner!

17) Read more, write more: Personally, I'm trying to switch from quantity to quality. I've got a few untouched-since-I-used-them-in-school Philosophy books that I've been meaning to explore but haven't quite gotten around to. 

18) Spend time with family: This one speaks for itself I think! I'm lucky enough to come from an extremely close family, and though we may be miles away, we speak almost everyday. Time together may not be as much as we'd like, but we make sure to use it well. 

19) Make time for friends: The older I get, the more it seems that I have friends spread out across the globe, from California to Australia. It can be hard to keep up with all of them, but I think it's important to try, especially so because it's these distances which remind you who values you in their lives too. 

20) Become a morning person: Those of you who know me well are probably doubled over laughing at this point. But hey, others have done this before me, so there may still be hope!

21) Go a significant period of time without TV and social media: Honestly, once you begin this, I don't think it's as hard as it seems. It's the initial step that's the hardest, but I think I'd really welcome being able to be Facebook free; not forever, but for a little bit. We've become so attached to our phones that interactions with real people leave much to be desired. 

22) Write with your non-dominant hand: This is a bit of an odd one, but I've always been fascinated with the fact that my dad can write with his left hand and it's actually legible (he's an eye surgeon so this makes sense). I'd love to be able to use mine too!

23) Talk to strangers: This is so much easier to do when you're in a closed environment like a university or workplace, but once you leave these, talking to strangers can seem daunting, at least to me! (Note to self (and others): Do not take this far enough to accept rides from strangers...)

24) Learn your way around a vehicle: My dad has always believed that if you want to drive a car, you should be able to look after it too. I remember the first time I polished one; it got dark while I was still working, and discovered some spots I'd missed the next day. Still, it was pretty exciting, and I've been meaning to learn more when I get a chance! 

25) Plan for the future, but learn to enjoy the present: This is such a big one, and such an important one! What's the point of planning for the future if you'll never enjoy the present? 

Happy holidays!

Enjoyed this post? Don't forget to comment, follow this blog, like my page on Facebook at The Kenyan Nomad or reach out to me on twitter @roshwalia !

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cognitive Shift

Life sucks. At least, it can if we allow it to. A strange sentiment, I'm sure, but please allow me to explain.

We face situations and people every single day that can give us cause to be unhappy and upset. We stress out over our lack of control, and can spiral down further, sometimes into deep depression. 

What can we do to be happy, you ask? It's really as simple as that; be happy. 

You see, life will always throw negatives our way. Focusing on them and giving them more importance than they're due will only harm yourself. Difficult as it may seem at first, choosing to see the positive in life will go a long way in helping you have a happy life. I certainly don't mean to preach, or imply that I'm perfect at this. Far from it! I've faced many situations in life, and continue to do so, where I've felt it would be easier to give up and let 'life happen'. Recently though, I refused to allow myself to think like this; to allow situations that could do so to put me in a 'down' state, and I'm so much happier for it. I'm not just happier with myself, but with the people around me! 

Sure, many people look at me and may wonder; what could be so difficult about my life? It's obviously easier for me to be happy because I've never had to deal with anything close to what they have. Remember, we all have our battles to fight, and just because some of us choose to smile does not mean that life is easy. Take a look around you; everyone you meet has their fair share of crap to deal with, but most of them do just fine. 

Training yourself to react to situations and triggers in healthy ways is not an easy task. Often, to be able to do so successfully may require the help of a professional, and there is nothing to be ashamed about if this is what you decide to do. Therapy has a sort of stigma attached to it that desperately needs to change. Honestly speaking, I'd recommend that everyone try therapy at least once in their life, and this isn't just the Psychology student in me speaking! Of course, that is not to say that this is impossible to accomplish by oneself. Many of us are locked into these patterns of thoughts and behaviours that have been a part of us for many years. Sometimes, we may fail to recognise them and how detrimental they can be. Having an outsider's perspective can definitely be helpful in such a situation. 

Almost everyone has people in their lives whose sole purpose seems to be lashing out at others and making them miserable. Almost everyone, at some point or the other, is capable of being such a person to others too! Remember, most of the time, these people are just reacting to their triggers, and lashing out is their preferred defense mechanism. Teaching yourself not to let such individuals get to you may not help them much at all; but I promise you, you'll be at peace.

Enjoyed this post? Don't forget to comment, follow this blog, like my page on Facebook at The Kenyan Nomad or reach out to me on twitter @roshwalia !

Saturday, December 13, 2014


I didn't have time for a longer post this weekend, but I'll share something my best friend sent me. Something I needed to hear, and maybe you too! 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Red Jeep

Sometimes, a physical object can have a deeper meaning that is made all the more important by its shared history. The red jeep pictured above belonged to Caleb, a friend of mine who graduated with me. It was eccentric in character to say the least, and upon graduation, he passed it along to the next rugby captain who would take over from him. 

(One memory comes to mind regarding this jeep for me. It was fall break of my sophomore year, and I was on campus along with a few friends. I offered to make dinner for a few of them, and I remember the owner of the jeep at the time (Caleb) coming over with another friend of ours, Jill. We had a great time, and managed to avoid burning down the dorm while we took control of the kitchen. As Caleb and Jill were leaving, I remember the jeep (which seemed to have a personality of its own) had trouble starting. As it finally started off, I stood on the roadside visibly amused, and half expecting them to break down a few metres ahead. They didn't).

I got in touch with him, its previous owner, and the person he passed it down to, to ask what exactly this jeep represented. I'll let their words do the talking! 

Previous owner: 
Well, the jeep was my first car, and painted with my favorite color and from a good friend. Because I got it in Sewanee, it fit right in to our tradition of community. This signified strength and responsibility for me. As mentioned earlier, it was my first car so I had to maintain it with much love and care. I also drove the car to DC 3 times and it still drove anew as if some Angel was working under the hood; a Sewanee angel perhaps.


Second owner: 
I actually had my eye on that Jeep long before I knew Bexter was selling the thing. I used to see him (Bexter) cruising around campus in that noisy piece of awesome and I hoped to find a car like that someday for myself. There was something so unapologetically intense about the thing. Its presence was undeniable, albiet intrusive, and yet it emanated this overarching aura of strength and this sort of rugged friendliness.
When Bexter reached out to me about buying it I knew it was meant to be. I had always looked up to Bexter. He sort of took me under his wing my freshmen year and helped me assimilate to the "Sewanee Lifestyle". As a fellow African transplanted in the American South, he knew much of the culture-shock I was going through those first few semesters and he made everything seem alright. He is such a passionate person and you can really see this come out when he sings. I've never really told him this but I always knew something of his passionate soul found its way into that car, you could feel it.
Anyway, he sold it to me for a ridiculous price. Hell, he practically gave her to me. It was my first car. I was so stoked. I didn't even have an American license yet. My good friend Sam Dexter had to drive me down to the DMV to help me figure out how to pass the driver's test and get registered. So my first ride in the car was actually in the shotgun seat and you had to climb in through the window because the door was jammed.
After we got all the paperwork sorted out I began to drive that thing around like mad. It felt so damn good. I took it on a few road trips, got a few speeding tickets, and jam packed the thing with rugby players and did donuts in the gravel. I've always believed that anything worth doing is worth overdoing. In regards to the Jeep, that meant driving the hell out of her and taking meticulously good care of her at the same time. I made a point to get to know every corner of that greasy engine, it was a beautiful thing.
I quickly learned that the car was at its best when shared with as many people as possible. I honestly think the thing would work better when more people were riding in it, and to my knowledge, that is still the case today. She is so loud that you sort of have to yell at each other when you drive around. But I think it's good to raise your voice every now and then, it lets something out of you, something that needs to be let out.
That Jeep was so unprecedented, so disruptive, and yet so charming. Lodged in a community of primarily upperclass southerners, the Jeep had the effect of being like that eccentric aunt in the family who everyone is slightly embarrassed about but who still gets to show up for thanksgiving dinner because she's family dammit. She's so brash, so entitled, so unpredictable, and yet the happiest in the bunch, or at least the only one with nothing to lose. That is what this Jeep was. That is what it felt like to drive it.
It was an honor to drive that thing around for about 3.5 years. I'm grateful to Bexter and Lawrence for taking such good care of it before passing it along to me. I've always been uncomfortable with referring to it as "my jeep." I think there is an unfortunate impulse in human nature (or at least in my human nature) to want to 'possess' good things. But not all good things are meant to be possessed. And when these good things grace you with their presence and come into your life, it's always a good idea to never hold on too tight. That Jeep really belongs to no one. It's a symbol that embodies values of freedom, brotherhood, creativity, true love, and the irrational yet exquisite capacity to fight on and on and on. Everyone has a right to these things, and there is something about the Jeep that extends the invitation to partake in these things, these values, and nothing about that is exclusive!
How could I ever sell such a thing! Never, no, it would be disrespectful to her and an insult to her freedom. Instead I passed my duty as primary caretaker on to one of the greatest men I know. A man I trust and love and look up to. A man who has taught me a great deal about life and rugby and the nuances of flip-cup. I know the Jeep will serve him well and I know he will serve the Jeep well. The Sewanee rugby family will surround and protect that Jeep for years to come and something about that really puts my hear to rest.
I always wonder if perhaps the Jeep will die someday. Part of me thinks that it could only die if people stopped believing in what she represents. If that day ever comes however, I pray God gives us the grace to let the Jeep go with full hearts and peaceful souls...but until then, until its final mile, we will fight for her, and she will surely fight for us.

Current owner:
The jeep for me is not as much about tradition as it is about shared memories. It's a place to get to know someone and a place to feel young and invincible. My freshman year I lived in courts with Caleb and drove with him in that jeep to rugby practice every day. He was the first guy I got to know on the rugby team because of these drives. I remember sitting in the back seat (the front door was permanently sealed) on the way to practice, exploring all the paintings and scrawled quotes on the interior and talking to Caleb about where we came from and how beautiful rugby is. Then we'd pull up to the old EMS house and Sam Dex would run out and climb through the front passenger window and we'd be off to practice. 

I remember how much I looked up to Caleb and how he drove the jeep with a reckless abandon, while telling me about all its finicky little personality traits like how it runs better in the cold and when you drive it hard. Last year I remember sitting in the back seat in the Fiji parking lot one afternoon with a new rugby freshman for a full hour just talking about rugby and our lives and bonding. During our conversation we finger painted "HAZE" onto one side's seat with extra field lining paint found in the back seat. 

The jeep is all about inner beauty, resilience and tlc. It will run as long as it has someone to share itself with. I can't think of it as anything but Caleb's truck but it is the rugby club's truck now and I know it loves its job. It'll never leave the mountain.


Enjoyed this post? Don't forget to comment, follow this blog, like my page on Facebook at The Kenyan Nomad or reach out to me on twitter @roshwalia !

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Flawed Philosophy of Work

Many of us work eight or nine hours every weekday, and some of us also go in for about four or five hours every Saturday. This is a large proportion of our waking time spent at our workplaces. What do we work for? We work to make enough money to be able to afford nice houses that we barely get to spend time in, and to travel during the meagre vacation time we're given.

One would think that since so much of our lives and our waking hours are spent at our workplaces, we would strive to find jobs we enjoyed and would attempt to make the hours spent there more enjoyable, but strangely enough, this isn't the case at all. Come Monday, most, if not all of us, begin to whine about having to go back to work. We eagerly count down days to the weekend, and work in a state of disengagement that tells us that what we are doing shouldn't be enjoyed, but rather tolerated to be able to enjoy later.

We spend many hours with people who work around us, yet go back home at the end of the day virtually strangers, and complain about being 'lonely' and how hard it is to 'meet people'.

What fundamental flaw has arisen in our way of life that we have created lifestyles that make it easier and easier for people to be unhappy? Employees find themselves stuck in situations they don't enjoy just so that they can make money, employers fail to recognise the need these employees have for time off, and society creates a system that forces people to choose 'something' that they can do, before they even realise what it is that they would love to do.

Yes, I have met many people who absolutely love their work. They enjoy what they do, and find fulfillment in the same. These same people have meaningful relationships with the people they work with, and have employers who aren't stingy about time.

Personally, I'm terrified of getting stuck in the rat race; needing to work more and more for less and less, and unable to find meaning in what I do. Luckily for me, I have the support of many friends, family members and mentors, but I know that many others do not enjoy similar comfort. Is it time for change? I certainly think (and hope) so.

Enjoyed this post? Don't forget to comment, follow this blog, like my page on Facebook at The Kenyan Nomad or reach out to me on twitter @roshwalia !

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Art of Being Obvious

I don't know about you, but sometimes when I look at a piece of art, listen to music, read something, or look at a photograph, I like to appreciate its beauty at face value. I think sometimes we get so lost in 'looking for the meaning' in something that it actually loses our attention and we can't appreciate it is much. Beauty really does lie in the eye of the beholder, and sometimes things change meaning for us depending on our lens; the experiences that have shaped us, our emotions, our memories, our lives.

I honestly don't think that two people can look at the same thing the same way; our perception is shaped by our minds, which do a lot of filling in for us. We perceive the world as a beautiful reconstruction of what it really is, a reconstruction that our own brains make. 

I think part of the reason I appreciate various forms of art so much is that I am dismal at them. I was born with no talent, and failed to develop any over the years. So, while I sometimes enjoy hunting for meaning in things, looking at them again and again till they make sense or change before me, sometimes there is beauty in simplicity and being able to say things outright. A great example of this is the Humans of New York photo blog, which is honestly my favourite thing about the Internet. Many of the photos taken by Brandon can be appreciated at face value, many require looking deeper to find meaning, and most can be enjoyed both ways. 

I don't think I'll ever fully be one of those 'writers' (which I put in quotes because I don't fully believe I deserve the title) who relies heavily on subtlety. Most of the time, when I want to say something, I'll go ahead and say it, which anyone who has spent much time around me or read my blog can testify to! 

To part with, I'll leave you with two pictures that I took today; one of the corks I collect neatly in my cork cage, one of them out of it. Interpret them how you will! For me, they're a reminder of wonderful people and wonderful times shared with these people :)

Enjoyed this post? Don't forget to comment, follow this blog, like my page on Facebook at The Kenyan Nomad or reach out to me on twitter @roshwalia !

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Repressed: A Modern Love Story?

(I'll warn you in advance, this post isn't one of my happiest, but it's definitely one of my most important. Read no further if you hold the belief that women must surrender all parts of themselves and their identities to their husbands and in-laws after marriage.) 

I remain perpetually shocked by the fact that I STILL live in a society where wives and daughters-in-law don't have anywhere near the respect and freedom that husbands and sons do. Am I talking about Kenya, or Indians in Kenya, or Indians in general? I haven't quite figured that out yet. However, I am talking about a problem that is extremely real, extremely relevant, and happening even today. 

There are many families who insist that a daughter-in-law change her surname after marriage, and don't even leave her the option of keeping her old surname as a middle name. Our identities are so fundamentally tied to our names that it's hard to believe that this is still the case. Yes, I understand the fact that having a common last name is easier for family purposes, but what harm can there be in allowing a woman to keep her old identity intact? In fact, why is this even an issue that needs to be 'allowed'? Shouldn't someone have a say over something as basic as what their name changes to and what they name their children? 

Personally, I can't respect people who think like this, who hold onto their old-fashioned standards due to some deep rooted dogma that they absolutely refuse to let go of. It isn't that the world will end if they let go of these unflinching standards; I have met many, many rational people who do not force a woman to give up her old name just because she married their son. 

I find that these are the same people who put the burden of their care on their daughters-in-law, and none at all on their daughters 'because eventually they will go to their own homes'. Marriage does not mean she is disowned and not a part of your family any longer, and if you have expectations of your sons and their wives to help tend to you, there is no reason not to extend these expectations to your daughters and their husbands. If you have guests at home and berate your daughters for not tending to them while you say nothing to your sons as they do the same, you're definitely doing something wrong. 

I'm extremely lucky to have parents who do not differentiate between sons and daughters, and do not expect us to fulfill 'traditional Indian roles', but I know that there are many others who are not as fortunate. It saddens me that in 2014, this is still a relevant conversation that needs to be had, practically begging stubborn parents to give daughters and daughters-in-law the rights they deserve. Still, a conversation is a start, and I hope that by the time my nieces are of age, this will be an issue that they'll hear about only when they read their aunt's old blog posts. 

To conclude, I'll leave with two conveniently copy-and-pasted paragraphs I took from an article on They kind of say it all, don't they? 

'It is not only unfair but extremely regressive of a man to expect his wife to change her second name after marriage. She can be as much a part of your family even with her original name retained. Her willingness to get her name changed is no measure of how dedicated a wife and how 'cultured' a woman she is, which is why it shouldn't be a concern at all. Moreover, she has a lot of emotions attached to her name - it has been a part of her identity all her life. Just because she is married now, doesn't mean she shall lose all individuality. If you're still not convinced, ask yourself if you'd ever be willing to change your name to hers after getting married.'

' It is strange how convenient it is for an Indian man to make his wife stay with his family without having to give anything up himself.  When a girl agrees to leave her home and live with you for the rest of her life, you owe her equal respect and love towards her family. Instead of making her distant from her family, promise to spend equal amount of time with her parents as she does with yours or be willing to move in with her parents. The society desperately needs an example of a truly equal marriage. Be that change!'

Enjoyed this post? Don't forget to comment, follow this blog, like my page on Facebook at The Kenyan Nomad or reach out to me on twitter @roshwalia !

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thank You, Too

Coincidentally, around Thanksgiving, I began to notice lots of little ways that the people in my life were appreciating me. It's like the universe is sending me little affirmations saying "Keep going, you're doing something right!". 

Many of them actually centred around this blog; I heard from a few people who I haven't heard from in ages giving me feedback on my writing. Some said they enjoyed reading what I wrote, some said that I inspired them to write, some asked me for tips on how to start writing themselves. I've gotten out-of-the-blue messages from old friends telling me that they're thankful for me, that they were thinking of me, that I inspired them somehow. 

Sure, on a day-to-day basis I'm sure many of us don't stop and make sure to reach out and appreciate the people in our lives. Luckily though, I just got a very important reminder from the people in mine about how great one feels when you do that, so I'm definitely going to make sure I appreciate them more often. Thank you, all of you. Happy Holidays!

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