Two years ago this morning I got up at the crack of dawn and my mom and I hopped in the car and we were off to UC Medical Center for my journey to begin. Never did I think at the time that there was even a journey to be had. I thought I was going to have surgery, quietly recover and in a few weeks I'd be back to work and life without much else involved.
Since then, I so fortunately gained a voice in the community, have been given so, so many awesome opportunities to share my story and my life has evolved in such a positive way I can barely put it into words.
There are so many people I want to thank - for being my supporters and my fighters and my sense of peace when I have a random freakout moment (it happens). I could never say thank you enough or find words for all of you, but I'll try my best:
Thank you to my advocates - my supporters who may be friends, coworkers, friends of our families, long-distance followers to my story, my doctors and BFFs within the UC Medical Center circle and so many more. I continually am amazed at the kind words I receive and motivational pushes that keep me going. I owe so much to all of you! Please know that I appreciate your support every single day. Each and every text, email, call, Sametime makes me remember why I'm doing what I'm doing, and I can continue my mission and work because of you guys.
Thank you to my incredible friends - my high school best friends who have literally been with me longer than I have memory, and that know me better than I know myself. Clearly I haven't always been easy to deal with, but thank you for always being my besties, and continuing our philosophy of being (responsibly) on the loose, always. Thank you to my Bobcat girlfriends - who keep the (crazy) spirit of OU alive every time we get together. We may not be back in the promise land of Athens very often, but I look forward to every time we're together and can laugh about the stupid things we did and friendships we gained back in the days on the bricks. And thank you to my Cincinnati friends - who I am seriously blessed beyond measure that Kev brought you all into my life. I may hate on the excessive amount of Turpin inside jokes, but I'll be an honorary THS alum for the rest of my life if it means I get all of you to stay in mine.
Thank you to my families - To my mom who is my #1 fan in everything I do. You may have to be because you're my mom, but I appreciate it always and wouldn't be who or where I am today without you pushing me. Between you graciously helping with every little thing I need in life, and Mark willingly hanging every frame, mirror and shelf in our house, I'm confident Kevin and I will survive our first year of homeownership. To Jenny & Liv - for keeping me laughing at all times in life, supporting me 100% and for knowing how retail therapy can sometimes be the only thing to stop tears (cue Easter 2 years ago, sometimes you need a new purse to feel better. Lol!) In all seriousness, I think Dad would be so proud of each of his three girls. And to my new extended in-laws family - I lucked out big time with you guys and I'm so fortunate to have another family who is the epitome of work hard, play hard, love hard.
And to my sweet, sweet Kev - how do I even put into words how much I appreciate you? The reason I was able to go through all of this - the ups, downs and in-betweens - and still feel beautiful after every day, is because of you. I look forward to so many more years of YOLOing and making an adventure out of every opportunity we have. God blessed me big time by crossing our paths in little Athens, Ohio, over a shared love of Ninja Turtle shots at the Crystal and belting out tunes on long car rides. And p.s., most importantly, thanks for dealing with my craziness on a daily basis. You, my dear, are a saint.
So join me in a virtual cheers today! The last two years have been scary, exciting and filled with a whole lot of thriving. And the best part? The journey is nowhere near the end, and there is so much more to come.
Thanks for reading and supporting me and just being part of my crew. This one's to all of you!