I celebrate the successes along the road, whether they be minor or major. Got a new job? Awesome. Found a dollar on the ground? Amazing! I’ve recently realized I’ve been emerged in a very superficial setting since I moved to New York. It’s taken years of appreciation and dedication into pursuing my dream of working in the fashion industry to realize that it’s only a mere aspect of the big picture. The truth is that a garment is only shaped by the individual wearing it and that’s the real subject of admiration, everything else is simply icing on the (red velvet because that’s my favorite) cake. If I were to choose one specific thing about what it is I celebrate in life it would be realization. It’s the instant moment full of force that hits us with honesty. And although brutal, realization is the obstacle we become masters at overcoming and to be frank, that’s quite triumphant in itself! I’m passionate about traveling. I’m not passionate about sightseeing, or going to every museum in a new city. What truly satisfies my curiosity is sitting at a coffeeshop or a bar and just observing those around me. During the summer of 2015 I decided I needed to explore more of the world in order to gain a better sense of belonging and understanding. I had the immense blessing of being able to go abroad to London, Dubai, Bali, Gili Trawangan, Ibiza, Barcelona, Marrakesh and Paris. As I made my way through every city I really put forth the effort to become one with everything around me. There’s a certain feeling of satisfaction and coziness in knowing that I too can blend in with older women having tea on the rooftop of a Riad in the medina, or that I too can be a local by having nasi goreng at your local warung for USD $1.20 overlooking a rice field-not because it’s a picturesque view but simply because there’s nothing else around. To be lost yet alone, and to center myself with others who I’ve always had the preconceived idea of having little in common with, is perhaps the most satisfying feeling I’ve ever experienced. 

Why do I get out of bed in the morning? My black cold brew does the trick. On a more serious note, my family is my everything. They’ve done it all for me and I feel it’s only right to do the exact same for them. I’m motivated by having and being everything I’ve dreamed of, but also understanding that sometimes a little less isn’t always a bad thing. So what if all I want is a house in Connecticut, 3 kids, a French Bulldog and annual vacations in Key West? If I continue having the right people in my life, there’s nothing else I could possibly need or want. I stand for getting through with school and making damn sure this degree makes a difference in my career. I stand for Benny’s Burritos or Chipotle after a hard day at work but I also stand for being a healthier and better me. That’s where Soulcycle kicks in. As someone who has had some pretty intense body image issues his whole life, this company has come through and absolutely changed me in the exact cliche way Soulcycle does. 45 minutes. In and out. Sweaty. Done. I stand for making sure that I don’t forget to turn the stove off and that I don’t lose another set of keys. I stand for learning to appreciate the little things because if I learn to do that (which I need to learn more of), I’ll stand for the true meaning of gratitude.