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There's a saying that goes: God laughs at you whenever you tell him your plans. I can definitively say that I had no idea I would end up where I am, with plenty more to achieve. I still have 'plans' that I am putting into action but the path there has been very unique. I'm sure many could say the same. The one thing I've learned through all of my experiences is to enjoy and celebrate the small wins, then build upon them.

I'm not big into clever, catchy sayings or social media preaching. I do believe however that to properly celebrate someone else, you need to be able to celebrate yourself and your progress on your journey, whatever it may be. The process is just as important as the result. You gain an appreciation for what you've done and similarly understand what your peers have gone through to reach similar heights. The inability to acknowledge your own acheivements (or self-inflicted shortcomings) creates an aura of denial, anger, jealously and resentment.

Overnight (sustained) success is a myth. The idea that overnight success is a common (and relatively easy) goal to achieve falsely creates lofty expectations for those in the mid to beginning of their journey. Foolishly, you create a mental mountain to climb when you should be focused on getting over the speed bump first. When these unrealistic expectations are predictably not achieved, you begin to doubt yourself or doubt the ones who reached those plateaus without fully comprehending the steps it took to get there. In the process you discredit yourself and resent them when truthfully you're probably right where you need to be.

Why does any of this matter to me? Why does any of this matter at all? My inspiration for this excerpt comes from one of the biggest influences on my life and I didn't realize how much until they were gone. It has been heavy on my heart all week so for you Marvin Lee (a.k.a. Starvo), I dedicate this. Marvin is the only person close to my age that I ever wanted to be like. To this day I still want a pair of overalls because he made them look fashionable. I played against him every single day in practice. I wanted to dress like him, I wanted to hoop like him, hell I even wanted a beard like him. He instilled a confidence in me that I didn't know I had. Natural charm and a heart of gold. The night he left us, he was trying to apologize for someone else and bring peace to a situation. Even in his final moments, he never stopped being him. My only regret is not being able to share these thoughts face to face and celebrate him here when I had plenty of time to do so.

Celebrate yourselves and celebrate each other no matter where you are and no matter where they are. You never know who might need those flowers.

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