Updated: Mar 19, 2020
As we enter the holiday season, I wanted to take a moment this week to reflect on gratitude and what I am grateful for. There are a lot of things I feel I could write about, but what comes to mind first are family, VCFS, and hard times. When it comes to families, there are a lot of different beliefs out in the world about what “family” actually means and how we get them. For example, the Hindus believe that the soul chooses the family. Looking at the world in this way, there exists some predestined path to the family we end up with. While there may be some truth to this, I believe that one cannot choose the family that one is born into, but one can cultivate a family outside of one’s own. For example, I have many godparents whom I am grateful for, as well as friends who have been there for me in both the good and tougher times of 2014. Whether it has been my immediate family, (especially lately my mom), or my godparents or friends, I am grateful for all the different “families” around me. I have also posed the question to myself that if they found a cure for Velo Cardio Facial Syndrome (VCFS), if I would want it. The more I have meditated on this question, the more I think no, I wouldn’t. It is because of my VCFS that I am who I am today and it has greatly shaped my everyday and professional life. I would not have had the close relationship that I had with my father and have with my mother. I would not have such respect for the little things in life that most people do not notice. If I lived a perfectly normal life, then I would never had had such a powerful reason to write a book. I also wouldn’t have been able to start Friends of Quinn and meet all the amazing readers that have reached out to me. Everything that I have experienced in my life has been a lesson, especially when times have gotten difficult. We don’t like to experience the hard times in life, but it is the hard times in our lives that mold and educate us. I feel we don’t necessarily learn as much when we experience ecstasy. If we all lived perfectly “normal” lives, then there would be no point to really exist in the human race. Nothing would move forward. Experiencing hardship in life has made the rewards especially sweet; and the hardships in life are part of the greater recipe for cultivating gratitude. My father taught me that in one way or another, we have all rubbed our hands together next to the fire of life. However you look at how we all intersect with each other and deal with the hard times in daily existence, in the end, we all need to keep warm and go out into the world one way or another.