Over my 49 years, I’ve had to learn how to live in gratitude. In the past, I could be and often was grateful for things, people, and opportunities that came into my life, but I wasn’t living in a state of sustained gratitude.
Owning The Curious George Store was one of the biggest reasons that I am now capable of living in gratitude. Having never before owned a business, I had NO idea of what I was in for when I bought it. But some little voice relentlessly insisted that I had no choice: our friend Curious George was calling to me. And so, I did what any sane and reasonable person would (not) do in that situation: I closed my eyes and leapt, both feet forward. Turns out, the little bugger was right. The Store has brought so many gifts, learnings, and so much love and generosity of spirit into my life. It has been such a powerful force that even with the incredible difficulties, obstacles, and challenges I’ve faced in the past year and a half, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
For me, not knowing a thing about what I needed to know turned out to be the best place from which to start. I had absolutely no choice but to rely on the help given to me in so many ways; incredibly smart, gifted and skilled people that DID know what they were doing, opportunities I had no clue were even out there, and support and love from countless people, yourselves included.
So, I’m sure you can imagine, all of this kicked my gratitude into high gear. When you bear witness, as I have, to the amount and sheer force of love that I’ve been so lucky to see and receive, I imagine even the greatest of cynics wouldn’t be able to remain so: gratitude is such a bigger force and stronger place in which to live.
And now I find myself amid a pandemic, social/racial/cultural/economic injustice, political wars, fear and hatred. Yet, I remain happy. It’s not that I’m unaffected by it all – of course I am – I’m biracial, bipolar, and at the moment, have lost my business. And yet, because of gratitude, I can and do remain happy. Gratitude as opened a space within me that can only be filled with acceptance, grace, and joy. It is all of you that are filling that space.
The auction was a huge reminder of why that gratitude space is so powerful to me. The enthusiasm, energy, and love brought by each of you was nothing short of amazing. The grace, patience, and support you all showed – sitting through technical difficulties and the time it took us to learn – was completely astounding.
I am so grateful to each and every one of you – whether you took part in the auction or just now randomly happened across a blog post about a girl, a monkey, a store, and gratitude – you, as individuals and collectively, make me so incredibly grateful to belong to and be supported by one of the strongest, kindest communities I’ve ever come across: The Curious George Community. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind – the auction was just living proof – that every last person in our CG Community holds the same qualities I mentioned above: acceptance, grace, patience, energy, enthusiasm, and love. And because you chose to share all of them with me, I am filled with unending gratitude and support.
So, to all my Curious friends, I say thank you. Your support is the wind beneath my wings. Let’s work together to build a space and place that can act as a launching pad: a place that is about all things Curious George – a space where we can teach our kids or anyone else who may need to feel the acceptance, joy, and love that the Curious George Community so readily provides.
Keep coming back – make your stake in the Curious George Community and help me build what’s to come. Make sure to keep checking in – we’ll be offering opportunities to do just that in the very near future. And please, keep showing your generosity and love, which makes me certain that through the obstacles and challenges waiting down the road, I will nevertheless remain safe and happy in gratitude.