How I see It

Posts tagged ‘Inspiration’

Everyday People – Oct. 13th 2016

I have met Mr. David Pasquantonio a handful of times.

He always has the most charming smile that reaches his eyes.

He looks no taller than 5’11 and has dusty brunette hair with gray strands that are evidence of his late 40s.

Today, he walked to my concierge desk and we played a game of catch-up. Ok fine, we didn’t really play that game. Still, it was very cute that he tried so hard to remember my name, while I tried to remember his unit number to sign out his mail delivery.

The first time I met him, I was sitting in for the regular evening concierge at his building. He walked in all smiles and said “I haven’t seen you here before. Are you new?” I smiled at him and answered all his questions. When I told him my name, his face lit up! “That’s such a beautiful name! My wife and I actually considered naming our baby girl Gabriella.” While I’m used to people admiring my name, I have never had anyone tell me they actually wanted to give their child the name. I know there are thousands of Gabriellas in the world but it still felt special. I’ll never forget the tale of how after much deliberation, he and his wife settled on another just as beautiful, if not more beautiful name. “That’s O.K. though, because now we already know what our next little girl’s name will be.” he said.

Shout out to all the Gabriellas out there!

His easy spirit, friendliness and genuine personality are what caught my attention. He showed me photos of his little girl, several photos – one of her sleeping next to her mom, another of her smiling and another in which she had the cutest funny face, just to cite a few. I saw in his eyes, an unmistaken pride. A genuine father’s joy.

He came home from work tonight and when he stopped by my desk, I could see the exhaustion in his eyes, yet his smile never wavered. I knew just what would bring him to life even more. I asked about his daughter. He lit up! “I’ll show you a photo. You’re gonna find this really funny.” He practically laughed through the words and proceeded to explain the backstory of the most adorable baby picture I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

This man to me is a representation of the good American dream. He’s a happy father, loving his wife and child and working hard everyday for them. He genuinely looks happy to come home every night to the life he’s built for himself.

I want to be like Mr. Pasquantonio when I grow up.

P.S. I knew he’d be cool. I mean come on, even his last name is cool! And now, I won’t forget it again.

-Gabriella A.

Spiritual Breakthrough

Breakthrough

Last week I decided to finally do something I’ve pondered and mulled over for at least half a dozen years, but never mustered courage to go through with it. I decided to fast and pray.

fastingI’ve coasted through most of my teenage and young adult life, not really knowing God. Don’t get the wrong idea; I have been a christian, but only in title and rarely in practice. I never really sought to deepen my relationship with God or even try harder than pray a couple of times a month and go to church once in a year or two. In other words, God just wasn’t a priority in my life, except when I needed something from him.

Isn’t it amazing that despite our human nature to seek God only for favours, he still helps us and loves us unconditionally? That in itself is our small miracle each and every day, but I digress.

Like I was saying, I decided to fast and pray 12 hours a day, for a week. Why? Well, true to nature, I needed something from the man upstairs. I needed him to bless me with a few things I’d rather not name in this blog.

I couldn’t eat or drink anything from six a.m, to six p.m. everyday. While those were some of the most excruciating hours of my life, I felt the closest I’ve been to God in a long time.

Many times I found myself fantasizing about a mouth-watering steak dinner, feeling hungrier by the minute. I would imagine how much face stuffing awaited me, how my stomach would magically surpass its natural elasticity to accommodate enough food to last for the entire next day. Yet the clock literally crawled through every second. Everyone at work seemed to think that was the best time to ask me if I wanted anything to eat from the store. My stomach made growling sounds loud enough that I’m sure our Canadian counterparts across the border heard. I never thought that week would end.

In those moments, I reminded myself of why I was giving up my comfort and what I stood 27232772717193915_uszqkn87_fto gain. I said several payers for grace and strength, peace, love, family, and so much more. I read scripture after scripture on morality and living in Christ. I started to look beyond myself and to see God in others. I found myself making efforts to be slow to anger and rich in mercy, to love and live the golden rule the best way I can. P.S. It’s not quite an easy thing to do, I’m learning that now. But faith the size of a mustard seed, Jesus says, can move a mountain (Matthew Chapter 17, Verse 20). I believe.

That was my breakthrough, my miracle.

And now that I’ve felt the Spirit work in me and the hand of God touch me, I want more.

Our Path To Greatness Gala

Last Sunday (May 22, 2016) I had the privilege to attend a gala fundraiser hosted by the Non-Profit organization Our Paths To Greatness. The reason for this fundraiser was to provide affordable education and other resources to Makoko village in Nigeria. This village, suspended over a body of water has over 85 thousand inhabitants, who fish as a primary source of living. The village only has one school for the thousands of children who inhabit the area. optg-infographic-d

OPTG aims to provide oportunities for “underserved africans, equipping them with the skills and resources to compete in their communities and the world, through investments in education, enrichment in arts and culture as well as various projects to aid communities in need”.

I had the opportunity to perform (back up) with Tosinger, a Nigerian folk singer and story teller who uses her art as a means to shed light on African culture and life.

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Left to Right: Gabriella and Tosinger attend the OPTG Gala

I also met with Laolu Senbanjo, a lawyer turned body paint artist who has made a name for himself as the guy who worked with the models in Beyonce’s Lemonade video, and now has a design contract with Nike.

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Left to Right: Laolu Senbanjo and Gabriella at the OPTG Gala

I was accompanied by a few of my fellow Legacy House Inc. members. Jason Nkwain, a poet and Leslie Njuakom, our financial secretary. Legacy House Inc. Is in its beginning stages of creation but we have been around for almost 4 years. Our mission is to expose african Art of any form (music, dance, literature, fine arts, etc ), to mainstream media.

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Left to Right: Jason Nwain, Leslie Njuakom and Gabriella attend the OPTG Gala

I learned so much from being around like-minded indivuduals who strive to excell at what they do and move Africa forward. This gala reminded me of a few things:

a. Keep doing what you love to do. You will see your hardwork come to fruition soon.
b. Do your best to give back. There is never nothing to give. We each have something to offer.
c. Enjoy life. At the risk of sounding cliché, I say we only live once and we must make the best of every moment and recognize how blessed we are each day.

Happiness is a choice. Live life, No Worries.

 

Fresh Air Inspiration

b2aa27133c7d3bf6826232c60f60e053It’s freezing outside, and her ears feel numb, like they just got pulled out of the fridge. They’re so cool they tingle with something that feels sharp. But it is a bittersweet kind of pain. The kind of pain that you can afford to endure for just a minute, another minute in that chilly night, where everything smells fresh and the air is pure. She takes a deep breath and she can’t help but smile. This crisp air makes her think of times when nature was pure, untouched, void of contamination. Times when nature was all that mattered and one could feel every creature, seen and unseen. She smiles again as reality hits her. That’s all gone now she thinks. Everything gets in the way now. Just then, her thoughts are interrupted by the door into Knight Hall, the journalism building at her university. Confirmation much?

She’s been walking to class after an afternoon of watching “The Carrie Diaries” on a borrowed computer, in the huge school library. It’s 6:55pm on a Tuesday night and she has class in 20 minutes. It’s her senior year… well almost her senior year. She wants to take an extra semester, which means starting her senior year next semester.

She’s here now. She walks into the building and the artificial warm air hits her. She’s relieved that she will soon regain feeling in her ears. Her body is tingling, as it adapts to the warmth inside the building. This unnatural, forced warmth. Thank God for Heating systems she thinks. But then the air isn’t pure anymore. It smells corrupted; a mixture of several perfumes/ body sprays, sweat and warm air. Nothing fresh about that. It doesn’t smell bad though. The scents have mixed up so well that it almost smells like nothing.

The classroom is empty except for the three professors, one of whom will leave in a few minutes because his work day is over and he has to get back to his life. “Hello” she says as she walks to her seat.

She sits down and logs into the computer. Her mind drifts back to that cool air outside. She had felt very inspired in that short walk. It was something about the coolness of the air, and that long deep breath she had taken. She wants to write and as she logs into her WordPress account, she’s thinking I didn’t know fresh air could be so inspiring.