Thursday, November 15, 2012

Advice From The Experts: Gaining the World Through Giving

This photo from college is as embarrassing as it gets, but it
sums up our relationship perfectly.
My best friend from college is a bit... how do you say it?... eclectic? Courtney Blair was my very first friend when I went off to the University of Georgia. I left the warm, loving nest of my parent's house and fell right into Courtney Blair's topsy-turvy dorm room. She was certainly a sight to behold... beautiful in the most natural way... milky white skin, a mess of freckles, and long auburn hair. To this day (excluding my brother Cale), I've never met anyone with as much personality as her. She's dramatic, funny, kind and serious all wrapped up into one charming little package.

When we met and she discovered that I had no solid nicknames, she deemed this unacceptable for someone my age and promptly nicknamed me 'Laronika'. I hated it... obviously. In an effort to work with me, she shortened it to Laron (eh, ok), then it somehow warped into Ronnie and slowly settled into Ron. Before I knew it, no one was calling me by my given name and people started to pity my luck - what kind of parents name their baby girl Ron?

But jokes aside, I actually have Courtney to thank for the fact that I live in New York. She accompanied me on my first trip to the concrete jungle, and I think it was that trip that planted the seed in me. I knew I loved New York. Maybe it was the fact that we got some airtime on MTV's Total Request Live, or the fond memory of accidentally eating someone else's food at a communal table in Chinatown or quite possibly the fact that the Soup Nazi resided here. But whatever the reason, I ended up here and I have her to thank.

Courtney and Chermie in Kenya.
Tomorrow I am thrilled and honored to have Courtney as a guest contributor. Courtney went on a life-changing trip to Africa during college, and I asked her to share her amazing experience with you. I'm sure she'll be the first to tell you that when she made the choice to give of herself and her time, she gained the world in return.

Be sure to check out Courtney's article tomorrow! You won't want to miss it!

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