Well, other than the woman who first made sweet potato pie a thing.
We all have that woman who, in some way, changed our lives for the better. And in my case, there's 10 who've done just that. Living in such a materialistic world, it is easy to forget what's important in life. But the holidays — like Thanksgiving — are a time to be with family and friends. I may not always say what or who I'm thankful for, but these seven women have impacted my life in ways in which I'll forever be grateful for.
1. My Mom
I know everyone says their mom is their best friend, but I'm so serious: me and mine couldn't be any closer if we tried. Not only do we speak our own language, and have tons of inside jokes, but I tell her everything. Absolutely everything. Yes, even those topics that most would deem to be TMI. I'm incredibly thankful for her love, support, occasional annoying comments, and insistence that I be nice to people. She's a total ray of sunshine — too much at times — and I wouldn't trade her for the world.
2. Mrs. Sanders
My kindergarten teacher was the greatest ever! Not only did I learn some of my most formative life lessons because of her, I was also indirectly influenced to be in a sorority because of her. Although we're not in the same one and I didn't discover this fact until years later, I always knew I wanted to be a part of something greater because of her.
3. Roz F.
My first editor/boss has become one of my good friends and a makeshift mentor. I can't help but laugh every time I think about all of our late nights sifting through the fitness closet, taking Instagram photos, singing R&B hits from the 80s-90s (me constantly defending my age!) and those weekly Soul Cycle classes that got me addicted to spinning. She always knows what to say and acts as a "big sister" when it comes to dishing out tough love.
4. My Sorority Sisters
Okay, so technically this isn't just one person. But it would be amiss to exclude them from this list. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. has given me, not only some incredible sisters but even better friends. I recently came back from a vacation with a few of my sisters and was instantly reminded of how amazing the last few years with them have been. From my original tribe down in Louisiana, to the ladies who've made living in New York worth it, to all the ones in between, I just want to say thank you.
5. Paula F.
My favorite teacher from college taught me everything I know about being a journalist. I might not have loved doing the punctuation "hokey pokey" (long story!) during those four years, but I wouldn't be as blessed as I am now without her teachings, guidance, and support. I still remember the day I walked into her office and told her that I wanted to intern/move to New York. She never doubted me and for that I'm incredibly grateful.
6. Issa Rae
Plenty of celebrities have inspired me over the years, but the one I'm the most thankful that I've had the opportunity to meet (!) and witness in my short 24 years of life is Insecure star, Issa Rae. Her unapologetic awkwardness has continuously inspired me to let my quirky flag fly without any regard to how it makes others feel.
In the most humble way possible, I have to say that I'm most grateful for me. I'm smart. I'm ambitious. I'm beautiful. I'm talented and creative. And I'm thankful that I don't get to be anyone else but me. That I get to wake up every morning and see my disheveled hair and slight overbite in the mirror. That I get to dance it out in my teenage mutant ninja turtle pajamas. That I get to take myself on movie dates, out to dinner and sifting through bookstores. Most importantly I'm thankful for the fact that I'm able to share a little bit of my light with everyone I meet each day.
Who are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving? Let me know in the comments!