Letter From A Friend | #sincerelyme

I’ve decided to recycle a post from my old blog…I know, that sounds a little light cheating in the world of content, but that blog will be coming down and I feel strongly about continuing to make this post available for those that need it.

This open letter received a lot of great feedback and comments from people saying that some days they really needed to hear this particular message, which is why I wanted to transfer it to my new site.  No, it has nothing to do with entertainment, events, or hospitality, it just has to do with being a good and supportive person for those around you- and maybe for some people you’ll never meet.

So, without further ado, here is my open letter to you, my friend.

Originally Posted: June 16, 2015
Original Blog: Songs of a Gypsy Soul

Dear Friend,


This is an open letter to anyone that feels alone and lost; lonely and broken down; cracked and wrong; invisible and small; burdened and heavy.  This is a letter from me to you.  This is a letter from a person you may know in realtime, or maybe just someone you’ve seen on the street in passing, or maybe from someone you’ve never met at all.  Regardless of our relationship status, today I am here speaking to you as a friend.

In this Universe, there is nothing more valuable than your heart, soul, and mind all rolled into one beautiful and terribly messy package.  That package is you.  Our world exists and revolves around the people who inhabit it.  Without humankind, what innovations, what thoughts, what emotions would exist?

You are unique, no matter your size.  No matter your sexual orientation, gender, marital status, ancestry, political affiliation, and so on; you are your own perfect individual.  No one can compare to you because no one is identical on any grounds.  We may intersect and we may have pieces in common with one another, but we are all our own special breed.  Be proud of that and let no one make you question yourself and what you stand for.  You have so much to offer this world.  Do not let negative people dismiss your dreams and redesign your future.  Do not let those people pull out the silver lining from the pillows of compassion and love that surround you.  And most importantly, do not let yourself become a victim and prisoner of your own darkness.  You have the potential to be your own worst enemy.  Do not submit to the demons that inevitably hid within the darkest crevices of your soul.  Yes, they are there, everyone has them, but do not set them free.  Do not let them push and prod you.  You are not their pin cushion and you are not their slave.  Choose to recognize that they stand for your own imperfections, which then, if you let them, becomes the definition of your own true perfection.  Be the own ruler of your heart, soul, and mind.  Choose to honor yourself and pick a pedestal to stand upon that is becoming of you.  Go!  Be proud of who you are and be positive in all you do.

Yes, maybe that is all easier said than done as the saying goes, but that is why I am here.  I am here as another pair of eyes for you to look through.  My eyes see you like no one else’s.  My view of you as a person is not the same as the way you see yourself.  I wish, I wish with all my strength that we could trade perspectives just for a few minutes so you can see what I see.

Because I see strength.

I see more strength in you than you ever thought possible.  And no, it’s not in the most normal of ways.  Maybe you’re strong of mind.  Maybe you have the power to envision beautiful plans and mentally fuse together ideas so brilliant that will one day be the way of our futures.  On another hand, maybe your are strong of heart and are able to empathize with those around.  You are that person down on hands and knees weeping with another because you feel for them.  You feel through them.  You may not have personally been subjected to their struggles, but you cry for their heartaches alongside them.

Then again, maybe your strength lies in your soul.  You are certain of who you are and what you stand for.  You may have gone through hell and back in your life thus far, but you are relentless in your journey forward.  You can be bruised and thrown around, but your core remains strong and pure.

That is all true strength.  Those are not strengths that exercise can build, but rather products of personality, triumphs, and struggle all molded into one mass.

I wish, I wish we could trade perspectives for even a few minutes because I see selflessness.

I see a selflessness in you that is unlike any other.  You would throw away your own health or your own time to help another; in order to pick someone else up, dust them off, and hear their story.  I see compassion and love within your heart that has the power to mend the voids in another’s.  Keep that.  Do not let go of that purity and palpitating devotion you have for the betterment of mankind.  But do not forget to be a little selfish as well.  Do not sacrifice all that you are to the point of exhaustion.  The world needs you whole and strong.  If you cannot heal and help yourself, how do you expect to be able to continue helping others?  Only relinquish what you have to the point of coexistence.  Then, if you can both live and breathe comfortably, you know you have found your balance.  But if you are struggling to grasp a single breath, then step back.  Take your time and center yourself.  Re-find you within this crazy mixed-up world.

And I wish, I wish we could trade perspectives for even a few minutes because I see above and beyond and through what you think is blocking your path.

I have the vantage point of a bird in a tree.  I am able to see past the sun, the moon, the clouds, and the stars.  I can see beyond the wall that is seemingly holding you back.  I can see the lit part of the path that you have yet to turn and find.  You are not alone and you are most certainty not lost.  You are right where you are supposed to be.  I cannot promise that you’re content with that current location, but I can promise that a single step forward will make all the difference.  That single step forward, if you look around, will have new possibilities in store.  New opportunities can arise, new places can be seen, and new people can be met.  Do not let your feet grow roots and pull you down.  Just find the courage within yourself to leap into the unknown that is in front of you and meet what is in store with all that you are.  If you feel as though there’s no going up, maybe the trees around you are just too thick for you to see over the side of the mountain that you are climbing.  Do not doubt the path that you’re traveling down and do not neglect to examine the paths that cross yours along the way.  And remember, in the words of Walt Disney, to always keep moving forward.

And finally, I shall close this letter with two last thoughts I would like to impart to you.  First, find positivity in your life and find any reason you can to smile.  Everything seems to be closer and easier to grasp- closer to possible- when paired with a smile and positive energy.  They are also contagious.  They are contagious in the best way possible.  Positivity begets positivity.  Share a laugh and a smile, with family, friends, and strangers and watch what happens.  And second, whenever you begin to feel overwhelmed, do not make hasty decisions.  Take ten seconds to stop.  And breathe.  A deep breath will help to calm and clear the mind.  Take those few seconds to remind yourself that you are not being suffocated by the situation because you can still breathe.

…and Exhale.

All my best,




VBC Education Series: Diversity & Inclusion | #WILW

For those that haven’t checked out my first blog, Meet Alex!, yet, I am the Event Specialist for Visit Bucks County.  One of my major projects within this position is managing and organizing the Visit Bucks County Education Series that we launched this year for our tourism and hospitality partners.  With that said, I wanted to highlight a few items from our last program of this fiscal year held last Wednesday, June 6, 2018:

Diversity & Inclusion: Providing Service for Today’s Visitors

This program was generously hosted by Ron Davis (Director of Diversity & Community Outreach) and his team at Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA and the panel of expert speakers included Greg DeShields (Executive Director, PHLDiversity), Dr. Debra Blair (Associate Professor & Director Assessment, Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism & Hospitality Management), and Tami Sortman (Founder and Vice President, Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus).  So first, I would like to thank all of the above and everyone else that made this event possible.

D&I speakers 2018

Despite living in 2018, the term “diversity and inclusion” (D&I) is still a slightly dirty word.  At one point in time people didn’t want to talk about it because no one ever talked about those topics.  Now people don’t want to talk about it because there seems to be an air of desensitivty since so many people are throwing that term, and similar terms around, without understand the vast spectrum and the constant changes that are part of diversity and inclusion training.  Now, with that said, there are many focus areas within this realm, but this particular training focused on the business case of D&I, culture, and LGBTQIA+.

Instead of getting on my soap box and preaching at you on the topic, I wanted to give you some small, more digestible highlights from the program!

  1. When thinking about “diversity,” a great way to conceptualize the term, as mentioned by Greg DeShields, is to think of diversity as a grouping of varying perspectives brought together at one table.
  2. From a business perspective, it is insane that organizations are ignoring the buying power of various segments of diverse markets.  Provided by PHLDiveristy, the African American community has a buying power of $1.3 trillion, the Hispanic Latino community has a buying power of $1.5 trillion, and the Asian American community has a buying power of $1 trillion.
  3. Did you know that Asian Americans, on average, take 3.3 trips per year, in comparison to African Americas whose average is 1 and Hispanic Latinos whose average is 1.7.  Are they visiting your destination?
  4. The Center for Cultural Intelligence and Project Implicit by Harvard University are great resources to learn more about cultural intelligence and implicit and unconscious bias.
  5. What does LGBTQIA stand for? Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual.  A great resource to look at for the definitions of these words and more is provided by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
  6. To put it simply, understanding gender pronouns is not cut and dry.  In fact, the English language has no gender neutral pronouns.  The easiest and best way to find out what pronouns someone prefers is to just ask.  People will be open to disusing how they want to be identified so don’t just assume.
  7. Diversity and inclusion efforts are not about quick fixes.  D&I is about long-term efforts and strategy, and a true commitment to increase the consumer/visitor/guest experience for all.  D&I is also about being proactive, not reactive.
  8. Two books that were suggested by the speakers are the “Cosmopolitan Canopy” by Elijah Andersen and “Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands” by Terri Morrison and Wayne A. Conaway.

There is so much that our speakers were unable to cover in this program and there is so much that they talked about during the program that I did not cover here, because D&I is so expansive, as I mentioned earlier.  I encourage everyone to check out a similar program by them to learn more about the people in their communities and in communities around the world.  You never know what incredible ideas can be brought to the table and created by- and and in-collaboration with people from all walks of life!

All my best and Happy Pride Month!