Today I turn 29. I remember starting Happy Friday as a fresh-faced teacher at the age of 23. It started with four people: my dad, my boss Carol, and my two “California moms” Julie and Jane. With 300 people now on the bi-weekly email blast, I can say I’m happy I stuck with it the past six years. There were weeks when I wanted to scrap the entire project, or just miss a self-inflicted deadline, but I pushed past- not able to give up the cause.
And it was the year of 2018, of being 28, where the fundraising was fundamental. We came together as an online campaign, rooted in personal relationships, and made a sizable impact on the community. Not So Simple sold over 850 copies. We grass-rooted a sizable Thomas Fire fundraiser. We put ideas into action and for that, I stand proudly with all of you.
From the start, I’ve worked to mold Happy Friday into a platform that could bring a sense of happiness, social awareness, and a chance to internally contemplate ideas worth thinking about. Most importantly though, it’s been a chance to keep in touch with people I care about who are scattered throughout the country.
I never thought I’d find myself thriving as a teacher in North Philadelphia. I didn’t know how I’d adjust after leaving Ventura- a place that allowed me to find Brian. All the anxiety was for nothing, I guess. Saying goodbye to a community, school, and area that I loved was something I seriously struggled with. A special shout out to those of you who I leaned on doing some of those dark days; your positivity and uplifting words helped me more than I can adequately express.
This will be the last Happy Friday for 2018. I’ll be back January 18th with some fresh ideas and hopefully a few new artists to share.
We stood strong this year- together- as a Happy Friday community. Here’s to celebrating the past, enjoying the present, and being hopeful for what’s to come.