Hey, all 3,774 of you.
I have not been able to keep up with my posts, because on Friday, I lost a dear friend to me. My beautiful, fierce, wonderful, inspirational friend & classmate Lauren Zaleski lost her battle against her heart last Friday, doing what she loved with her thesis team.
Even a few days later, I find it incredibly difficult to explain the emotions i feel. Lauren was the kind of individual who made you feel like you mattered. When I first started the SVA Masters in Branding program, I was new to New York yet she made me feel like I was right at home. Incredible.
As the year continued, she offered more kindness. She shared M&M’s with me constantly (massive sweet tooth). Advice on where to find good art or music, due to extensive knowledge of the city. When my parents ended up in town, she knew exactly where to go for the best italian in the city (which I didn’t have the chance to do, but still). And that is just the tip of the iceberg of what she provided to me on a daily basis.
And when I was at my lowest, where I wanted to quit the program, she offered me her perspective on how to break through my issues, and just be ME, which ultimately ended up in my future successes.
She pushed me further than I thought possible, made me appreciate the abstract, and introduced me to new ways to clear my mind.
Her 100 Days Project focused on showing the parts of NYC that mattered to her. Places she lived, learned, loved. It encourages us all to appreciate where we come from, and why.
Take the time to learn her story. And if you know someone in a similar circumstance, give them all of your love, as they will give it right back, just like Lauren did every day of her life over the past year.
I will resume my project tomorrow, but for now (and forever), please focus on hers.
Randy Gregory II, SVA MPS Branding Graduate 2013