139/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. I have looked back on high school several times over my life – I would never do it again if I were given the chance as my experiences (good and bad – more so the latter) made me who I am today, but damn, did I not look in a mirror to see what was looking back at me? LOL. Today, if others were to take a look at my pictures from back then, they would probably remark that I was quirky! That would be a fair statement if I was actually self-aware and going for that look. Now, I did have a friend back then who definitely did have a style of her own and perhaps it could be labeled quirky as she was left of center just like me but she was aware of it and made a conscious effort to be different and unique and I envied her for that! Julia, one year my junior in high school was this eccentric, funky, asymmetric hair style sportin’, eloquent girl who also worked with me at McDonald’s. We were both lucky enough to work at the front counter and on those rare occasions as host/hostess for children’s birthday parties. Julia would crack jokes, rock that polyster uniform and retain this uber-cool vibe. She was way ahead of her time – the alterna-girl: Commercial Street, vegan, yoga, unique girl (okay, maybe she isn’t all that but that’s the vibe I got from her). As high school ended, of course staying in touch is lost but with the advent of social media, specifically Facebook, I hunted high and low for her to no avail until one day her account appeared!! I took it upon myself to immediately contact her and we reconnected (although she was living about 600 kilometres away). Long story short, we made plans to reconnect on a drive I would be making and we met and there was Julia. I couldn’t imagine how she would look in her 40s based on her teenage years but when I saw her, all the pieces fell into place: lovely garden, flowing sundress, naturally silver locks freely cascading, funky coffee cup in hand, and that great pleasant voice. Julia was one of those girls who was nice to me back in the day when most people weren’t and for that I am very grateful. Because of that, we are still in touch today and meet up whenever she is in town and she is one of the reasons this blog that you are reading is in existence. Working in the publishing field, she suggested that I take this powerful message and share it via a blog and well, it has become what it has become through a lot of help from people such as Julia. For that too, I am grateful. Thank you Julia for being a friend back in the day but a better, wiser, funkier, stylish friend today! I embrace my greyness in your honour!