321/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. Amongst the many bullies and mean girls of my youth, there were some of my peers (few and far between) who did make me feel worthy. One of those people was ultra cool Carmel – I mean, look at her name! Perhaps back then, she wasn’t looked as cool and more quirky but damn, she was ahead of her time and game because today she rocks that chic vibe. I remember her with her short hair and awesome fashion sense but also her wit and intelligence. Although we were nowhere near besties or even close (a casual hello in class), I do remember that she received some shunning from the popular, cheerleader types but Carmel had her sense of self and her own niche where she fit in with others and I admired that about her. She epitomized what it meant to march to the beat of a different drummer. Perhaps on some subconscious level, that influenced me as after high school I did my own damn thing and didn’t worry what others thought – no, I didn’t march to that drummer, I led the entire damn band!! ; ) Carmel and I have seen each other throughout the years at various high school reunions and have gotten to know each other much better through that wonderful platform called Facebook. We have actually had a mini-high school reunion or two with a select few over wine just enjoying getting to reconnect as adults and that’s one thing I didn’t thing I would ever do – get together again from people from my past but I have as there were some nice people back then. Thanks Carmel for being one of those people. Let’s raise a glass soon.