Happy Tuesday #Jontourage,
Welcome back to the “Classy Gent Chronicles”, where staying classy is the only way to be. For this edition, read about my highs and lows for 2019...
2019 has definitely been a year for the books. It was the year a lot of things changed for many even within many things staying the same. This year was the biggest year for growth for me. 2019 was filled with many great memories so it was hard to narrow it down. Without any further wait, here are three of my favorite moments from 2019:
Losing 65 pounds
I did not realize how good being 65 pounds smaller would actually feel. I started my health journey July 4th and have not looked back ever since. The coolest part of it all was how much support I got from my village. Besides just the compliments, I had people who walked with me, tried healthier options with me, and encouraged me to stay on track when I felt like giving up. Through this weight loss, I have officially completed my fastest mile ever which I did in a little over 10 minutes.
Winning A National Award
I want to be clear that awards do not define me in any way, shape, or form. Everything I do comes from a sincere place and I do it because it is the right thing to do. Finding out that our campus Male Initiative won a national award was truly life-changing for many reasons. First and foremost, it was a fairly new male initiative so to win a national award in less than three years was a shocker. Secondly, the majority of the time had been spent overcoming obstacles that seemed impossible. I traveled to Boston for the first time to receive the award. It was an amazing experience.
Committing to Nightly Prayer
So in June, my mentee, Dmitri and I, started nightly prayer. Honestly I can’t remember what caused us to start but in June 2019, we officially kicked off our nightly prayers. We have prayed every single day since I have seen how both of our lives have changed. Through nightly prayer, I have watched many opportunities pop up for us, I have watched us work on our mindsets to better handle conflict, and pray for clarity when we felt stuck about situations bothering us. I would also like to think that nightly prayer has helped us grow as individuals but it has also strengthened our mentor-mentee dynamic.
Although 2019 had a lot of great moments, it also came at the expense of some hardships. In January, I had to step away from a close bond with a former mentee. Through a series of situations that kept happening, my spirit was telling me that we had outgrown our time together. Sometimes, we hold on to things that we were meant to let go of. Although I miss the bond, I know it was the right choice at this time in our life. In August, I found out that my father was sick. Although he is doing really well, I still am concerned about him. Anyone who knows me knows that my father is one of my favorite people and the thought of him not being hurt rocks me to my core.
These hardships taught me that your faith has to be bigger than situation. In the one instance of my former mentee and I going our separate ways, I still pray for his well-being even from a distance and I have faith that he will grow from where he is. With my father being sick, I chose faith because I can’t control his situation. I learned to focus on what I can control. I chose to control my attitude regarding the situation. I chose to control making sure I spend as much time with him as I can. I chose to do my research on his condition so that I can stay educated on what’s going. Most importantly, I chose to stay strong for my dad because he doesn’t need pity, he needs support so that's what I am going to give him.
Moral of the story: Regardless of the good or bad that happened, I am extremely grateful for 2019. Comment below with your favorite moment of 2019. What happens tomorrow in 2020 will be the start of a new chapter so stay tuned…
Remember, in order to live out your dreams, you have to think it, feel it, live it! Until next time, stay classy...
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Jonathan C. Harris is no stranger to leadership, hard work, or success. At the age of ten years old, he earned the right to be a guest weatherman for a day on Fox 5 DC News. He has already received over 100 honors and awards including Forty Under 40 for Prince George’s County, MD, TEDx Talk speaker, American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Outstanding Men’s Program, high school Valedictorian and the Kiwanis Club Citizenship Award. Raised in Fort Washington, Maryland, he has served in leadership positions his entire life, from being the manager of the school store in elementary school to the president of the Homelessness Awareness Club in middle school to the president of the National Honor Society in high school.