When I was younger I knew I wanted more for myself. I knew that I didn’t like being poor. I knew that I wanted to see the world. I wanted to be the best version of myself.

When I was in high school my Aunt Mary Lou would keep me up to date on the Lopez side of my family. She would often give me copies of photos that she had of my family.

This particular photo is really important to me. It’s a photo of my cousin Anthony and my Uncle Tony. They are standing outside of one of my Uncle Tony’s McDonalds. He owned two from my understanding.

You have no idea of how much of an impact this photo had on my life. As I look back, it subconsciously gave me hope. It gave me something tangible to see and something that I could one day become… an owner.

Although, I didn’t have have a close relationship with my Uncle Tony were we talked on the phone all the time or wrote letters to each other, this photo made me feel connected to him. It gave me a sense of his work ethic. My mom would always speak highly of him and her view was that he was a hard worker. I heard stories about how he started as a Box Boy at a local grocery store and worked his way up to management. I remember when I worked at McDonald’s as a teenager and told the district manager who my uncle was and he too had met my uncle and was in awe of him.

He was my definition of success.

This photo was always in the back of my mind. It was always telling me that I could be something and own something. It subconsciously drove me without me realizing it.

I’m sure on that day my cousin and my uncle had no idea that this photo would spark something in me.

It is amazing how much of an impact you can have on someone without realizing that you do! You can motivate without speaking. You can inspire without being seen.

You are just as talented as me. If I can live my life like every day is a Saturday… so can you. You have to want it for yourself. Take every talent that you have been given and maximize it. Don’t settle.

I am in Paris right now. I am walking the streets and seeing the world. I am grateful for my opportunities and hope that maybe one day I can do for you what my Uncle Tony did for me…Inspire you!

Thanks, Uncle Tony.

Write it down. Take a picture. I don't give a f*ck!

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