As the one year anniversary approaches since I created this blog, the website at gustoramblings.com, and the platform on Facebook called “Gusto” that’s used to launch some of my “Ramblings”, I’d like to take this opportunity to say a few things to those of you who follow these outlets.
First, I want to extend a big THANK YOU to everyone. To be honest, and as I pointed out early on in this endeavor, I had no idea where it would lead. All I know is I woke up in the wee hours early one morning in April, 2010 with a vision. A vision to share some of my experiences, thoughts, and musings in the hope of inspiring my fellow man in whatever way God saw fit. As I reflect back on this past year, it never ceases to amaze me what gifts He continues to bestow upon me. Today, there are 16 “followers” of the blog and 108 members of the “Gusto” Facebook page. Since the blog’s inception, there have been nearly 4,300 page views of the blog from people representing 26 countries around the globe, including the following: the United States, Japan, Canada, Germany, Russia, Latvia, Hong Kong, India, the Netherlands, Poland, the Philippines, Hungary, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Israel, Ghana, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, France, Vietnam, Bulgaria, Brazil, Sweden, South Korea, and Finland. The Facebook page also continues to grow on nearly a daily basis, which is a particular source of pride for my-self. After all, Facebook is the most widely used social outlet on our planet, which today has well over 500 MILLION subscribers from every corner of the Earth. More importantly, it was where I first began venturing forth into my “new world” beginning in early 2009, where I rediscovered old friends from years gone by and, MOST importantly, Facebook in the oddest of twists, is how I indirectly met the love of my life, Natalie Ryan-Ramirez. Natalie wasn’t even on Facebook herself when we first met and, had it not been for a good Facebook friend of my own who invited me to the Celebration of Life Natalie held for her late husband in May, 2010, I never would have met her. For that reason alone, I'm again blessed, honored, and humbled indeed to be a part of this forum.
Looking forward, and many of you know this, there is still the notion of turning Ramblings into some form of book for publication, perhaps a collection of short stories, or even in the public speaking arena. All of this though, I’ll leave up to God. He brought me here and it’s my duty to follow Him now! I also feel it incumbent upon me, now that so many are following, that I uphold myself to the highest standards of moral and ethical values as I continue to share with you some of my thoughts and musings. I know many of you have been a HUGE source of strength and inspiration for me and, believe me when I tell you this, I rely to a GREAT extent on your feedback. I therefore strongly urge you to share with me some of your own stories if you wish. In addition, I welcome your comments, suggestions, and input on any topics you may wish to bring up for discussion. As you know, my life is an open book. I made this decision consciously. Reason being is, unlike the “Anonymous” group I was once part of on a daily basis, I choose to live my life OUT LOUD, because I’ve seen first-hand the personal benefits for doing so. God has been very good to me in this regard. As “they” say, “the proof is in the pudding”, and I’m a living example of that philosophy, culminating with one of the biggest blessings I’ve had in my life with the LOVE of my life!
Finally, I would ask this of you. Please, if you would, share this blog, website, and the associated page on Facebook with whomever you wish, particularly those whom you might feel would benefit from it. My mission is to INSPIRE. Like one of the “Gusto” fans told me over the phone one day, a lady I’ve known since childhood and with whom I went to school with starting when we were in Kindergarten back in Kansas, “Gus, if what you write about helps just ONE person, you should be thankful.” She nailed it!! May God Bless you ALL!