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This land of social media is such a fascinating place. You have the ability to interact with thousands, even millions of strangers from all over the world just by the tap of your phone or computer, most of whom you'll never meet in person. Then, these rare instances occur when you come across someone who inspires you so much, it feels as if you've known them forever. 
I discovered Kyrzayda a little over a year ago, and fell in love with her style, which, let's be real, was completely off the charts. She was literally a walking lookbook. There are very few women whose style stop me dead in my tracks. She was officially added to that list. But her aura, her swag, her amazing outfits, expensive handbags, gag-worthy footwear, adorable NYC apartment - those things were not what inspired me. It was Kyrzayda the person. No, I didn't know her up close and personal, but through her blog posts and Instagram blurbs, you truly gained a sense of who she was, and what she stood for. She was a woman of God, and what I admired most about her was her unwavering faith and optimistic approach to life, even as she dealt with stage 4 stomach cancer. She held on to that faith until the very end.

I adored how much she loved her social media followers, and how connected she felt to us. I admired her humility. I admired the fuck out of her work ethic; she worked her ass off everyday, even when she didn't feel like it. She never allowed cancer to keep her down; she still pumped out blog posts, Instagram posts, rested when she needed to, but lived her best life until her final breath on September 9, 2018. She had also just celebrated her 40th birthday two weeks prior with a huge party. Seeing the footage, and seeing how happy she looked surrounded by all of her friends and family brought me to tears. I don't think I could find that level of strength to continue living life as normal if I was terminally ill. THAT is why I was so drawn to her and her journey. I almost felt as though I lived it with her. 

She always expressed so much gratitude and joy for being able to do what she loved for a living, and to witness her do that until the day she died really inspired me. She's a true influencer, even in death. Her Instagram account has gained close to 200k new subscribers since her passing, and the outpouring of love on her final post (uploaded by her best friend) leaves me speechless. Hundreds of people have paid tribute to her on their social media accounts. She left such a positive imprint on us all.
Rest in peace, Kyrzayda. Slay the girls and boys up in Heaven like the fashion icon you are.

Photos: Kyrzayda Rodriguez

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