Birthdays always seem to be a time of reflection and introspection. Are you where you want to be? Are you the person you hoped to have become ? Are you surrounding yourself with people that love, support and lift you to the highest degrees?

Part of my perpetual optimism, despite it’s tragic flaws, is the belief that I can always recreate myself. And in that way, change the way I live. For some reason, though, I have determined that my birthday, January 1st and first day of school are the prime days to morph into someone new. The last one is based on not seeing friends and foes throughout the summer months. A bit weird, I will admit.

The last 2 birthdays have challenged me in ways, I could never adequately describe. The days in between have taught me more about myself that I ever thought possible.

What I know with an absolute certainty, is I’ve come into my own. I like who I am, and the people that have come into my life.

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” ~ Jackie Robinson

I am blessed. I feel grateful to those that have had such a powerful influence on my attitude and my actions.

And while the world seems so crazy right now; what I am seeing most ; is this collective community filled with kindness and love. In the face of tragedy, humanity would rather stand and face any darkness together with compassion than thrive in greed alone.

I will always remember this year, that I didn’t just change, the world did as well.

Thank you everyone.