My Birthday Wish For You

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A coffee table decorated with lit candles, fresh marigolds, stones, and cards from the Mesquite tarot deck.

Today is my birthday. That means it's been one year since the city started shutting down. One year since I found out I had thyroid cancer. One year since I, like so many of you, took in a big deep breath and waited to hear when I could let it go. When everything is scary and uncertain, it's hard to think about the future. You put one foot in front of the other. You cling to the things that make you feel safe. You tend to your absolute essential needs and very little else. 

Over the past year, whenever I'd catch myself daydreaming, a sigh would well up inside of me and say "maybe someday." I was careful not to promise myself much. I lowered my expectations to the faintest little pulse.

Days and weeks passed. With no grand expectations other than to endure, I still somehow made profound and purposeful life changes. I realized something important: without the distraction of expectation I made all my moves purely on instinct, free of influence from the outside world.

A year later, the noise is slowing creeping back in. And no, it's not just the birds chirping because spring has arrived. It's the pressures of a world reopening its doors, increasing its speed, eager to return to the way things were even if the way things were have been exposed as thoughtless and cruel.

So today, on my 38th birthday, I'm making a promise to myself to reopen my life with intention and care. It turns out a little slowness didn't sideline me. It carried me to places I am thrilled to have discovered.

My birthday wish for you is this: Reenter the world with the fresh eyes you've been granted this year. Take stock of who you've become. Squint a little skeptically at the shiniest things. And cherish even the smallest joys on your path. We all know now they can be fleeting.