This past weekend I celebrated a birthday. Surrounded by family and friends I took a moment to reflect on the difference in where I thought my life would be and where it had ended up over the past 365 days.
For starters, I thought this day would have been spent with my one true love tucked beside me. I thought I would be a broadcast journalist who might not even had time for dinner on this day when news did not stop. I thought I would be in some far off city like New York or London. I never once thought I would be back in my home town.
But the thing I found much more intriguing while pondering these thoughts of that were no longer, was what has become.
There I sat with some incredibly familiar faces, and some I never would have imagined. I saw the beauty of people who have been there for it all, and looked into the eyes of someone who’s life is greater than they will ever know.
I thought of the times I imagined life being over at the age of 21. And how to so many it seems you must wake up one day being who you have always wanted to be. That you can’t build an empire, but instead must be born into it. But you don’t. We are on this journey that is no where near ending. We must chose everyday to try something new and prevail into the person we are meant to become.
It became clear that I no longer wanted to fear defeat. From this moment on my life was to be lived in hope. I wanted to learn and grow. I wanted to fill my life with these people and these conversations that meant more than small talk. And I wanted to share with others. I no longer had to be someone who held back or stood behind glass.
I looked at the faces of a fighter, a survivor, and a saint. What we wanted to be in grade school no longer stood true. How I no longer needed to long for someone to return, that was already gone. And most of all, how the world was finally at our fingertips. How for once we could be exactly who we wanted to be, and in that moment I wanted nothing more than to be just who I was.