27 Trips Around the Sun

Lake Erie Sunset

Yesterday was my birthday.

27 trips around the sun. When I think about a birthday in that context, it sounds like a really, really long time. I still feel young, like I’ve got so many things to learn, and yet 27 trips around the sun is many. We are so lucky, as contemporary humans on this Earth, to be given so many years to figure it all out. It is cheesy to say this, but I am blessed to have spent this time and to have years ahead of me in which I can take my time, I can spend hours and days and months and years trying to figure it all out.

Aging is a blessing. At another point in history not all that long ago, I would not still be looking forward to the years ahead of me as some mysterious, nebulous, exciting thing. My life would already be decided for me, a series of predictable and predetermined scenarios. Instead, my life is one big possibility; a million opportunities are in front of me and I can take any path I choose and change direction when I feel like it.

I know that so many of us spend time thinking and talking about the difficulties of living in 2018. The pressure, the anxiety, the attempts at dating that fizzle away into nothingness before they even begin. The impossibility of searching for jobs, the need to be informed and connected at every moment. Me included. I complain about this all. The. Time. But the thing is that we forget how big and beautiful this life we get to live is. How we can connect with someone literally on the other side of this earth in a matter of minutes. How we can travel anywhere we want to go. How we can choose our careers, our spouses, the place we want to live in a way that people simply couldn’t only two generations ago.

Fifty years ago these things would all be decided for us. And I’m not blind to the fact that for many people, this is still reality. But those of us who are privileged enough to have choices should remember, despite the frustration that so many options can bring, that we are lucky. That this life is beautiful. That we are fortunate to live in this time and with this whole wide world literally at our fingertips.

I made a point this year to spend my birthday thinking about how grateful I am for this life. For this family (animals included, always). For these friends. For these passions. For this creativity. For these resources. For this place that I call home.

27 years around the sun and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

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