Just another reason to make a wish

It’s the eve of my 26th birthday and it is by far the least excited I have been yet to turn another year older. This year is a big one for me. 25 seemed like a milestone, and passing the quarter-century point is something of a feat in adulting. This is the birthday the government gives us newly turned 26-year-olds the stiff-armed pushed into adulthood. This is the year they say “hopefully you have your shit together, we know your joints are starting to hurt more than they did in your early 20’s, your hangovers only seem to be getting worse, and gray is now part of the color spectrum on your head, but even so, you can’t mooch off your parents forever, get your own fucking health insurance.”

There are only a few circumstances that newly turned 26-year-olds find themselves in. They will breathe a sigh of relief, wake up, and roll out of bed to the job that is providing them with a health plan. Or, they will reach a little further into their pockets to pay for their own insurance. Or, they will risk it and go without. Those scenarios have been sitting on my shoulder this whole past year whispering their sweet anxieties into my ears.

The last week has felt heavy. The last month felt heavy. Hell, 25 has been a heavy year for me.

Minutes before it turned 12 am, marking my birthday—yes I paid attention— I’m trying to remember some of my recent past birthdays. Some I could remember easily, some were a bit foggy as to how I spent my day. I thought that was odd, not remembering. But, I do know that each one of them I had some type of plan that included celebrations, usually which involved drinking adult beverages and inviting friends to spend the day with me. This year is by far the tamest, and I am so ok with that.

So, it’s 12:07 am, newly 26,  and I’m flossing my teeth. Just 10 minutes earlier I was looking into the dance moves in Fortnite with my little brother.

Life as of recently has been felt nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. Specifically, the kind that takes you up and down and turns you upside down to the point where if the seatbelts malfunctioned you’d definitely find yourself catapulted out of your seat. Even so, grateful is what I feel, and there has been a growth within me that I am proud of.

As daunting as 26 has been, I do feel a lightness that is unexpected and welcoming. 25 was challenging and this next year maybe even more so, but it provides some changes that I have been desperately grasping for. I’m not sure how long this lightness will last for, I’m only one hour into being 26, but I’m going to fly with it as long as the magic carpet will let me.

I don’t want to say that I’m ditching all that has been, but, really, yeah, I kinda am.

 

From the Storyteller’s Daughter

You taught me to laugh with life. You taught me silliness. You taught me to have big goals. You taught me to live purposefully. You taught me that being me is exactly how I should be. You taught me that I deserve the best, and nothing less than a King.

You taught me all this with more than just your words, but with your actions–how you live your life.  I learned from watching you. Watching you be kind and helpful. Watching you take on projects bigger than yourself and thrive. Watching you make a positive impact on your community as well as everyone you meet. Watching you teach. Watching you be a father. Watching you is an inspiration.

You choose to live your life full of color. Not many people can truly say that for themselves. To me, you always go above and beyond. You are the best of the best in my eyes.

You are a storyteller. At home, in class, and on stage. Your stories are personal and told with awesome gusto. It’s always like the first time you’re telling it. Watching you speak is thoroughly enjoyable, but watching your audience is almost better. People want to hear you speak, I can tell. Eyes are full with excitement, and smiles are ear to ear. You touch people’s hearts and speak to them with a bigger message. All storytellers have something to say, but  you emanate a special aura in the room the way you do it. It’s hard to explain. It’s one of those things you understand when you witness it in person.

Your stories are so great because of where they come from–experience. You experience life at a much larger level than a lot of us, and your stories enable us to see life like you do for that moment. Sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes it’s serious. It’s always beautiful in its own way. Your view of life is one of my favorites. Your view of what I am capable is what pushes me every day. You believing in me is something I cherish, and don’t take for granted. You make me want to be great–to do great.

Today is your birthday, and we get to celebrate your greatest story–your life. Along with everyone who feels they’re lucky to know you, I want to wish you the happiest and best birthday yet! Because every year gets better than the last, daddy.