Monday was the 26th anniversary of my birth. It was also my 26th lap around the sun and my 9498th day alive. To much of the world it was just another dreaded Monday. To the universe it was a brief moment in time, experienced and then forgotten.

Birthdays are a natural time to review the previous year and beyond. A time when it’s okay to muse about the past and  the winding roads that have led to the present moment. I look back on my path and see how I’ve become the man I am today because of decisions I’ve made, things that have happened, and people who have entered and left my life.

I’m a very lucky person. In nearly all areas of comparison I’m doing quite well for myself. I believe myself to be quite high on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I say this not to brag or boast, but to remind myself, and hopefully others, that, if you’re reading this, then life is good even if when it feels hard.

This next year is going to be my best year ever. I can feel it. I have dreams and plans I’m working hard towards and I have a network of people that support and love me. For the first time in a long while I feel there is nothing but myself capable of holding me back from who and what I want to be. My biggest challenge this year will be overcoming apathy and inertia: pushing against the natural entropy of the world and myself to create something great and wonderful.

I’m grateful to all the people in my life who have shaped the man I am today: Family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers as well as all the ex- versions who are no longer in my life (though I suppose ex-strangers are now my friends or acquaintances). I can’t wait to experience the world ahead of me and interact with the world in a way I didn’t know was possible.

Thanks for the best 26 years of my life. Here’s to many, many more.