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  • Goodbye to 31 and every little experience I created along the way. I look back over the last 365 days and I think about where I was and where I am. How quietly the days threaded together to create a year. 2 words come to mind: Thank You. I consider myself a spiritual-optimistic-realist. I call something what it is, rarely make excuses, hope for the best (but prepare for the likely,) all while seeing a 4 dimensional world that connects us together behind the scenes of what we see each day in our physical world.

    This last year was my favorite year so far of my adult life. Creating a life with someone I love, someone that treats me well and offers me dignity, after a decade of long-term and short-term relationships that made me feel so unwanted, so unsexy, so unimportant never lets me go a day without putting things in my relationship in total perspective. I'm thankful for this beautiful house that fell into our laps this year right in the heartbeat of my city. It allows us to stay connected to our careers, our friends, and each other. The tall ceilings and open feel has set the background for much laughter and conversation since we moved in nearly a year ago.

    My career is truly a representation of myself. I am so busy that it is hard to find time to sleep most days. Being paid to do things that I love and am passionate about has always been my desire. I'm finding more personal success (as I choose to measure it) in carving my own path than I ever found by listening to society's need for me to get a college degree and die in Corporate America. Many of the business contacts I have worked with this last year have turned into friends. I could not be more lucky.

    The older we get, the more people we meet and there is more opportunity for loss. I have never been to as many funerals as I have been to in the last year. I am incredibly conscious, if not too conscious, about the passing of time and the mortality that we can all face at any moment. Even on my birthday, I have another unexpected funeral to attend of someone who's life was cut short on an idle Tuesday morning while sitting in traffic. If nothing more, it causes me to be more present, more real, and to spend time on those that I truly love and to show them that day in and day out with the little things. There simply are no guarantees. Being the surprise baby of my family with a mother in her 70's and siblings in their 50's has a weird way of placing everything on fast-forward. If my father were alive, he would be almost 80 years old. As hard as I try, I feel like I can never really catch up with time. It moves so much quicker the older I become.

    Also, I can't help but be thankful for the life I have with my boyfriend. I can't help but think how lucky we are to exist at exactly this point in society. I am a walking example of the progress we have made as a country. The vast majority of our friends are straight and yet we are treated no differently. We are included in double-dates, parties, vacations, dinner parties, and weddings. I don't feel any different for simply being myself. We don't have to skulk around or lie. Our friends truly strengthen our union.

    When I look back at the last year, what means the most to me is the conversations I've had over dinner, over coffee, over a drink, or at a bar at 2 a.m. after a hard week of work. The snail mail or the Facebook messages from those in other states always make my heart race with excitement. These conversations are what make me who I am. They bring my days together, connect me to those I love, and give me direction for my future. I've had to come to terms with the loss my role in my biological family which has only given birth to my role in new families that I've made along the way. It's sad to me that because of who I love and my unique spiritual views that I have had to sacrifice much but if nothing else, I am living an honest life. Having been adopted by many, I never seem to lack someone to call when I'm confused, or a seat or 2 that is offered during Thanksgiving or Christmas, and for that, I am certainly not at a loss for love. And that is what family really is. I take what I can get from those that offer and at the end of the day, somehow it all evens out.

    More than anything, I am more satisfied with my relationship with myself than ever before and that is what is most paramount. If I don't listen to myself, like myself, take care of myself, then I have nothing to offer anyone else. The conversation I have with myself has become my most important. My life is full as a result of hard work. I am a million miles away from the 25 year old that ran away from everything, and I know that when I look at my life each day, it is the direct result of my choices. We truly are a product of our daily decisions and are capable of more than most of us ever truly dream of. I chose all of you as much as you chose me. As 31 dims and 32 begins, I wouldn't have it any other way.
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