I’ve spent a lot of time trying to become a person that I like. One big component of that person is having a positive outlook on the world — not being a Pollyannaish “The world is beautiful place!! With Unicorns! And Rainbows! For Everyone!!!” type, but avoiding my depressions, finding the beauty in the ugliness around me, and appreciating everything that I have.
38 years ago, in a hospital room in Nashville, Tennessee, I became my parents’ first child. Those years have been sometimes hard, sometimes easy, but always filled with life and living. And here, at what is probably the midpoint of my time here in this world, this life, I think I have done a pretty good job of finding happiness, and learning to recognize the good things in my world.
I couldn’t ask for a better family. My parents are not perfect, but whose are? Not only did mine provide for me and then some, making sure that I grew up healthy and educated and happy, but (most importantly, to me) taught and encouraged me, both directly and indirectly, to appreciate knowledge, to think for myself, to question and to seek answers. My siblings Mandy, James, and Kate have all taught me a lot — about people, about life, about differences, about myself. I don’t get to see any of them as often as I wish, as there’s a lot of ground between all of us now, but I think about them all often.
My friends make up in quantity what they lack in quality. Kidding aside, I’m surrounded in every facet of my life with the widest variety, the most diverse people. Each and every one of them has taught me something (no unimportant lessons in life), helped me up when I was down, shared good times and bad with me. I may not always be good at showing my appreciation, but it’s there.
I’ve got no shortage of creative stimulation in my world. There’s so much amazing music and film and reading that I’ve been exposed to, and that I continue to find and be introduced to on a daily basis.
I have two jobs. Again, not perfect jobs, filled with their own eccentricities and downsides, but overall two of the better jobs that I could hope for. While I’m not getting rich, I have enough money to live comfortably and happily. The people I work with are mostly those I count as friends, and the work is fulfilling and challenging, each in it’s own way.
I’ve had a lifetime and then some of love, both given and received. Even the failed relationships have provided me with learning, new experiences, and wonderful memories. The love and happiness and laughter and passions that I share now are more than I ever hoped for, more than I even dreamed were possible in this world. I am amazed and astonished daily, left speechless more in the past month than the writer in me would ever have imagined possible.
I’ve always felt as though everything that came before led up to wherever I was at the time. Today, at least, I feel that that is true on a fundamentally and undeniably good level, that all my years of seeking and exploring and learning and sometimes even suffering have paid off in ways that maybe are more than I even deserve.
To everyone that has touched my life — positively or negatively, but especially the good: thank you. It’s a wonderful feeling to consider: as ecstatic as I am to be alive and living this life today, I’m pretty sure this is nowhere near the peak. The past 38 years have led me to this point; the next years, I think, will only get better as I go.