I was born in Connecticut, grew up in various homes in Virginia and Ohio, went to college in Pittsburgh, moved to Chicago, lived in New York and, now, Los Angeles. And I've had the opportunity to travel to many other cities along the way.
In all of my life's travels, I have had the good fortune of being surrounded by love-from family and friends. So much so that I find it hard to delineate the differences. I have said all sorts of goodbyes and hellos. I have been held by many and have tried to hold just as many in return. I have learned and grown in ways that I never dreamed of as a child. I have gone places and done things that I never would have known to ask for. I have had teachers and friends in classrooms, on high school football fields, on stages big and small, in writer's rooms and at home that have taken me to depths I never knew I was capable of going. I couldn't have asked for that when I was a child because I had yet to meet many of those people. And they were the reasons that I got there. I know that now. And it's not a weak feeling. I know my strengths, too. But, I know that I can be stronger with others.
Oh, there were hardships along the way. And it's naive to think you won't get your fair share. The minor ones are just little bruises to your ego that will only make you better. Now, the bigger hardships hurt. They hurt more than you can understand until you're in the midst of one. But, I have had the gift of being lifted off the ground (literally and figuratively) by people that I love and I have also had the profound opportunity to be there for loved ones when they have needed to be lifted. You don't know to ask for that as a child. But, those are moments that you will always remember-even if some of those moments happen as you are a child.
And how would you know, as a child, to ask that all of these memories surround and live with you always and provide you with a quiet warmth that has the ability to comfort you, laugh with you and rise you to the occasion when necessary?
But, of course, children are always wiser than we give them credit for. So, maybe they just know that you don't need to ask for that. The important thing is really not knowing at all. It's just doing. It's just taking deep breaths and long pauses. It's letting music move you. It's observing and wondering at the world around you and locking eyes and smiling with as many people as possible.
Yesterday, Ruth picked me up from work. And we held each other and giggled and reflected and watched the sun set into the Pacific. And I don't think that I would have known, even last yet, that that's all that I wanted for my 34th year.
Much love to all of you always. Thank you for being here.
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