Isn’t it crazy just how many things can change in five years? Like somewhere in the course of just living, we form long term bonds that weren’t there before, we say goodbyes that were never anticipated, relationships change and strengthen or they change and fall apart, we have big career failures and overwhelming career triumphs. There are personal coups and collapses. We learn wonderful and scary things about ourselves and about our friends and about the world. We have little moments of humanity, of meanness, of pettiness, of valor. We fall in love. We learn what love is and what it isn’t. We become better friends. Better citizens. How can one predict all of that?
I did all of the above in the last five years. I lost my grandma, which was crushing. But what a wonderful stroke of luck to have been her granddaughter and to have had her as long as I did. I lost a friend to cancer and was racked with grief. But how lucky I am to have memories of her that make me swell with laughter.
I’ve had new successes and made lovely new friends in the last five years, but I’m very thankful for the things that have stayed the same, too. My best friends. My family. My ride or dies. They helped me rip out my first gray hair and then helped me laugh about it when it grew back. They talked me through grief and heartache and wanted the best for me. They’ve celebrated my accomplishments. They’ve been reliable, they’ve been truthful, they’ve been loyal.
I am very lucky.
I’ve got a birthday coming up, kids. I have a markedly different life than I did five birthdays ago; some of it sad but the overwhelming majority of it so good that I couldn’t have dreamed it up five years ago had you asked me to.
Cheers to another five.