This morning I woke up to a flower on my peace lily. Alone, that statement means little, but in the context of my life, it's everything.

Peace Lily.jpg

I don't remember my last birthday. It's not that is was bad, or good, it was simply unremarkable. At the time, my birthday said alot about where I was with my life. I was living with strangers, in a destructive relationship, and emotionally isolated. My life was on autopilot, and it was okay, but looking back now, I can't believe I thought that was okay. Why did I settle for mediocrity? Why did I waste precious time living that way? I was unhappy for too long.

Now I don't think happiness is everything, but without it life is lackluster. And it doesn't really dawn on you until something big changes. For me, that was the end of my relationship with Brittany. We were both unhappy for a long time, and when we went our separate ways I realized just how much my life had changed from a couple years before. Connections were lost, hobbies abandoned, and the emotions I once cherished had dulled to a dark shade of grey. But with that change in relationship status came an opportunity to explore myself again, and to build towards a better life.

These past 9 months have been incredible. It was hard at first, working through my personal problems, but with time I noticed that my mindset grew more and more positive.  I really worked on crafting the best life possible, and the changes became apparent. I live with compassion for others, care more about taking care of myself, and value my connections more than ever. At work I take on more responsibility and continue to grow into my leadership. With friends I listen more and show interest in their lives. And at home I focus on health, happiness, and being a kickass roommate. The common thread through all of these changes I've experienced is this element of connection - I care more about my relationships to people, places, and things, and as a result I feel more complete.

This all goes to say that this birthday feels radically different. For the first time in too long I feel like I have a strong group of close friends. I feel like I'm making a real difference at work. I feel like I'm following through on my commitments. I feel like my relationship has a future. And I feel like my house is a home. This birthday I feel like a peace lily flowering for the first time in years, and for that, I'm grateful.

PS: This is my fucking jam.