I had planned on being in Cuba on this day. Sat on a terrace in Havana sipping a mojito. I’m not a drinker but I figured when in Cuba, why the heck not? Instead, because of a big ash cloud that up until a few hours ago was holding everyone captive – I’m here. I’m not angry though, that’s not an emotion I’ve had much to do with this latter part of my life. Instead I think everything happens for a reason. Some have said that maybe I was going to get hit by a car in Cuba or something; perhaps so. I thought I’d need a full year to figure out the reason, but it’s taken me less than that. Perhaps it’s a sign I’m getting better at figuring out my life. Possibly. Maybe. This trip, my staycation, it is characteristic of how I would describe my life: It may not have turned out as I had planned, but it has turned out how it was supposed to.
There is not a day when I do not think myself blessed for the life that I lead. Yes there are moments when I wish things were different – more money in the bank account, a Triumph in the garage, a spacious place all to myself…but like I said – everything happens for a reason. This year, I think I needed to be here today. I needed to be in the exact place where the people who mean the most to me, that I mean the most to, were within arm’s reach. I was told recently that I have no passion. Where an old me would have taken those words to heart, searched for the validity of that statement, this me knows it not to be true. My family. My friends. Those who transcend any label anyone could possibly give. They are my passion. These people are who I am my very best with. These people who do not feel I am ever too much and am always enough for. These people who say to me, ‘You could rule the world if you wanted to.’ They are my love.
This year I chose thirty people, thirty of those people who have come to mean a lot to me, some over many years of having them in my life and others only recently, and I asked them to do something for me. I hope that they take my request seriously because I have never meant anything more. Because of them, because of the world they have shown me, because of the person they have helped me to become and shown me that I am, I can honestly say that today I want for nothing. There is no gift that they could give me that could mean more than what they have already shared with me. My request is the only way I know how to begin to repay them.
This age, a milestone, the digits have changed and I know that there are many more changes to come, but there are some parts of me that I hope will remain the same. After all, it’s taken me a long time to become the person I am. I do not fear tomorrow and I do not regret yesterday. I wish I could tell people how I had come to look upon my life in this way, there are so many that I hope will one day realise all that they have instead of longing for what they don’t. Life has a way of placing you exactly where you need to be, and it is not always where you expected you would end up. If you’re lucky, if you are blessed, you will have people around you who will make you laugh till your sides hurt, who will support you without judgement, and who will know who you are even when you don’t.
Thirty years. I must be doing something right.