Today is my birthday. As I look back over the last 22 years of my life I am amazed at the road I have traveled to get to where I am today. The great thing about birthdays is that you always get to make a wish. Hannah Katy at As Simple As That wrote a really neat post of her 22 wishes on her 22nd birthday. Reading her list I was amazed at how similar I felt that many of my wishes would be. I think that shows how connected we all are though. That we are not alone in our hopes, dreams, wishes and even our fears.
If I were granted 23 wishes on my 23rd birthday, what would I wish for? Well, here goes, in no particular order:
My first wish would be for my family. Though many of us are separated by time and other things, may they all know how much I love them. May they be happy and healthy in the next year.
My second wish is for my friends, past and present. There is something I have learned from every friendshipFor my closest friends, the ones who know me and love me anyway, I am lucky to have them in my life. May they find a happiness unequaled, a love unparalleled, and a peace that passes all understanding.
My third wish is for the children of the world. May you not be forced to lose your innocence too soon. May you be given the time to be children. To have fun. To play. There is a time to grow up, and it is not that time for you.
My fourth wish is for my fellow teachers. May you always remember the reason you got in to teaching. May the bureaucracy of education never take away from the passion you have for your profession. On your toughest day I wish that you have that one experience that reminds you why you teach.
My fifth wish is for all students. That you find ways to continue learning long after school is done. That you find that thing in school that you can plug into whether its classes, clubs or a sport. May you find a passion for something and pursue it with every fiber of your being.
My sixth wish is for girls who have struggled with feeling ‘not pretty enough,’ ‘not smart enough’ or just not enough. It is hard to look in the mirror and not like what you see. It is hard to be with others and feel less than. My wish for you is that you find the thing that makes you you. Dust it off, clean it up and let it shine. Shine like a diamond. It may take you years, it may take a lifetime. May you find something about yourself you love so you can build on that foundation.
My seventh wish is for those who are searching. We all wish that life came with a map or an instruction manual. Some people know what they need, and some have no idea. May every single person who is searching not find what they want. But rather my wish is that you find what you need.
My eighth wish is for everyone who has been let down. It hurts. Sometimes it leaves a permanent mark. My wish is that you remember it was most likely not your fault. May they know that they are not alone. That there are people out there who will help them put the pieces of their heart, or spirit back together.
My ninth wish is for those who are stuck. For those who feel they need to make a change. Whether they are ready for it or not. My wish is that you take that step. That you cross that bridge, climb that mountain. My wish is that when you see the opportunity you take it. Grab it and hold tight with both hands.
My tenth wish is for all of the people who have taught me about life by being a part of mine. May they too find that person who teaches them about life. May their every dream come true, may their days end in happiness, and their hearts be full of love.
My eleventh wish is for those who are weary in mind, body, or spirit. Take a break. Give yourself a moment. Sometimes its okay to be weary. But my wish is that once that moment is done you find the knowledge to start again. The strength to pull yourself up. The faith to go on.
My twelfth wish is for global understanding. I know that global peace is a hard thing. And we haven’t yet found it. But my wish is that we as a global community can begin to take those first steps. That we begin to understand the things that make us different. That we understand that these differences don’t make each other less of a person but rather these differences are what make us human. They are what make us great. May we all find that understanding for one another.
My thirteenth wish is for all those who seek perfection. That’s an awful lot of pressure for one person. Going from point A to B in a straight line might be efficient but it isn’t always best. My wish is that you learn to squiggle and zig-zag your way through life. That you begin to ease up on that desire and channel it somewhere else.
My fourteenth wish is for the people whose blogs I enjoy. They inspire me, encourage me, enlighten me, entertain me. They make me feel connected, alive and understood. They are many, the space is few.
My fifteenth wish is for all those who are tied together with a smile. You say your fine and stick on a smile. You cry and don’t tell anyone. You laugh at all the right times but it doesn’t hit your eyes. May you find the things that make you happy and pursue them, include them in your life. May the external joy penetrate deep into your soul until you are made whole again.
My sixteenth wish is for any person who is having THAT kind of day. The day where everything seems to not go your way. My wish is that you embrace it. Shop til you drop. Eat ice cream. Spend some quality time with your sweatpants. Then remember that tomorrow is another day.
My seventeenth wish is for every single person who takes time to make a difference. May you be recognized for your work. May the time and effort you put into your cause become a boomerang. May you be rewarded for your efforts and may you be an inspiration to others.
My eighteenth wish is that we all experience failure. How can we appreciate and enjoy success if we don’t know what it is to fail? May you experience a failure so that when you get up and try again you may appreciate your success. Show life what you’re made of and come back better than ever.
My nineteenth wish is for the dreamer in us all. We all have a dream. My wish is that our dreams are never dashed. May we always dream big… when you dream it might come true.
My twentieth wish is for him. I may have met him already or our paths may have never crossed. Wherever you are my wish is that you get here when you can (although if you ask for directions you might get here faster). Wherever he is, whoever he is I know that he is the one God made for me. And may he know that I am excited to meet him and to spend the rest of my life with my best friend.
My twenty-first wish is that we all remember the sunset. The sunset is like a beautiful piece of art ready to be appreciated and enjoyed. It is different every day. Take the time to live your life, to love your life, and to remember the sunset won’t wait for you.
My twenty-second wish is a special one. My wish is that when I begin to forget that God is with me, may he give me that gentle nudge, that hand on my shoulder and remind me that he is in control. That when I get impatient I be reminded that the holy spirit doesn’t need my help.
My twenty-third wish is for me. May I be inspired daily by the things around me. May I learn to be comfortable with who I am and to love it. May I learn to open up, trust more, love deeper and take chances. I wish for a year full of love, discovery, acceptance, faith, hope, growing faith and big dreams. May I experience my life to the fullest. May I never fear what is just over the horizon. Above all, may I never forget the things that matter most.
What would you wish for?