Birthdays are a BIG deal.
It's your day. Pick anything you want. Choose the place to eat. Cake and candles. Cameras in focus. Make a wish. Don't tell anyone or it won't come true. Take a big breath... Blow. Happy birthday to you.
Two weeks ago I turned 27. It was a big deal even though none of the above happened.
I wasn't the center of attention on "my" day, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. At midnight on my night, I wasn't ripping celebratory fireball shots or dancing on the bar.
I was alone on my roof. A glass of Malbec in hand. A slow Cuban cigar puffing smoke rings. A blank page with a year to reflect on.
I won't go into details on my year of recovery, introspection, transition, travel and growth. My biggest takeaway was having one day a year fully focused on self is silly.
It's your day.
Treat everyday like your birthday. Use everyday like it may be your last. It probably won't be, but that mindset will evoke the best out of everyday, piling up into a pretty amazing life.
Pick anything you want.
Don't go buy something you don't need from a store. Instead, do something post-productivity to make yourself smile.
Choose the place to eat.
Don't eat somewhere you can't afford. Instead, cook yourself something healthy and delicious.
Cake and candles.
Lose the cake and candles, but find something special in each day that incites emotion. Laugh, cry and love.
Camera in focus.
Don't settle for cameras pointed at you for a moment. Instead, record your life in your favorite medium. You'll be glad you have some stories, authenticity and progress to look back on someday.
Make a wish.
You better not be saving wishes for candles. Set a goal. Make it big and scary and real. Wish and hope and plan and pour yourself into it everyday.
Don't tell anyone or it won't come true.
Don't keep your dreams to yourself. Instead tell your inner circle. They can help. Tell those who have done something similar. They assist in avoiding nightmares. Eventually tell everyone, but do it through actions. That's how dreams become reality.
Take a big breath...
Instead of peering down at a birthday cake and drawing in a big breath. Instead of bingeing all your hope and happiness in one short-lived, self-centered day. Instead of blowing out all your dreams in one big rush of gust, try something different.
Live everyday like it's special. Take small breaths in and wish everyday. Take small breaths out and complete little actions to forge your dream life.
Happy birthday to you.
Treat yourself like it's your day everyday. Then, birthdays will become a big deal. Then, you'll have a lively year to look back on. Then, your wish will come true.
In the spirit of drinking my own kool-aid, here's my wish for 27.
I will search for heroes in hiding. If this is Gotham City, where are my Bruce Wayne's? Who are the courageous few that will strike back against evil? What armor, tools and training can I give them to empower the change they wish to see in the world? Why will they fight? How will they grow?
I want to answer these questions this year. I want to find more of my favorite kind of people, not just in Athens and Atlanta, but all over the world. In my 27th lap around the sun, I want to plant the seeds that will grow to change the world, one dollar, one impression, one punch at a time.
I will empower everyday people to literally fight for what they believe in. Then, those heroes will take their armor, tools and training from the ring to the world to make it a better place for all of us. A generation of Brawlers will be born this year. Will you be among them?