Earlier this week, I turned 34... it doesn’t sound like a huge milestone because it’s not a catchy number. It doesn’t end in five or nine, it’s not a sweet sixteen or a multiple of it, it’s not like I finally got my license or have just legally been allowed to consume alcohol... I’ve just lived another year of my life.
If you say it like that, of course it sounds ordinary... and then I see what I’ve lived in the last year. The publishing of Only Human digitally and physically, the release of my first poetry collection, my participation in the Puerto Rico Comic Con, going to Napa Valley and Atlanta with my wife, all the work I’ve done, over a hundred posts written, all the people I’ve met and connected with. All the times I’ve spent with mom and my family. The waves I’ve ridden and the days I’ve shared with the ones I love.
It’s been a great year and now I look ahead and I smile.
You see, regardless of the challenges, the tests and the tribulations, it’s been a good year. I’ve always had the means to be well and to keep the people I love well.... and really, what else could you ask for?
In my case I could ask for more people to read my work, for more reviews, for better sales, more interactions through here and social media... I could make a long wish list and send it to Santa Clause. The thing is, I don’t think I need to.
Everything that has happened in the last year has been because I’ve invited people to explore what I have to say and if I’ve been fortunate enough to pique their interest, they have been kind enough to read... be it a blog post, a poem, a tweet, a message on an Instagram post or my novel. People have been kind, they haven’t done anything due to pity, they have willingly helped me because they think I have something interesting to say.... and again, what more can you ask for?
I’ve received kind words from new friends and old who have said that what I wrote made a difference in their day. I’ve had people thank me for something I wrote because they felt as if they could finally accept themselves for who they are. I’ve heard young writers say they will hone their craft and pursue writing because they saw me with a booth at a convention. I’ve heard people say: I believe in myself thanks to reading what you wrote...
So a third time I ask, what more can you ask for?
Dave Matthews has a song called #34 and there are lyrics in it that say: “Lean upon me, I’ll lean upon you, we’ll be Ok.” Throughout this entire year, I’ve lived this message through the people I love, the closest friends I have and strangers kind enough to spare a minute or two. I’ve been blessed in thousands of ways... so what else can I ask for?
Whatever life wants to give.