On this, my last night as a 30 year old, I am overcome with gratitude for the magic that has transpired this past year to bring me into this moment. Don’t get me wrong— I don’t have answers to decades-old questions that have reliably kept up their monotonous, steady, slow burn… I am no closer to feeling like I belong to any one place on this earth… I am not creating manically, fervently, passionately, every minute of every day. But I have received. So many gifts I am almost embarrassed to admit to them all. What is so striking is that it has been so much the result of allowing for twinges of uncertainty, and confusion, and ambivalence, to lead the way, to lead me away from those causes, freeing up space for other things to enter. Like teachers. Like travel. Like reclining into and relishing time spent alone, and not feel lonely. Like love. Like patience, and a newfound gentleness, and a desire to address things have for too long have sat and soured in the pit of my belly, in the back of my mind. Like courage: finding it and utilizing it, sharing it and testing it. Like gratitude, above all, more than anything, learning this powerful practice of waking up in thanksgiving: thanking by name the soft pillows beneath and the roof over my head, the birds’ song just for me, my ancestors standing beside me, each friend and family member; sending up gratitude for my car, my feet, the shower I have access to, my beating heart, my expanding lungs. The micro and the macro, anything that comes to mind, anything that keeps me in a state of being thankful, humbled by the network of loving beings that has kept me alive and reasonably sane for all these 30 years. Here I step up and out into the 31st year of my life— the only one of its kind. The oldest and the youngest I will ever be in this moment. Perpetually, unconsciously, receiving and recycling oxygen, lavishly basking in my senses, staying curious, and knowing I am, now and forever, free.