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The sky is blue on my birthday morning. White still clings to trees and layers the earth. The sun will melt it off. What a beautiful day to be alive. It’s not about my birthday. It’s about being alive today.

Recently I heard this phrase and I can’t stop thinking about it. “I don’t want to live the wrong life then die.”

It’s my birthday but I don’t have much to say. I have no goals or plans. I don’t know where I want to go or what I want to do. I’ve given up on grand, heroic ideas and ideals. I’m not out to change the world. I do it every year—set goals and make plans just to fail myself. I don’t need that anymore. I just want to be me. To do what I love. To live my life apart from pressure and expectation. To be free. I want to grow and mature and push myself. I want to be brave and bold and courageous. But it doesn’t mean I must exhaust myself to get there.

I don’t have much to say for the past year or the one ahead. I love the life I lead. I love my home. I love my few good friends. I love the quiet and solitude of the last two years. I love the freedom I currently have to be myself and enjoy what I have. I love God and am thankful for how good he is to me. I love the only family I’ll ever have—my parents and siblings and the rest—and the singular light each of them bring to my life. I wouldn’t trade any of it. I know it can and will change. Life isn’t static. I simply want to grow—into myself and my season. I want to be fearless in who I am. I want to be more aware of the earth and others and God, and myself. I want to notice the small things. I want to pay attention. I want to waste nothing, take in everything.

I want to fall in love with this life.

Is it helpful to ask what God is speaking? Or is it better just to intuit the change, sense the season, follow the subtle leading, be myself, rather than trying to decipher some grand message? The former sounds so much more peaceful. Why is that? When will I finally shed the weight of the old ways and the pressure to wear them. I am free just to be.

I don’t have much insight for this year. Except, maybe, to be a little more daring with what I’ve been given. Take initiative, be intentional. Be brave and courageous even when afraid. Do what I desire even if it’s uncomfortable. Even if it’s terrifying.

It’s only one short life. How can we waste it? We can’t.

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