I can’t believe it’s my birthday. I received a great gift on accident. President Barack Obama spoke shortly before the stroke of midnight of my birthday. There I was, curled up on the couch in my pjs watching DNC coverage. The introductory video had me already crying. I know I’m a softie, but I was still caught off guard. His dedication, compassion, resilience, and brilliance were perfectly captured. Then, his speech had me crying again (real tears…not one or two crocodile tears). Luckily, I was able to not do the ugly cry – even though no one was there to see it. The President’s speech embodied a spirit of hope and love. His genuine love for all human beings, along with his passion and dedication, were inspiring. His energy was the perfect way to start off my birthday.

My theme for my gift to myself for my 42nd year of life was peace. I remember thinking a few months ago that I may fall short on that goal. I dedicated myself to making a strong effort to find inner peace and be more mindful of my personal energy for the remaining 3 months before my birthday. Through the journey of self discovery, I have realized that my overall goal in life is to be a beacon of hope and love.

Central to my journey of finding peace has been an active effort to be more aware of my personal energy and to be grounded in gratitude. I have been blessed with a wonderful life that is filled with love. And I refuse to give up on the capacity of love in others, despite these turbulent times of violence and racism. I look forward to my next year of life with hope…hope for me living my potential, hope for people to find strength to fight against injustice, hope for people to reconnect with their kindness, and hope for people to feel surrounded with love.

As I look forward to the year ahead, I aim to radiate love. That love will attract the elements of my desires, will empower me to do my part to heal the world, and will provide fuel to my heart. As Katniss Everdeen said “Fire is catching…”
I am determined to proclaim “Love is catching!”