How do you celebrate a “milestone birthday” while the world burns?

How do you celebrate a “milestone birthday” while the world burns?

Streets fill with protests demanding recognition that black lives matter, while a government that feeds off division is determined to neither listen nor lead. Voices raise to demand an end to police brutality, which becomes an excuse for further police brutality. Millions are jobless while thousands die weekly from a pandemic that is still not under control.

A year ago, I expected my 40th birthday to be filled with some level of existential dread, but also a welcome chance to reflect on my peculiar life. As I emptied my tank over the last three months focused on COVID-19 at work, I planned a week off knowing that even if I wouldn’t be able to travel or even get out of the apartment much, perhaps I could recharge.

The world had other plans. I’ve spent the week like so many of you: listening, watching, learning, giving, amplifying.

So here I am at 40: broken hearted at the state of the world, yet hopeful for a better tomorrow.

Eternally grateful for my incredible circle of friends and my supportive family, yet feeling isolated because I miss everyone tremendously.

Trying to document how I feel, yet being anxious about every word I write because it all feels really self-indulgent.

Struggling with the dark, and responding to the light.