Today is my birthday.
Not just any birthday, either. Today I am 40.
It feels monumental, not only because there’s a nice, fat zero hanging out there, but also because I am evolving hugely these days, after a period of what I will kindly call chaotic dormancy.
I am at the beginnings of new career as a filmmaker, a choice that I’ve been flailing at and around for a long time, but have finally locked down and moved forward. It is an intention that is loaded with purpose and joy like nothing else I’ve ever experienced, and I am grateful to have found my place. It does not, however, come easily. There’s a steep learning curve, difficult odds, and the never-ending requirement that I stay humble, open, and focused.
I’ve also hit what I’ll call the “middle-aged no fucks to give” place. Which is to say, I’ve gotten incredibly good at knowing who I am and what I believe, and—most importantly—in communicating that with others. I’m deepening my relationships and asking for what I want/need, but I’m also setting boundaries, taking no shit and refusing to worry about what anyone else thinks. It’s not 100% comfortable yet, but I’m getting there.
This is a good place to be.
Because it’s my birthday, and because I’m getting good at asking what I want, here are my birthday wishes:
- That each of you would do one thing today to make the world a better place, most specifically in the gargantuan task of dismantling white supremacy. I’m looking especially at my white friends here. There’s a lot of talking going on, and lots of big ideas, but what I’m asking for is one simple action, one thing you can do within your power right here and now, to change the power structure and create a more equal society.
- That each of you would also do one thing that is utterly ridiculous and decadent today. Preferably something that’s not in direct conflict with wish number one. Doesn’t have to be fancy, but one of those things you always tell yourself you’ll get around to later, or feel silly for liking, or put off because other’s needs are more important. Do that thing, whatever it is. For me.
If you really want to make me happy? You’ll keep doing those two things as often as possible.
:raises glass: Here’s to an amazing year, for me and for you and for all of us.