It’s not the kind of gift you can wrap in pretty paper. It doesn’t come with bells and whistles. It doesn’t have any monetary value. But my birthday gift to myself this year is a reminder that life is too short to do anything other than what you love. In a world where you can do and be anything, possibilities are infinite if you follow your joys.

I will always believe in celebrating birthdays. I think it’s really important to blow out candles, make wishes, and eat way too much cake. So here is to the next year. Keep traveling as much as you can and as often as you can. Make friends along the way. Care for those friendships and keep those connections. Stay tough (with a touch of vulnerability and honesty). Even if you don’t know what you want…knowing what you don’t want will put you in the direction of knowing what you do want. When I think about how I want to live my life these days, it’s FREE.

Yosemite birthday, dreaming and scheming of future things to come. Photograph by Tony Puyol

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