Yesterday was my 39th birthday, a day I never thought I would see. I am grateful for every moment. And for my birthday wish, I wish that you will go after whatever you want in this world. Make a decision to choose that goal, whatever it is that you have thought about at night before bed or first thing in the morning. However small or large that next or maybe first step might be, go for it.
The days won't all be sunshine and butterflies followed by shooting star nights. But know that eventually, rainbows do follow the rain. I am grateful for each day because it brought me another sunrise, another day to make a different choice, to take a step towards my next goal. The days add up to weeks, to months, to years, even the days stuck in a hospital bed with tubes out of my nose and staples running down my belly. Those days led to preschool graduation and my daughter's big debut in our local production of Annie. Those days led to my run for political office and my first afternoon chairing the Task Force on Child Care and Early Education. Those days led to the ginormous birthday hug my daughter gave me this morning after my 5k run.
So grant my wish. Go after what you want in life: a new job, your first race, a new relationship. You might get your feelings hurt, your knees scraped, your heart broken. But I promise, after you dust yourself off and take a deep breath, you will notice that you are stronger for it. And you can say that you have truly lived.
Henry David Thoreau stated it best: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." The people who love you unconditionally are cheering you on.