31st Birthday on Friday

Friday was my 31st birthday. I did my work remotely as usual, with a few video calls. Coworkers, friends and loved ones wished me. It was very kind of them. My family surprised me with ten cupcakes of different flavors, and presents that I knew I wanted. I’m going to be reading The 

I appreciated that, while trying to think of what it means to be another prime number. 31 is only divisible by 1 and 31. It has no rhyme or reason, a year in-between turning 30. All one can do is look forward.

I’ve also been told that I’ve grown as a person. Over the past year I’ve taken a leadership role in a club for which I serve, pitched articles and worked with editors to submit them, and took a few hard rejections. Yet my ambition still reaches, to accomplish yet more goals. You always worry if you have spent enough time on improving yourself, if you have enough time to reach for everything.

“But you have done so much,” my mentor told me. “It’s okay to celebrate that.”

With every birthday comes the joy of others appreciating that you are here with them. It’s lovely to know who is happy to see you, and who you have helped as well. I’ve been comforting friends with stresses, and drawing or writing about my worries.

I have to remember to mark the progress. Character development is a trickier beast to measure in real life, compared to the beats in a story. We have to evaluate ourselves, and see how we have changed.