Happy Birthdays are for Others

September 14th. It was a Monday when I was born. This day is becoming more and more of a day that I just let pass by me. Sure I like birthday parties, having others around me, celebrations, music, cake, laughing at almost nothing, staying up late, and enjoying other people’s company. Of course I love that. Still, I don’t like to make a big deal of something for myself. That’s just not how I do things.

When my 28th birthday was coming up, all I could think about was where I thought I’d be, how old I was getting, what I haven’t done, blah blah blah. But then I realised just what I HAVE DONE. How very much has happened to me. The people I have been blessed to have conversations with, laugh with, know about. I have listened to stories of pain, and joy…sat with people in their darkest, and their brightest. I have felt the weight of a culture nearly forgotten and a people fighting to staying alive. I have learned to be a better professional and a much better human.

This past year was the year that I stayed. I was planning to leave New Zealand a year ago, but felt wrong about the move. It wasn’t time. In that year I have experienced more than I can emote, write, or talk about. I am grateful for the time in New Zealand and the growth as a man that has allowed me to love better, care deeply, trust closer, lead confidently, pray harder, bow frequently, control less, and cry.

I know that a birthday is supposed to be this thing. This year, I look forward to what is next, and I only look back to see those standing there, who have been my rock, who have been the ones listening to me when I needed it and comforting me when I couldn’t take it anymore. I will only be looking back to see the growth…where I’ve come from and where I am now. Sure I’ll see the stumbles that lead me there, but I won’t dwell on them. I won’t ask myself why I’m not there yet, why it hasn’t happened yet, why I’m not earning it yet. I won’t fall into the pit that so many do when they turn another year older. Mainly, because this is the stuff that makes me.

So you see, Happy Birthday’s are for Others, because without them, I wouldn’t even have a chance. Thank You, everyone…for making me who I am, and for being there today, tomorrow, and the next day.

28. Let’s see what you got.


One thought on “Happy Birthdays are for Others

  1. Sharon Peterson

    I remember that day 28 years ago. It was a nice, sunny morning and by that afternoon, we had a beautiful baby boy! You have brought so much joy to me and our family! Love you so much, Eric! Happy Birthday and have an awesome day! Love you!

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