Unexpected happiness. Thank you.

I had a birthday this weekend. Normally, I'm quite the birthday person - but this year has been different. Before I go into detail, I'd like to emphasize (for the first time) that I truly have no idea who reads this. Friends, co-workers, people who hate me, people who like me, possible employers who want to hire me? I don't know. The ambiguity has slowly begun to influence what I'm likely to share. That said, it's been over a year since I gave up the hope that this blog would influence people to live more heart healthy lives. While I have stopped trying to help other people eat and live better - my own healthy lifestyle has become intrinsic.

The aforementioned birthday has been an unwelcome, looming, milestone. The last year feels like a 365 days of failed starts. In every aspect of my life I am stuck in the mud - and as an oldest child, Aries, who graduated from an Ivy League school - the lack of traction has been eating me alive. I hesitate to type this because I am very aware of how pathetically cliche it will sound: my daily loneliness is so isolating. Had someone told me that the panacea was a birthday I'd  have rolled my eyes. But - it's true.

Several weeks ago I challenged myself to find the small bits of genuine happiness that must exist in every single day. To help me focus I quit Facebook and started a Tumblr  that allowed me to tally happy moments. Both efforts helped but they have paled in comparison to the simple acts of unexpected kindness that those around me have recently shown. Those simple acts have been so important to me that I'd like to sit and write each person a thank you note. 

Without giving away too much of my friends' privacy - if you spent time with me between Friday morning and Sunday night - you SPECIFICALLY - made a really big impact on my well being. Thank you. Thank you for your cards, your cakes, your gifts, your surprises, your time, your texts, your songs, your smiles, your hugs, your listening... It's impossible to walk away from the last 76 hours feeling lonely. But - it's not just that I no longer feel lonely. It's more that I finally understand that a lot of the people who I'd previously been holding at a distance have long been my very real friends. I entered the weekend feeling stuck but I leave it feeling the most optimistic I've felt in a very long time. And this time, I owe that feeling to the wonderful people around me.

Thank you guys. Your patience and sincerity is huge to me. Thanks.