My office staff managed to pull one over on me today. Somehow without my knowing (or even suspecting) they not only planned, but executed flawlessly a surprise bithday lunch thingie for me. This was a nice gesture and I was legitimately touched, though I cannot fathom how they pulled the affair off in such a clandestine way. The most surprising part is that I've never let them know my date of birth.
Sneaky bunch they are.
So I turn 34 today. Not a big deal at all, really and I'm quite content to let such affairs come and go with but a minimum of recognition. While I do appreciate the efforts of my obviously Machiavellian staff and various friends who have called, this is about as far as I like to take such things. Perhaps the only logically meaningful thing associated with such annual events is the opportunity for one to assess where they are in life now juxaposed to this point last year.
I'm very pleased with the personal progress made over the last year and I feel like I'm more or less where I want and need to be at 34 years old. Physically, I'm almost where I need to be, as greater attention to diet and exercise have certainly paid off. All of my clothes from last summer are too big and I'm enjoying the newfound self confidence and the joy of reinventing my wardrobe.
The world has also grown much smaller over the last year thanks to the three week holiday in Thailand. I love to watch people and such observations validate many trusths about the basic human condition, irregardless of where you area. I suspect the world will be even small this time next year once I spend time in Central America and return to Southeast Asia this fall and winter.
Work and school are going very well and I'm rather confident that I'm on the right career path. The future is sill wide open, of course, but that's expected in my field. There are many different direcitons the path may ultimately take and when the time comes to make the big choices, I should have sufficent insight to make the right one.
One thing that I've particularly noticed is that I have become more of an idealist as I get older. This relates directly to career and life-goals. The more of the world I see, the more experience I gain in the public health field (both domestically and on the international level), the more I want (and need) to make a difference in the lives of others. It was not but so many years ago when these things weren't even on the radar screen beyond basic recognition. A career in such an endeavour certainly wasn't even a consideration. But people change (at least some people so) and outlooks evolve over time if one observes, learns, and follows their heart. These three things will open up possibilities innumerable.