In 49 years of life, I can’t say I ever thought I would celebrate a birthday amidst a global pandemic, but I guess there’s a first for everything! Rather than gifts and celebrations for the big day this year, I thought I’d use this opportunity to share a special birthday message instead. 

It’s no secret that 2020 has been emotional. In some ways, this year has been exhausting, but in others, this year has been long overdue. Times like these challenge people, and with challenge comes opportunity. Now is a unique opportunity to not only inspire and encourage, but to genuinely make this world a better place. How we navigate the rest of the year is arguably more important than what we’ve done thus far, so I encourage each of you to lean into the conversations and change happening across the world. 

In the weeks and months ahead, I wish for strength and courage. Not just for myself, but for each of you, so we can make necessary decisions and have tough conversations to ensure we do right by those around us. I wish for a continued desire to educate, not only myself, but others, and for purpose to guide those conversations. I wish for patience and understanding as we walk the path less traveled, forgiveness for any wrong turns, and most of all, I wish for clarity to lead by example on this journey. 

So on this birthday, let’s cheers to 2020. May we not shy away from the challenge because nothing great ever comes easily. If we come together, we can ensure this year is one for the history books.