After a few years, the fun of birthdays wears off. You’re bombarded with a sea of candy, gifts, and cards that you care about reading. As you grow older, you (hopefully) become less interested in the gifts you’re given and more about the idea of giving. You come to appreciate the relationships you’ve built over any physical items you get.

Over time, I’ve begun using my birthday as more of a milestone than anything. I don’t want gifts. I want moments to remember. Use your birthday to reflect on your past year and make sure that you’re twice the person you were before. Use it as a gut check to make sure you’re going in the right direction.

Last year on my birthday I was beginning my move to St. Louis. I was nothing more than the enthusiastic, inspired kid just out of college who wanted to change the world. I had no idea how things actually worked, and of course little to no responsibilities at the time just like everyone else fresh out of college.

Since then, however, I’ve grown immensely. I’m nothing like the person I was last year. I’ve met more incredible people in my field in the last few months than I have in my lifetime. Thanks to each and every one of you for inspiring me to become a better person and a better developer. There is no way I would be here without you guys.

A year is a long time. Make sure you take time reflect on how things are going. Take a break if you need to. Just remember that you’ve only got once chance. The last thing you want is to become old and regret the things you didn’t do.

Make sure the people in your life know how much they mean to you.

Thank you guys.

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