26

The 10.10.10 birthday was probably the worst I’ve ever had, spending most of the day crying. But it gave me a perspective that no other birthday has.

I made it to 26. I am alive. I am chasing a dream. All of those things are not guaranteed and are blessings.

I’ve had less than eight hours of sleep in three days and I am on the verge of tears at any moment. Still, I can’t complain. I am healthy, have an amazing family and friends with some of the world’s greatest people.

I promised myself to be somewhere new when the 26th year a came upon me and I never anticipated to be in Niger. As I stood before Peace Corps staff, country officials and my fellow volunteers reading a piece about our fallen one, I still knew I was in the right spot. As her casket was moved to the airport loading dock, I never questioned my being here.

Despite the suckiness of my 26th birthday, I am spent it where I was supposed to, and that, along with the gift of life, is the best birthday present.

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