Reaching arbitrary milestones like birthdays is always a good excuse to reflect on our lives and show gratitude for the people we’ve met along the way who’ve changed us for the better.

I often feel I’ve not done enough in my life. I suppose if we compare ourselves to our peers as portrayed in the media, we will always feel like that. I’ve never asked myself the question, “Why haven’t I done better?”; I think I’ve done decently given the haphazard, confused, sometimes down right risky route my 20s took. I’ve traveled the world, exploited the nature of reality and made friends who, for some reason, are still sticking around a decade later. I’ve grown into my pansexual self and fallen in love and built a life with someone special who taught my cold, capitalist heart love, compassion and socialism.

My 20s was the decade I came into awareness of myself. For the most part, my childhood and adolescence passed in a haze of confusion and distraction. At nineteen, I moved in with my first partner who was much older. That relationship was in many ways an extension of the security and comfort that had been provided by my parents. I broke his heart and he left me with a psychosis, but overall I definitely did more damage in the unknowing, cruel way young girls are capable of.

I have the sort of job now my parents can secretly brag about at Chinese New Year, and a boss and colleagues who couldn’t give a shit about my scandalous past. All the hate mail proved wrong, as I knew they always would. I’ve also made my first long term financial investment. All in all, I’d say I’ve gotten to a point in my life I’m very pleased with, although a lot of it must be attributed to luck. I had not a clue what I was going to do after I left university, and I had no real skills. Somehow, it all worked out.

I’m excited to start my next decade now that I have greater awareness of who I am, what I want, and where I’m going. Even the best laid plans are of dubious utility in the battlefield, but what they do is get you ready. Funnily enough, I feel as if my vision for my life has never been clearer than it is now. Almost as if entering 2016 had removed a great fog and induced clarity which had not been apparent before. I guess, subconsciously, there must have been all these things going on inside that are now manifest with the power of a fresh start. Who knows.