The weather has finally settled down into the low brown and yellow 50 degrees of fall. The ginkgo tree by our building has turned completely gold, but has resisted dropping its leaves, making half the building look like the yellow shirt I bought for Halloween. I wrote Livestrong on it it, taped a pen labeled ‘EPO’  in place of a syringe to my arm, and when people asked me what I was I said that I had lost all seven of my Tour de France titles due to doping. It was a good Halloween.

And today was a good day. I like little things that make days good: realizing it’s not as cold riding to class as I thought it would be, coffee with lunch, scanning and reading relatively well in Homeric Greek, reading not so badly in 491, my books not being overdue yet when I returned them, and then there were the near hundred Facebook messages. There were a few calls, a good number of texts, the ones from my parents being the first, my Marching Illini squad son giving me cookies unexpectedly, and the band yelling happy birthday at me.

It was my birthday today. I turned 22.

I haven’t really thought about getting older, largely because aging/maturing/etc is a gradual process, and I’m not going to take the next step to becoming a Grown Up overnight. So are birthdays one day out of the year where we celebrate how much we’ve grown in the last year? I like that idea. I like the idea that we can take the anniversary of us entering this crazy reality and look at what we’ve done, what friends we’ve made, and generally say, “Yeah, this is good.”

It’s also a nice reminder of all the people I’m really insanely lucky to know. I’m not sure entirely how I came to know so many amazing people, or how I got so lucky as to be related to them, but I’m really glad I did. Once one of the most amazing people of that group of amazing people comes home, I’m going to hang out with her, and we might just have some cake that the best mom in the world brought down for me this past weekend.

Thanks everyone. It’s been a really great day.


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