Monday, January 31, 2011

Birthdays and Stars

Tuesday marks my 32rd year.

Thirty-two years since I entered this world on Feb. 1, 1979.

But while birthdays are celebratory and this is just another one, I'll be looking to the stars to mark this anniversary and think about what lies ahead. There is always good and bad, and so it is when my birthday rolls around each year.

Eight years ago, I was on a mission. A mission to buy an engagement ring. This was in the works for awhile at the time, and I woke up early to get myself ready for the monumental purchase. That Saturday in 2003 was when I bought the finger jewelry that would stay in my coat pocket for a little more than a month before the actual proposal came to be.

That was a positive, but that day had more in store than I had planned.

About 9 a.m. Eastern that day, the Space Shuttle Columbia was destroyed upon re-entering the planet. All seven astronauts on board were killed. This national international tragedy changed the mood, and tempered my excitement when arriving at and entering the jewelry store a little after 10 a.m. I'd sat in the car and listened on the radio to the news coverage, and thought about changing my own plans. But, I made a decision to proceed as planned. To complete my mission, and reach for my own stars. Maybe, in some way, a recognition of the stars those 7 had traveled to and encouraged so many others to do.

This wasn't the first time tragedy had struck for those reaching for the stars, though. Even more memorable was the Challenger Explosion on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 1986 about 11:38 a.m. - this time as the seven crew members were starting their flight. The shuttle disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida, and all crew were killed.

So, in reflecting on these global tragedies that have hit through the years, I look to the sky and the stars in marking another birthday. I've reached for many stars in my life already and reached some, but others haven't aligned and more remain sparkling up there in wait for me to come get them.

That is what this 32nd birthday means to me. I'm looking to those stars that remain high above, and will do what I can to reach for them as often as possible.

Live your dreams. Reach for the stars. And even if the stars don't align or you can't reach them, remember those people and events that have inspired you to dream in the first place.

5 comments:

Nerdy April said...

Yay!! Great post, and happy birthday!

Scott Strange said...

Hapy Birthday, Mike!

Renata said...

Awesome Michael, happy birthday and hope that one day you will realize just how many stars you have reached!

Karen said...

Happy Early Birthday!! May we always keep reaching for the stars.

Reyna said...

Happy Birthday MIKE!!!