Every year after my birthday, I like to write a short essay reflecting on my life in the last year: the experiences I’ve had, the interactions with people known and met, and what I’ve learned from all of it. This year I have decided to start sharing that essay publicly.
In 2023 I turned 34 years old. This has been a year of my life that could be described as having ups and downs, but that might be an understatement. It has been filled with moments of incredible happiness, uncertainty, sorrow, and bittersweet joy.
This February, I asked my girlfriend of 18 months to marry me, and she said yes. It wasn’t a surprise to either of us, but having the ring in my pocket and waiting for just the right time to ask made me about as nervous as anything in my adult life has. We began wedding planning that day, and I’m happy to say that in a few weeks, we’ll be husband and wife (and on our honeymoon).
Before that, in January, my grandmother had started treatment for stage four peritoneal cancer. We all knew that the prognosis wasn’t especially good, but we didn’t want to immediately dismiss any hope that it might work. After all, she had survived breast cancer when I was a kid.