In 2009, I stood in the middle of a cold cemetery in Lockbourne, OH. I was soon to leave for a new venture in New York City. I stopped by the cemetery to wish my Dad one last goodbye.

Stooping down, I placed a one dollar coin on his marker. “I won’t come back until I have a million more.” I told him.

Years went by and I did my best to find some measurable level of success. Instead, each year brought on new and important lessons that held far more value than something you can’t keep forever. I learned many lessons lessons about friendship, integrity, hard work, partnerships, keeping my word, anger, and the importance of communication and trust.

Nearly a decade passed before I returned to the cemetery.

“Dad, I told you I’d come back with a fortune…but, I’ve discovered something so much better.”

In lieu of a financial windfall, I returned to see Dad with a heart that had been filled with love, friendship, and community. All of my needs have been met and life has provided me with an abundance of treasured memories.

Every year during my birthday, I like to reflect back on the year and unpack the main theme of the year. 30 brought on a lot of miniature revelations, which culminated themselves into one dominant theme.

This year, I learned the value of friendship and the strength it carries. I was thankful enough to ring in my birthday with the people I love. This year taught me that some bonds go beyond words, distance, or time. I can’t wait to see what 31 has in store…

“He is no fool who exchanges what he cannot keep for that which he cannot lose”


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