I’m fortunate to have been born in the United States, and an affluent area of the country at that. I’m fortunate that I’ve never suffered or had unmet needs. I’m fortunate to have been born to two parents who are very much in love with each other, after more than thirty years, and have defined such an aspirational model of love for me. I’m fortunate that these parents wanted and worked for the best for me; making sure I ate well, played sports, studied, learned an instrument, and got otherwise involved with the world.
I’m fortunate to count dozens of wonderful people among my friends and family. I’m fortunate to have these people in my life, despite any physical and/or emotional distance I put between them and myself. I’m fortunate to have three little brothers who couldn’t be more different in some ways and more alike in others.
I’m fortunate that my body, with minimum upkeep and occasional abuse, is remarkably healthy. I’m fortunate to have been born with all my senses, limbs, and functions in perfect working order. I’m so fortunate to have never depended on glasses, or an inhaler, or regular medication or treatments of any kind. I’m fortunate to have avoided broken bones and serious injuries or illnesses, let alone unpredictable catastrophes.
I’m fortunate that things worked out. I’m fortunate that the people I met in Shaker Heights chose to live there and the people I met at the Claremont Colleges chose to go there, because I am a better version of myself for having known them. I’m fortunate that Facebook Inc. chose my resume when I sent it in cold, and I’m fortunate that my grandmother lived a mile from their headquarters and was happy to take me in. I’m fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time for that industry, fortunate that the career path I fell into at that company groomed me for a higher position at another, and fortunate that Twitter Inc. was considering such a position at the same time that I was. I’m fortunate that these companies have continued their success in such a way that I can fall back on equity earned there if I need to.
I’m fortunate that my grandfather had a vacant home I could escape to when I needed to “figure myself out.” I’m fortunate that an old friend chose to reconnect with me when my figuring-out phase was going nowhere. I’m fortunate that it was unbelievably easy to move my life on a whim, both emotionally and physically, for me and the people close to me. I’m fortunate that the new-life gamble paid out immensely–fortunate that the small town I moved to has a really good comedy theatre that has given me the opportunity to explore something I always wanted to, fortunate that a local startup dedicated to finding work for college students let me in despite my age, fortunate that early work secured through that startup turned into a dependable and rewarding job.
I say I’m fortunate because not all of these things were direct results of something I did. I wrote this to remind me of my incredible situation in life, should I ever doubt it. And I published it to hold myself publicly accountable, in case you ever catch me forgetting how good I have it.