Today, I went to Donut World and got myself a maple doughnut because it’s my birthday and I can consume sugary, indulgent treats if I want to. (Note: You can actually eat whatever the fuck you want whenever you want because it’s your body, but you get what I mean.)

Today, I turned 31.

And turning 31, as Brian so often likes to say, isn’t the same as turning 30. Because once you hit 31, you’re in it. There’s no pretending you’re in your twenties anymore.

But I’ve come to terms with it.

I wasn’t that stoked about my birthday this year. I mean, who gets excited about turning 31?

But the more I thought about it, it’s actually kind of incredible. Sublime! (Any Barbie-viewers here?)

Because me turning 31 isn’t just about me.

It’s about the many people who have helped me along the way to get to 31 trips around the sun.

I’ll start with the obvious.

Thank you to my parents who continue to support me, even when I’m being a brat and don’t always realize the rays of their never wavering sunlight. Being your daughter is my pride and joy.

Thank you to Sam, my husband, my partner, my best friend, for always holding me up and holding me down. I couldn’t do it without you.

Thank you to my adopted family who gives me unconditional, empathetic love that is so blinding at times that I don’t know what I did to deserve it.

Thank you to my sister who always lends a listening ear and will eat 20 plates of sushi with me at the drop of a hat.

Thank you to my best friends who are always down to hang, who listen to my stupid stories, who call me out on my bullshit and who will still do sleepovers even though we’re grown.

Thank you to Brian, without whom I wouldn’t have grown so much in this crazy business. And of course, everyone who contributes to TCB. I’m honored to work amongst you.

And thank you to all of you who read this column and our stories every week. Sometimes, it feels like I’m still writing in a journal that gets tucked away on a shelf, never to be read until I unearth it and cringe at my writing decades later. But from the multiple emails and messages I’ve gotten in the last week, I know that you’re there. (Special thanks to the man outside of Chicken Salad Chick who asked me how I was doing earlier this week. You’re awesome.)

And lastly, I’m gonna thank myself because I’m still here and that’s enough of a reason to celebrate.

Now for the all-you-can-eat sushi!

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