It’s February 7th, and once again, my birthday has come. It’s kind of weird to me, the appeal and celebration of a birthday—sure, when I was a kid I used to love my birthday, because of presents and parties. But as I grew older, especially when I got into my junior and senior years of university, I cared a lot less about celebrating my day of birth. A lot of people give me flak about how I feel about my birthday. They jokingly prod me, saying, “It’s your birthday though! Who doesn’t celebrate their birthday? This is the day you were born; the day God brought you into this world!”
Yes, you’re all right, this is a day that I should be thankful for.
And I am, deep down, always grateful to God for putting me on this earth. For me to be living and breathing, able to dance; able to make relationships—that’s a heck of a blessing. A lot of the time in the hustle and bustle of life, I, like many of us, forget to really reflect on those types of things. But birthdays come, and, well, here we are. Celebrating (internally, without the party or fanfare) the fact that I’m another year older, and another year wiser.
So instead of making some post about what I’m doing today for my birthday (hint: nothing remotely exciting), I wanted to share why I’m thankful on this day, and why today is special to me. Just without the “doing extra special stuff” part.
I’m really thankful for my loving girlfriend. We’ve been through our ups and downs—what couple hasn’t—but for her to stick with a guy like me for about a year and a half now, coming to two, is amazing to me. She is so gracious, loving, and a lot of the time more of an example of humility and doing what Jesus would do than me.
I’m really thankful for my birth mother for putting me up for adopting me. She knew she didn’t have the financial means, or the perfect life situation to handle taking care of me. So she did the most intelligent yet extremely difficult decision of probably her whole life, and gave me to an adoption agency to have a better life. Without this pivotal life choice, I probably wouldn’t even be alive.
Just as well, I’m super thankful for my adoptive parents for raising me. Yeah, we might disagree on things or argue—we are very different people with very different blood, after all—but they raised me, in my opinion, right. They taught me character and hard work, responsibility, and through it all still loved and supported my decisions and gave me a lot of freedom and independence because of those lessons they taught.
I’m thankful for my friends, who act as family to me. Friends come and go, but there are so many people that I’ve met that have touched my heart. They have supported and been there genuinely with me through the crappy times, and even recently, reached out in really powerful ways. Even when I fail, they refuse to leave. What amazing, amazing people.
I’m thankful for the support of people for what I do. We may not know each other personally, or have met face-to-face, but even these days it’s so humbling to get to know people who follow my dancing and writing. You guys keep me going, especially in these days where things are kind of tough.
I’m thankful God gave me the opportunity to now be forever linked to my heritage. Going back to South Korea was always a dream of mine as a kid, and if it weren’t for God making things line up just right back in university, I would have never gone. It changed me so much as a man of Christ, and as a person in general, that it’s natural (and right) for me to call Korea “home”, and to be so connected with friends over there, too.
I’m thankful people refuse to quit. Seriously, every one of you who doesn’t allow defeat to define you; who doesn’t allow negativity to persuade you to something else…you guys make my life brighter. Because we all have greatness in us, and all have destinies that we have to achieve. Now, more than ever in America, I see more people refusing to lie down and fight for right ideals and virtues, and it inspires me and heartens me to continue with my mission as well.
On a small, less powerful note, I’m thankful I haven’t broken a bone. No, seriously. I do crazy stuff as a B-Boy, and I haven’t broken anything yet. What a blessing.
On this day, most importantly I want to celebrate you. The readers, and the people out there who are doing their thing! You’re doing so much more than you know. People are counting on you for a whole slew of things: love, caring, motivation, relationships, inspiration, action, and more! You are what makes others around you pick themselves up and take another step forward in this muddy swamp we call living. You are the people that are fueling our world to greater things—and no matter how big or small your actions are, they are building. They are building, and they are making our world a better place, one day, one second at a time.
Thank you everyone, for being who you are.
Thank you everyone, for doing what’s right and following what God’s given you.
Written by: Michael “Bboy Roach1” Roach