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Today is my birthday.

As one does on milestone birthdays, I’ve been thinking a lot about my character and how I’ve gotten to where I am.

It’s unfair and inaccurate to surmise that I’ve accomplished all that I have in life by my myself. In reality, I owe so much to two people – my parents, Lisa and Gregg. I’m very independent and like to forge my own path (oldest sibling syndrome) but my path was pretty well-forged by my parents’ drive and compassion; And for that I am thankful.

I’ve been replaying in my mind Cinderella’s dying mother’s parting wisdom (spoiler alert) from the most recent theatrical release – “Have courage and be kind.” Those words are subtle, powerful, and inspire me in a similar way that my parents have.

Have courage.

Life can be scary and challenging but don’t let it overcome you. Take a deep breath and stand tall.

Be kind.

A smile and a kind heart can unlock so much in this world. It’s simple and incredibly true.

So as my birthday wish, all that I want today is one thing: Call / email / text your parents – and tell them that you love them. Whether you realize it or not, they shaped who you are today. Their path, whether smooth or rocky, provided a starting point for your journey.

Mahalo, mom and dad.

~j

PS – this is my first post from paradise. Many more to come :)

The Essentials (for a 6 hour flight):
polo
shades
nikes
joggers

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