Courtesy Valve

When this date rolled around during my childhood, I found myself wishing for new toys. More Transformers, a new video game, etc.

As a teenager, the primary wish was for acceptance from my peers. Toys were a nice bonus, but what I really wanted was to fit in. It would be a long time before I realized not fitting in was part of what made me unique.

Attending college, I wished on this date that the experience wouldn’t end. These days I look back and know that there are people and events I should have cherished more and taken more time to appreciate in the moment.

10 years ago I was wishing for answers. I could project confidence as a young man, to be certain, but inside I was growing more confused and unsure. If I could write letters to past selves, 23-year-old me would be getting a big one. And maybe a smack in the face.

5 years ago, my only wish was for everything to stop hurting.

Today, I find myself wishing for better tomorrows. Ones where I make more time to write, ones where my family and friends are safe and content, ones where my current worries and concerns diminish or cease to exist altogether. I want a tomorrow that will be better for my son than my past days were for me.

And I do still occasionally wish for new toys. So I guess I haven’t changed that much.