Twenty-seven.

In my early teenage years, I would often imagine what life would be like in my late twenties.

I would hope that, in my late twenties, I would be living on my own in a big city, happy with my career and surrounded by people I loved. I would hope that, by my late twenties, I had changed at least one person’s life and accomplished at least one thing that inspired someone else.

Most of all, I would hope that, despite entering my late twenties, I would still have hopes and dreams and ambitions, and I would still believe in the goodness of humanity and still be trying, every day, to make people smile.

Today, as I celebrate my twenty-seventh birthday and enter what is officially my late twenties, I’d like to assure my teenage self that I have never stopped dreaming and that I’m still driven by smiles.

No matter what may have changed from my original vision over a decade ago, I’ve still got that.