Birthdays are one of those universal things we all experience. They can be joyous celebrations, quiet reflections, days of utter fear, or really anything in between. I’ve always had a lot of emotions surrounding my birthday and wrote them off for many years, because they were not a happy time for me. Last year I decided to rewrite that narrative and get out of my own head; replacing any of the sad or bad feelings of my birthday with the gratitude. As I pursue my lifelong dream, an experience many never have the chance to do, I am so thankful, happy and healthy.

Since my near death experience, I’ve celebrated the day of my accident as my new birthday as it was the catalyst that pushed me to pursue my passion and chase my dreams. If you too hate birthdays, my advice is to designate another day in your life with special significance. As long as we are healthy and living authentically, every new day is a birthday and an opportunity for us to be better than we were yesterday, last week, last month, and the year before.