My Birthday: A Retrospective.

Today is my 28th birthday and I figured it would be nice to take a look back and see what happened in the last year that was noteworthy for me.

My last article generated a bunch of comments and a pretty big reaction out of people and I like that.  So if you have any comments, questions, things that you’ve learned in the last year or something I say reminds you of something else, I’d really love to hear about it.  Make use of that comment option!  But please, no sympathy.  I don’t write these to get sympathy.

Ok, without further delay.


In the past year:

I’ve learned that a quality backpack can make your items feel weightless.  Unless you’re riding a bicycle up a hill, then they feel like the regular weight.

I was the best man for my friend’s wedding.  I got to give a speech and I really wish I publicly stated how perfect the bride is for my friend.

I’ve had the chance to move in with my girlfriend and fall even more in love with her.  Even though she rarely closes drawers that she often opens.

I got to choke a dude in a jiu jitsu competition until he turned blue, but lost the match on points because I wasn’t using “traditional jiu jitsu”.

I’ve talked to my parents almost every day.

I’ve had the rare opportunity to lay hopeless and bleeding in the middle of the street in the midst of motorcycle debris and sirens.

I got to feel what it’s like to not know how injured I am or if I’ll ever walk again.

I got to see my girlfriend arrive at the scene of an accident and have to be restrained by police because she was about to beat the hell out of the guy who drove his car into me.

I got to be in so much pain that I couldn’t do anything but cry until the painkillers kicked in.

I got to feel what it’s like to kick someone in their head with the leg that I wasn’t sure would ever work right again.

I’ve seen a strength in myself that I would never have guessed was there.

I took Percocet and watched Sex and the City almost every night for a month. (Doctors orders)

I got to tell my mother that I wouldn’t be able to make it home for Christmas but secretly showed up at her door.

I’ve realized that if you ignore the negative sign, my net worth is really quite incredible and something to be proud of.

I’ve earned a degree in pre-med biology.

I became nerdier.

I was invited for an interview at my first choice medical school.

I convinced a friend to audition for a band that he thought was good and he’s now playing in that band.

I received wedding invitations from some extremely happy friends.

I got to spend an amazing weekend with my Auntie and Uncle on Kauai.

I witnessed the strength of my mother while my father went through emergency operations.

I witnessed the strength of my father who made jokes about his emergency operations.

I saw “Jeff Who Lives At Home” to take my mind off of my father being in the hospital and cried for about 45 minutes after the scene where a car drives off a bridge and a child, pulled out of the water, says, “My dad is still down there.”

I’ve had the opportunity to play music for thousands of screaming fans.  By “thousands” I, of course, mean “tens” and by “screaming”, I mean “inattentive and mostly bored”.

I’ve seen hundreds of truly heartwarming smiles

I’ve learned that if you’re on the bottom rung, you’re still on the ladder.

I got a hipster bike and I cruise all over town on it.

I’ve had the opportunity to fix tons of muscle-aches.

I saw two of my cousins take big, amazing steps and begin grad school.  Well, one of them didn’t start yet, but I saw the admission process.

I saw another cousin return safely from a warzone.

I saw yet another cousin work her way through an awful tragedy.

I visited New York City for the first time ever.

I’ve learned to never trust anyone that says I’m PERFECT for a role in a Broadway show, unless they’re the casting director.

I failed at an audition for a Broadway show.

I failed at an audition for a huge production show.

Ok, I failed at lots of things, we don’t need to go through each one.

I started acting.

I’ve learned that a single act of genuine kindness can be extremely profound.

I’ve realized that my family is outrageously important to me.

I’ve finally admitted that it’s really ok to cry.

I cried a lot.

I’ve appreciated the amount of undying support I’ve had from so many people.

I’ve seen that I would be nowhere without that support.

I’ve realized that in political discussions, there’s always at least one person who is completely flabbergasted.

I’ve seen that my only real goal is making my parents proud.

I’ve seen some good friends fall away from my life.

I’ve seen the most important people in my Hawaiian family move to Colorado.  I’m still in denial.  I just pretend they’re too busy to hang out.

I’ve made many new friends.

I decided to be a superstar.

I started writing a blog.

I’ve learned that the harder things get and the more difficult life becomes, the more fun I have fixing it.

I’ve been surrounded by incredible amounts of love.

I’ve learned that the very best gifts are words, thoughts and hugs.

I’ve learned that honesty and communication are keys to a fulfilling life.


There you have it.  This is probably not an all-inclusive list, but it’s all I can come up with for now.

If you haven’t already, make sure to call me and wish me a happy birthday!

7 thoughts on “My Birthday: A Retrospective.

  1. There is no mention of me in there ;-( LIke, “I’ve learned just how much my sister really loves me and supports me even though we don’t get to talk all the time and that a 12 hour time different is what makes that difficult.”J/K This is just a sympathy reply 🙂 I love you James. This kinda brought a tear to my eye. Every year we learn so much. It’s nice that you actually put it down and share it with others. You are really an inspiration to me (and many many others, I am sure)! Happy Happy Birthday!


  2. Oh, and you definately forgot to mention that during your 27th year, you became an Uncle again to a beautiful and healthy niece that I named after the Hawaiian word for “the sea” (kai). Don’t worry, you will get to hold little Kaia eventually! Love you!


    1. Holy crap I’m an idiot. I’ve already been reminded of a couple giant oversights. I’m sorry sister! Any time you read the word “support” or “love” in that post, you’re a big part of it.


  3. Wow you learned all that?!
    I learned that the older I get the less I know.
    I agree that we do have an amazing family.
    I have always been proud of you.
    And broadway producers don’t know shit.
    Love you,
    Auntie Kathy


  4. Wow James, that is quite a list…it brings tears to the eyes…I’m stoked that you came into our lives this year! It is truly cooler (in a totally nerdier way of course) that you did!


  5. You are getting really serious bringing tears to all of these eyes.. Including my own. You inspire me. You truly are the one of the very greatest people I know. We have the very best family around. Happy happy 28th birthday James. I am so very proud of you and your 28 years of experience. How is it that the nerdier you get through the years, you seem to be that much cooler to me?


  6. I’ve finally read your blogs (well, one for now, but others when I have time). I just wanted to let you know that your kind words to me lately over texts meant the world to me and have helped me tremendously. Thanks Jim. One more to add to your list – Learned you’re a great brother (in case you didn’t already know it!!)!!!!! Love you Jim…and thanks again. Enjoyed our talk on the phone even tho it was probably really hard for you to follow my ADD!!! LOL


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