Reflections on Turning Another Year Older

As I approach another year older, it’s natural to reflect on the past year and everything that has happened. There’s so much to be grateful for and so much to learn from. I’m thankful for my family and friends who have been there for me through thick and thin. I’m also grateful for the opportunities to travel and meet new people and the lessons I’ve learned about different cultures. Also, reflecting on negative experiences allows me to gain a deeper understanding of myself, my values, and my priorities. I recall a time this past year when I was dismissed and embarrassed in front of a room full of people. Initially, I felt an overwhelming sense of rejection and decided to withdraw and shut down. But that experience taught me to remember who the fuck I am and fight for my seat at the table. I can’t expect to be seen in this world if I don’t show up.

After reflecting on my past year’s triumphs and defeats, I have realized that healing and transformation is a journey, and it’s not always easy to let go of what we know and move forward. However, the true magic happens when we step out of our comfort zones and embrace the unknown. When we let go of what no longer serves us, we create space for new people, experiences, and opportunities to enter our lives.

You were born and with you endless possibilities, very few ever to be realized. It’s okay. Life was never about what you could do, but what you would do.

If I could write a letter today to my younger self I would say:

Happy Birthday! I know life so far has been challenging for you, and it may seem like no end in sight. Unfortunately, you will face more tough challenges, including unpleasant ones that will linger with you. However, you can and will overcome and come out on the other side. While some may argue that these obstacles are necessary for your growth, I cannot say for sure. (I’ve asked the universe how many times do I need to get knocked down to learn my lesson because I for sure got the message loud and clear the first time, but I digress). Nevertheless, I am confident that you will successfully navigate through them. But I want you to know that you are capable of so much more than you realize. 

Remember to be kind to yourself and others, and always keep an open mind and heart. You never know who you will meet or what opportunities will come your way. Keep pushing forward, and never give up on your dreams.
It won’t be easy, and there will be times when you will feel like giving up. But I want you to hold on, old soldier because joy cometh in the morning.

With love and encouragement,


John Waites
A veteran who is passionate about inspiring others through travel and art, sharing ideas for personal growth and fulfilment.

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  1. Thank you for sharing, John! Happy Birthday, brother! Love you so much.

    1. Thank you for the support!

  2. Happy birthday dear friend, Marine brother! I enjoy reading about your journey through life. I wish I could write as beautiful as you do. May God continue to fill your life with breath taking moments and beautiful sights. I hope we get a chance to meet somewhere in Europe soon. God bless and take care 🎈

    1. Thank you for your support the and birthday wishes

  3. This is so great and inspiring. Happy Birthday

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