Today is my birthday so I'm posting a from four years ago when I took a group of us to Target to take "family portraits." Still one of my favorite birthday memories of all time. There's SO MUCH to love about this photo in particular. As I looked around at each person here, wondering what they were thinking in the exact moment the photo was taken—especially @—it reaffirmed my core belief of how important friendships are. How the people we surround ourselves with make the difference between living a fulfilled life and a life that's held back. Held back by jealousy, neediness, anger, obligation. Since having spent three months in New York earlier this year—without my closest friends—I came back home with a renewed attitude of how precious time is, and how I need to live my life surrounded by the people I actually want to be around. For many years I grew up as an outsider from the popular kids. I was an underdog. A nerd. And ended learning how to be a leader amongst them. I took people under my wing and often put their needs ahead of my own. But I know who I am now. I'm confident in that and no longer need to crush my own desires to make others happy. 2018 has been a year for ME. And oddly, by focusing on myself, I ended up enriching the friendships around me more than ever before. Go figure.