"The joy of life consists in the exercise of one's energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal."
This past year has held a lot of challenges, but I realized last week just how far I've come. I tend to view birthdays negatively - they usually only serve to remind me of how much I haven't accomplished, because like many people, I become fixated on my long-term goals. Of course, when you live like that, it's easy to miss the things you've gained along the way.
This week, however, my gains are clear: twenty-odd friends, a whole new respect for Foreign Service families, insight into my own accomplishments, a sincere appreciation of Turkish cuisine and people, and last (but certainly not least), the Harlem Shake. I'd say it's shaping up to be a rather excellent year.