Today is my birthday.

26 was a really hard year for me. I didn't share most of it. I was ambiguous and distant online and sometimes even in my personal life, and I think that made things harder. But I will say this:

Even throughout life's troubles, there is still full and deep joy to be had. Life is complex, and that is beautiful.

There is a long and lovely list of things that have brought me joy this year--my wonderful marriage, our sweet and sometimes rowdy puppy, and big successes in my career. I traveled and ate and made new friends and turned an unfamiliar city into a home. I discovered new passions and am learning, slowly but surely, to let go.

So today, like most days, I'm looking forward to what good things the future has in store. Here's to 27.

Photo by V.A. Photography.