Lately I've been forced to sift through the relics that document my past, what with putting up my senior show, and with this way finding project. I've been reflecting a lot on the journey and the people along the way. Of which you are of course a humongous part. It was when I was looking through my photo album that I had a startling revelation. There is a part of me that will always see you as a boy. Your face flush with the weight of the very young, clad in that white t-shirt from cooperstown, black sweatpants, and the ever present slip on shoes. I remember how you hated shoetrings, jeans, and leaving your shirt untucked.
I can literally watch you grow up all over again in photos. Watch your body lengthen and widen, your jaw define itself, your eyes lose the glow of happiness, only to regain it again in later photos, tempered this time by living with choices and consequences. Watch your cockiness become a mantle that rests on your shoulders. Watch all the little infinite changes that happen so naturally no matter how closely you look, you can never really be cognizant of them happening.
I look at you and I see the little boy whose soul understood mine right away. I see the angry lost teenager just living recklessly. And I see the man you are becoming. Turning twenty is a weird quasi period of transition, it was a year in which I learned and grew so much. I hope those same things to you. And know that no matter how old you become, how much you change, there will always be someone who remembers where you came from and how you got here.
I love you. Happy Birthday.