According to the CDC, as of 2004, the average life expectancy for a Black Man in the United States is 69.8 years.
Three days ago, I turned 35.
It's sobering to know that my government now considers my life half over.
Especially since I feel like it's really just getting started.
But then, I suppose I've been beating the statistics since the day I was born. A girl once pointed out to me on a date some 15 years ago, I was young black man from Baltimore who'd never been to jail, had no children, and was in the process of receiving an Ivy League education. "You don't realize how unique you are", she said.
Wow. 15 years ago.
My best friend just pointed out in his birthday wishes on my Facebook page that we've been friends for nearly 30 years. I can barely process the fact that I can measure anything over such a long period of time.
I can vividly remember my brother pumping his fists in the hospital the day that his son was born. Three months ago, that little baby just graduated from college. In the pictures from my recent trip to Comic-Con, my young cousin the photographer made a point of acknowledging me as "his older cousin".
But, for all of this talk about age, why can't I stop smiling this week?
Why do I feel so.... alive?
I feel like I've waited my entire life to be this age.
All week long, as people ask me how was my birthday and how do I feel to be another year older, I keep telling them the same thing:
I feel GRAND. In every sense of the word.
This has been a great year. And the next one? Even better.
Thank you everyone for all of the calls, emails, notes, well wishes, free drinks, cards, unmentionables, and everything else I've gotten in tribute this week. You all make every single moment sparkle like new money, and I appreciate every second.
Now, time to get back to it!