Today I turn 30 (yeah, I have a hell of a birthday, I know) and it has been an interesting few years. Been married and divorced, nearly lost everything and got it back, trapped in a dead end job and now doing what I ultimately love for a career. I’ve been privileged to meet so many people over the past few years and each one has been a blessing, even if I didn’t think so at the time.

While I’m not exactly thrilled with the fact I am getting older, nor am I exactly thrilled to have grey in my beard, today is a good day to take stock of everything I’m blessed with in my life. Without further ado, here’s a brief list of what all I have been blessed with recently.

  • My mother, I don’t know how much longer I’ll have her and I hate seeing her in so much pain, but truly no one else has stood by me in both good times and bad, although I do not deserve it.
  • This second one is easy, my managing editor Kyle Becker for officially discovering me four months ago and giving me my first big break as a professional writer/blogger/pundit. Also, my editor in chief Bubba Atkinson for accepting Kyle’s suggestion to bring me on board. Thanks a lot for the opportunity and here’s to hopefully many more years of working together.
  • The rest of my colleagues at IJ including Justen Charters, Mike Miller, Michael Hausam, Caroline Schaeffer, Jennifer Van Laar; my copyeditors and social media editors Becca Lower, Emily Hulsey, Bethany Cummings and everyone else behind the scenes at the office who help make IJR a great place to work. If I didn’t name you, thank you as well!
  • Jack Hunter, Ian Cioffi, and Ray Lehmann who are my editors at Rare, Liberty, and R Street Institute respectively. Thanks a lot all three of you for the opportunities I’ve had with your publications. A special shoutout to Zach Graves, the digital director at R Street and former United Liberty colleague, for putting me touch with Ray Lehmann. I also look forward to many more months and years contributing to your sites and publications.
  • To Jason Pye, Eric Cowperthwaite, Julia Porterfield, Fishie and Jay Caruso who have allowed me to write for their sites in the past; thanks a lot for the opportunity. I’ve learned from each of you and I wouldn’t be where I am today without your advice (even if I didn’t take it), your sites, and you taking a chance on me, regardless of how it ultimately turned out.
  • To Doug Mataconis, thank you for your friendship and for being an inspiration to me as a blogger; even when I don’t agree.
  • To Sara Brenner, my stint at Brenner Brief helped set me on course towards becoming a professional writer. For that, I’ll always be grateful. Another special shoutout to P-G Matuszak, BBN’s (former?) managing editor, whose work I had the privilege of editing and has endorsed me on social media with much praise. Thanks for your encouragement.
  • Finally, to each and everyone of you who has read my work, praised it, encouraged me, and/or shared my pieces; thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without you I cannot do what I do. You are the reason why I do this.

There are many of you that I have failed on a personal level, for that I’m sorry. I can only promise to try and right the wrongs and to be a better man.

As I hit this milestone in life, I promise to continue doing my best to entertain you, inform you, and inspire you. I also strive to not disappoint those who believe in me.

Here’s to many, many more years!