I turned 28 on Tuesday. I’m another year older and another year wiser.

Birthdays have always seemed weird to me. There’s always this sense of “anything can happen,” as if somehow just because we turned the page on the calendar it suddenly opens up a whole new realm of possibilities.

Birthdays are weird because they are really just a celebration of the fact that I managed not to die in the past 365 days — 366 on a leap year. But that’s a dark way of looking at life, I guess.

Birthdays are a time for reflecting on the past 365 days, looking at what has changed, what has stayed the same and a time for setting new goals for where I want to be next year.

In the past year, I got a promotion here at the Times-Journal. I became your managing editor in February.

It’s funny to me now because I was hesitant when I first thought about accepting the position. I thought I might not be able to do it, and here I am seven months later.

It’s been fun — not to oversell that, though, because it’s been so much hard work, too. But, in the past year I’ve become more confident in myself as a writer, an editor and a manager. That was hard to even imagine a year ago.

In the past year, I’ve made new friends, lost old ones, had people come into my life and then out. I’ve laughed and I’ve cried and I’ve dealt with heartbreak and I’ve seen people I love most deal with sickness and recovery.

I’ve helped people, I’ve hurt people, I’ve yelled and cursed and laughed — I’m always laughing, or joking. In the past year, I’ve been encouraged and inspired, and I’ve passed that along to other people.

Looking back, 27 was one of the biggest years of my life. But, I feel like I say that each year. It’s fun to look back sometimes.

Honestly, I can’t wait to see what 28 will bring — also can’t wait to continue my successive streak of not dying.


Ten days ago I deleted the Facebook app from my phone, and it’s honestly been a blessing.

I’ve said it many times that Facebook has become a cesspool. It used to be a place to connect with friends and keep up with them and how they are doing.

We’re all spread out and it’s been hard to keep up with them over the years. So, that’s what Facebook was to me. It was a way to keep up with friends and share my dumb sense of humor with people that I love.

However, somehow I got lost in all of that. I started following news sites, adding old “friends” from high school — all of which are getting engaged or having babies literally every day — and then these random strangers with five mutual friends started adding me.

“What’s the harm in adding them?” I thought, clicking the confirm button.

However, it quickly became less of a place to connect with people and more of a way to find out that your cousin’s, neighbor’s, best friend’s roommate is kind of racist.

It became this place where people blasted others they didn’t know and made off-color, ridiculous remarks about celebrities, politicians and whatever the heck the “Real Housewives” are.

I have been more active on Twitter, though, which may not be better. But, hey, at least on Twitter I follow people that hate the same things I do.

I’m convinced social media has made us more unsocial people. It’s so much easier to take our phone out and scroll through our feeds in order to avoid making eye contact with someone or asking them about their day. I’ll probably download the app again some day, but for right now, I’m content being out of touch.

I like when people ask me, “Did you see what so-and-so said on Facebook?”

No, I did not.

Managing Editor Bradley Roberts’ column appears Wednesdays.

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