Aaron James
2 min readAug 11, 2021

The ones closest to me know that my favourite designer is Ralph Lauren.

His name was actually Ralph Lifshitz and he lived in the Bronx growing up. He didn’t have any money, poor as fuck; didn’t have anything. The Polo brand is actually based off the things he wished he had, things he was striving for; a life that wasn’t meant for him. Like so many of the world’s most powerful and richest people, he made his dream his identity.

It’s funny because I try to live by that same philosophy but I’m not rich or powerful by any means. My dreams have always revolved around seeing the people I care for and love to succeed and to be a part of that. The thing with making that your identity is, in a world where most vulnerability is exploited and used; it leaves you feeling the complete opposite of rich and powerful. Especially when it comes from the people you love. It almost leaves you wondering if it’s even worth dreaming.

But really, I won the greatest lottery of them all. I won the lottery that allowed me to show the world what genuine love is and in return discover what self love is. Entering 25, I couldn’t be more grateful for those experiences and thank the ones who guided me in learning that, despite how tough those lessons were. I hope the genuine love I’ve shown in the world is a ripple effect that’s beyond my wildest imagination. This wouldn’t make me rich or powerful, but it sure as hell would make me wealthy.

As for the dream? That flame burns even hotter a quarter century in. Because in a world where people are willing to strip down their integrity for some sort of validation, where family and friendships are manipulated and discarded for personal gain, where division and hate are fused into iPhone screens, where tomorrow isn’t guaranteed:

I know that dream is more important than ever.

I wish you all my dream for my 25th birthday.

Unconditional love, pure friendships, and wealth.