My birthday is always the one day of the year where I have no worries, the one day where there isn’t any cloud in the sky. It usually kicks off with the generic message that my bank sends me to tell me how much I mean to them blah blah blah, then the calls and the messages and the status updates and the everything. Some of the messages are well thought out and deeply personal and might even make me cry, others are impersonal and to the point, and somehow I already know that the next time I will speak to or hear from such people will be on their own birthday or next year on mine again. I usually don’t get any gifts (yes, shade to all my friends and family) but I honestly don’t mind because the heartfelt prayers and the love soothes my soul way more than material things would.
So on March 17th, I turned 29. It wasn’t a cloud free day but I didn’t mind. My sister dragged me out for drinks and I got to see my niece so it was a day very well spent. But the thing about birthdays is that they have a way of waking you up! On every birthday since I turned 20, there is always one part of the day where it suddenly hits me that this is a whole new year, one step closer to the grave, one year further away from youth. I end up thinking of the things I have achieved and even more about the things I have not achieved and usually I come to terms with my life as it is but this year was different.
29 is a very awkward age for me, it feels like I am standing on the precipice of something that I don’t quite know. A year away from 30, the last year that I can officially say that I am in my late twenties and this year, the birthday reflections did not wait to hit me at a random time of day; they hit me as soon as I opened my eyes. All I could think about was all that I haven’t done. The husband I haven’t married, the babies I haven’t had, the places I haven’t seen, the feelings I haven’t felt, the book I haven’t written, the car I haven’t driven, It went on and on and on. Typically, the tears came and they came hot and fast and rolled down my cheeks in rapid succession. Ordinarily I would have let them. I would have cried myself into puffy eyes and a blocked nose and a raging headache but this time, this time was different. I got up, cleaned my eyes and played my favorite playlist. I did my makeup, treated myself to a special breakfast, went for a job interview, saw my dearest friends, rocked my niece to sleep, and went out for drinks and I must say that it was a beautiful, somewhat cry free day.
Whats the point of this post you ask? The point is that I have grown up some. I have finally learned to consciously count my blessings and not my sorrows, to be grateful for what I do have, rather that pinning for what I have lost or I am yet to have. I Finally learned to ditch the tears because listen the eyes are the first to age; and my eyes are my best feature sooooo I better catch up on my carrots and cucumbers and glasses of water rather than crying and always rubbing at my eyes. Plus I already have eye bags, why enlarge them further?
I am only 29, but sometimes I feel like I am 60 and that is my fault, because really what is stopping me from being happy go lucky? Life is for the living, and you are only as old as you want to be. Last year, I shared 28 lessons I learned from turning 28 but this year I have just one; find some time to find yourself. Don’t be like me, so caught up in other people that you forget yourself, we only have one life, and there are no dress rehearsals or do overs. Choose yourself, it’s time!.
“You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.”
― Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass
“We ain’t never gettin’ older!…” The Chainsmokers