This photo was taken at the end of a day that I will call beautiful and it shall still be an understatement.
My people showed up and showed out.
I also had an opportunity to give some of the most important women in my life their flowers while they can smell them. Women who have carried me, put my needs before theirs, supported my dreams, cried for and with me, celebrated the smallest milestones, built me and ensured that I am not alone, even on the days I pushed them away.
This birthday, for me, was a reminder that even with all that is wrong with the world, I have made some right decisions and one of them is the people whom I have chosen to keep in my life. They are all quite different and yet simply perfect for me.
My people celebrated me in beautiful ways that are specific to who I am and my relationship with each of them. Oh what love!
I battled so much this year, I felt every loss and rejection more than I ever have, people I care about left the world, others simply walked out of my life; the dreams I hold close to my heart broke me often and I wiped more tears than I can remember, mine and those of my loved ones.
The one thing that I did differently was that for the first time, in a long time, I allowed myself to fall hard. When I fell, I stayed down. When it hurt, I let the pain linger. When I could not face the world, not even my housemates, I did not.
I took off plenty of time for both my physical and mental health to stabilize. Each time my body and/or soul demanded I take a break, I did.
I canceled plans and wasn’t there for some people the way I wished, I missed opportunities and accepted that there would be others if it was meant to happen, I failed repeatedly and it was okay.
I chose me in ways that were necessary and I accepted that those who understood would and it was okay if others didn’t.
While there are many lessons I have learnt, there is one in particular that I’d like to share.
A couple of months ago, my friend Phoebe casually sent me a TedX video on meaningful gatherings
I immediately put it to practice and brought a few friends together to pray and fast for one of us who was going through a particularly tough time. The outcome was amazing for all of us involved and I decided I’d constantly be even more intentional about my gatherings. I hope that you can do the same.
At one of my birthday celebrations, a friend shared about something she had been battling with for over a year but was afraid to speak about. Even as she did, she was worried that she was ruining my big day. What I told her was that our friendship was useless if we were always coming together only for ‘enjoyment.’ I was happy that she had finally opened up and it didn’t matter if she had done it on my graduation/wedding, whatever milestone because that is what friends are for. We would hold her in the best way we could, the way she needed us to.
My wish for you reading this is that you don’t allow society to dictate to you how you should love; that you wear your heart on your sleeve if you choose to or grab somebarre sexy, tell them hey!?
I hope that you will love your people loudly and proudly and never have to feel guilty about it, may they never doubt your loyalty and affection and vice versa.
I hope that you will stop sugarcoating your truth to fit in a box, that you will not ever feel like you are too much or too little for anyone, just enough for you
May you allow yourself to be vulnerable even if you’re the ‘strong friend’ and have a tribe which lets you, which carries you until you can walk on your own.
May you have meaningful transformative gatherings, whether they are personal or professional, never leaving anything to chance;
May you be authentic in your relationships whether it is with your partner or with your baby’s nanny
May you remain intentional about who you keep in/out of your life, the space you occupy and the energy you put out into the world, as well as the one you receive.
This year has confirmed what I already knew, that self-discovery never ends, that we continue to evolve and as such should not be surprised when others evolve too.
In someone’s story you’re the villain even if you’d love to be the hero and it is okay.
The 30’s came with fire and humbled me, reminding me that everything I think I know, I actually don’t and forevers rarely exist
They are showing me that you can toil day and night on something, give it your all and yet still fail, whether it is a relationship or a business; spend less time blaming yourself or others
They have also given me great insight into who I am and who I want to be, who is(not) on my team and what we can achieve if we just do a little more every day, to better ourselves and those around us.
Isn’t it just scary and wonderful to imagine that the best days are ahead of us?!
I am grateful to everyone who took the time to celebrate me in the best way they knew how, the plans we are still making because the September parteh must continue.
I am so pumped for the future, it’s ridiculous!
Every day, since Friday I have woken up feeling hangover, a love hangover and if each of you can have at least one day a year like this, it would make such a difference.
To long life, loud unapologetic love and continuous growth in every sphere of our lives ?