Once I said, “I’m twenty-seven,” my heart sank.
This birthday was different for me. Do not let the Instagram stories and posts fool you into believing I was overly excited about my birthday this year. In fact, I have never been so scared about a birthday, until this year. The thought of its vast arrival made me nervous.
I woke up on November 19, 2020 with sadness; a feeling I never experienced on my special day, but started to creep in weeks prior.
I’m the type of person who gets excited about my birthday weeks in advance and I let everyone around me know it. Instead, my stomach ached at the thought of November 19th.
The truth is, I am getting older and I have no way of stopping it. When I think of being twenty-seven, I often think, “whoa you are going to be 28 in less than a year.” I am so close to thirty than twenty. In a few years, that will be my reality. I feel like when you’re 30, you are a whole adult. There is a lot more weight to it.
Weight, as in the pressure to have it altogether and have it all. At thirty, you should be solid in a career or at least have a clear indication of what you are going to do. You have to have a solid measure of independence at thirty years old. There is more leniency in your twenties but time is running out for me.
I know, I should be grateful to see another year of life. And I am, especially during a pandemic, but that does not make life any easier.
I was dreading this day so much that I did not want to celebrate. Who would want to celebrate, and be constantly reminded of getting older and have nothing to show for it? Not this girl.
I feel like I have not lived. There are experiences I still haven’t had yet, where people my age have already done. I know there are things that every young adult does out of defiance and fun, but it may not be something that I want, but I feel I have to. So I am rushing to do everything now to avoid looking crazy later.
But it was happening. My birthday was going to come just like each passing day. Time does not stop just because you want it to.
I opened the door to a new mindset, just as I opened the door to a surprise from these ladies pictured above.
On November 14, 2020, my sister and my friends threw me a surprise birthday pajama party. They planned and executed the event seamlessly. It was such a great vibe! We ate, danced, played games, and had some long overdue girl talk! The biggest part, was watching them do ALL of this for me. In hindsight, my sister spending so much time in her busy schedule to buy the food and items needed for the party, my mom cooking, and even one of my friends traveling from BOSTON to celebrate with me. All of this and more, for little ‘ol me. I reflected so many times that weekend and teared up by all the love.
They gave me the one thing I did not know I needed.
My mindset began to change at my party and on the eve of my birthday. A few people congratulated me and extended words of encouragement over a recent accomplishment I shared; even an unexpected early birthday wish. This made me realize how blessed I am. Not because of the accolades and praises, but, in my life, I am making a mark. I am doing things to make my future self proud.
You never know who is watching you, who is inspired by you, or who just loves being in your presence. My birthday this year confirmed my purpose and the effect that I have on others. I. am. a. DOPE CHICK! A “number” does not represent that. It is in my daily walk. As long as I do my part, that is what truly matters.
When someone takes the time to shower me with love, it means THE WORLD to me! I am so touched by it, especially this year. It takes moments of stillness to realize how great you are.
So on November 19, 2020 I may have been sad in the beginning, but that was definitely short-lived. So many people called, texted and messaged me “Happy Birthday” along with their well wishes. I was treated to breakfast in bed (a wish granted), slept in, and ordered cheese ravioli from Olive Garden (a dish I had been craving)!
The days after, I may have still been struck by the fact that I am 27 now, but that only confirmed that I am here for a reason, which is enough to look forward to getting older.
So with a glass of sparkling cider and a huge slice of cake, I cheers to a new year of becoming the best ME!
Happy Birthday to ME…yes, I’m still celebrating 😉
The photos above were taken by Renita Kibuuka.