A few minutes past midnight on New Year’s Day I was on the phone to my friend. We talked about how good the year ahead was going to be and the plans we had, spirits were very high, we were practically bouncing off the walls with excitement and then my friend dropped a bomb, well to me at that time it was! “Ayyy 27 this year!” he exclaimed happily and in that moment it hit me like a ton of bricks that I was turning 27! TWENTY SEVEN!! My heart fell to the pit of my bum, my mood took an immediate left turn and my smile was well and truly upside down. I’m turning 27 this year I repeated over and over in disbelief, where did the time go?! Then started the journey to accepting I’m getting older.
Growing up I always looked forward to my birthday and I was also always jealous of my friends that had birthdays during the school year, being able to wear their own clothes (mufti haha I love that word so much) to school and bring in snacks and party packs to class. This was until I went to boarding school in Ogun state, Nigeria and I thanked all the constellations of stars that my birthday was during the summer holidays. Birthdays in my boarding school were, bizarrely enough, a day for punishments and all round misery because our mothers suffered giving birth to us so we too must suffer on the day of our birth. I know, who came up with that right?? Haha I have no idea but everyone seemed to buy into this logic wholeheartedly! I distinctly remember one girl’s school hat get ‘decorated’ with tooth paste as a birthday cake for her and her bed soaked with soapy water. Count me all the way out! I believe in Karma haha.
Okay, let’s get back to today. I’ve looked forward to my birthday every year since I graduated mainly because I have tried to spend them outside the country or at least in another UK city. I’ve spent my birthdays so far partying in Toronto, had a ‘cultural’ (read: party) weekend away in Liverpool, fulfilling my dreams in Rome as Audrey Hepburn in the film ‘Roman Holiday’ and falling in love with Gaudi all over again in Barcelona this year. But this year, the year of 27, I felt different, anxious, uneasy even.
I distracted myself for a while, throwing myself into planning my birthday trip to Barcelona, trying to ignore that turning 27 meant that I was officially settled in my ‘late 20s’ (shudder), officially closer to 30 than 20. Trying to ignore the real reasons And to be honest, a few things played a part in this feeling of discomfort. The main one was feeling like I should have accomplished much more by 27. While people are starting and growing businesses or other investment ventures, I’m searching what country I want to visit next while men are still using your girls heart as rag. While my age mates show pictures of children and weddings, all I show are my experiences and places I’ve been and it played on my mind a lot, something I’m not proud of.
As August drew closer, I thought more about my 26th year and the more I thought, the more I realised I actually had nothing to be anxious about. I realised how much growth I experienced and how I really had nothing to complain about if I was being honest with myself. Trust me, 26 definitely wasn’t all smooth sailing, from not getting quite the job I wanted earlier in the year to dealing with having my heart shattered into a million tiny pieces (okay maybe I’m being a bit dramatic haha but trust me it felt that way at the time, heart break is a bastard!), they all felt somehow necessary for me at that point in my life. I came out the other side with strength I never knew I even had. Then when I thought of people my age showing pictures of children and weddings and I’m showing my experiences and places I’ve been, trust me, I WASN’T COMPLAINING ANYMORE!
August finally arrived and with it a new realisation, I am blessed! I am blessed to be able to live the life I live, pursue my passions as much as I want and I am content! I am blessed to have the friends and family I have, the job I have, I really can’t complain. I have to keep reminding myself that the experiences I’m having now and where I currently am in my life is exactly where I’m supposed to be. I am immersing myself in where I am in my life and I continue to enjoy it to the fullest!
I learned this year to live in your current season, whatever that may look like. Immerse yourself completely into it, ride the wave until the next comes along and you move gracefully onto it. Believe unwaveringly in God’s perfect timing. My early to mid-twenties have taught me to fiercely embrace the good, free the bad and put in the work now for a future I believe in. It was me laying the foundations of what my life will be. If you know anything about building, (let me use my engineering degree here haha), you know that there’s nothing pretty or glamorous about laying foundations. It’s dirty, gritty and requires a lot of work to make sure it’s precise. I look at the foundations I’ve laid; a little scratched and bruised but strong. Now I’m ready for the challenge, building my dream not only by my strength, but with God’s.
I look back now with excitement and joy at all that I triumphed over with God’s help and I welcome twenty seven with open arms. Twenty seven my year of harmony, inspiration and perfection of ideas; of divine completeness and new beginnings.
Here’s to twenty seven, finally accepting I’m getting older and all the good I know it will bring!