Thursday was my 23rd birthday, a day full of lessons and pleasant surprises.
So what did turning 23 teach me? Two things. One: There is infinitely more love in my life than I am ever cognizant of. Sometimes, it takes something like a birthday to remind us that we are a part of a far-reaching web that would not exist except for our presence within it. We forget about the lives we touch and the joy we bring to others, and can get down on ourselves thinking we’ve done nothing valuable. But our very existence is valuable, if we use it to bring light.
Two: Sometimes my expectations keep me from my own contentment. I had ideas of what my birthday should be, and what actually happened was nothing like that. At first, I let it get me down, but then I realized, what I actually got was so much better than anything I could have tried to plan. Simple, but satisfying.
Festivities were small compared to years past. A small gathering of friends the night before helped me bring in the day with warm smiles and good conversation. An early morning phone call from my father brought immense joy, as my 9-year-old sister sang me a touching rendition of “Happy Birthday.”
I found an item I had purchased in-store online for half price, and received a few heartfelt gifts. I downed a delicious bowl of curry for lunch and participated in an intimate yoga session, led by a friend who had recently become certified.
Phone calls and emotionally uplifting messages from other friends and family who could not be with me sealed the day’s celebrations. I smiled and, I’ll admit, was even brought to tears by the many kind words shared with me that day.
2013 is an exciting year. A lot of changes are happening, within me and in the world around me. Lightbulbs are coming on in my brain (like the cartoon character with a brilliant idea) and fires are being lit in my soul. I have a feeling like I’ve never felt that this year will be great and I will be great to meet it.
And with those feelings come my 23rd year resolutions:
- To be more open.
- To love more and let myself be loved.
- To let go of negativity, fear, pent-up anger and past frustrations that are holding me back and learn to live in the moment.
- To give more.
- To push myself harder and fulfill my potential.
- To be more aware of my actions, positive and negative.
- To live more within my creative flow.
- To realign myself with my life’s vision and to find true purpose.
- To laugh more.
- To just be, better.
Whatever this year has in store, I know it will grow me and mold me closer to the person I want to become, and that’s what I am ready for. I am still young and have much to learn, but I can take advantage of every day I am given to be a light in this ever-brightening world.
An aspiring hoop dancer who dreams of flying, Thandiwe Ogbonna is a recently graduated, sometimes aggravated, partially animated and fully fascinated editor, who timidly ventures into the minefield of writing. You can read her blog at m2the4th.blogspot.com or email her at email@example.com.