Today is my 27th birthday.
I find it beautiful that my birthday always opens my eyes to an abundance of new feelings. This year, I’d like to share these feelings with the world.
Here are 12 lessons to celebrate on my birthday—or your own:
1. Celebrate impermanence.
I swear I celebrated my 18th birthday just yesterday. Today, I realize how fast life passes us by and how short our lifespan is. Compared to the age of the universe, our time here lasts merely seconds.
But I didn’t really grasp this notion when I turned 18. In the past, I celebrated growing up, totally oblivious to the fact that I was growing older. Today, I celebrate impermanence. I recognize that even though I want to celebrate for 60-plus more years, this year may be my very last birthday.
2. Celebrate existence.
Today I choose to celebrate my existence, this impermanent life and my youth. I know that being 18 or 27 does not define my youth. My willingness to live and be unconditionally happy are what will keep me young. I appreciate the health I have right now and I shall benefit from it for as long as it is here.
3. Celebrate the present moment.
I am teaching myself daily how to enjoy the present moment, as I realize it is the most precious gift I can give to myself. If there is one thing I am sure of, it’s that all the worrying I have done in the past was rubbish. I never solved one single thing through sadness and overthinking.
4. Celebrate having no past.
I will blow out my birthday candles this year and with them will go my past and all my old patterns—vanishing like the candle’s smoke and returning into nothingness.
5. Celebrate uncertainty.
This year, I will remind myself to take it easy as I clink my bottle of beer with friends. Dust and rocks and gravity collided, creating the planet we call home today. Sometimes I think to myself that all of this might have been a great accident. It is quite possible that we, too, are an accident. So what am I running after? What am I so keen on achieving?
If you and I are an accident, why are we taking things so damn seriously? I will have a sip from my beer and make a promise to stop acting as if I’m here for another million years. For all we know, we could disappear tomorrow—just like the dinosaurs did.
6. Celebrate living.
I will travel for as long as my back can carry weight and my feet can walk. I will dance for as long as my ears can listen to loud music and my muscles can move. I will delve into the most exquisite books as long as my eyes can see and I will enjoy the rays of the sun as long as I can take heat.
In other words, I’ll live as long as I’m living.
7. Celebrate dying.
I will live, yes, but I shall die too as long as I’m living.
Now that I’m 27, I realize that death is far from being physical. My goal is to detach myself from my ego, from everything that has brought me the sense of illusion. The only thing I want this year is a fancy soul with an expensive consciousness.
8. Celebrate taking action.
I want to take more action, as all will eventually come back to me. I want to love, even if I’m not loved and I want to give, even if I wasn’t given. I want to forgive and forget, because I no longer wish to remain stuck in undesirable situations.
9. Celebrate personal responsibility.
I’ve learned that I can never know what’s in another’s heart and mind. I can never know the truth and the more I analyze my problems, the less I will understand them. As I turn 27, I will work on being responsible for my own heart and mind—the only two things I can ever fully know.
10. Celebrate the future.
I want to be prepared for the challenges and lessons I will face. I don’t claim that I won’t repeat the mistakes of the past; I’m only human. But I know that whatever I experience in the future will be part of my self-growth and awakening.
11. Celebrate the good and bad.
Today I will embrace the good and bad that are coming my way. I will live them, learn from them and let them go before I blow out the candles on my 28th birthday.
12. Celebrate the blessing in every age.
Although I don’t fully believe in the notion of time, I believe the number I am turning to today is quite exquisite. In three years I will bid adieu to my 20s and welcome my 30s. But I also believe that every age is a transformative one—and one we should embrace.
Today, I celebrate the accident, the illusion and the universe that I am.
Happy birthday to me.
Author: Elyane Youssef
Editor: Nicole Cameron