October 4, 2016

A Birthday Wish at 26

I turned 26 yesterday and I've always loved birthdays though it's not really a big deal. But for me, birthdays tend to inspire a bit of reflection. Each year I look back at the year behind me, and I have to say, if 26 treats me half as well as 25, I'll be a lucky girl indeed. I thank Allah for everything I have, especially my husband and my family. They're the most precious gift I've ever had and I won't trade them for anything. My family threw a birthday party for me yesterday, my husband bought a lovely chocolate cake and we were all having steamboat and grill at lunch. It was so memorable and wonderful. 

Fast forward a year and everything's changed, everything but the people beside me. And that's really all that matters, isn't it? And there's always next year. In the wake of everything, I've also realized that there won't be a next year to change my life.

When you're young and in your 20s, that's the time when you should be taking big risks. When else could we bounce back from bottom as easily? But there's a difference between risking big and being reckless, and that's a distinction I've ignored for the longest time. I've always been reckless. I did too many things I'm not proud of having done before I was legally allowed to vote. I've always jumped first and hoped to develop my wings on the way down.

For as long as I can remember, I've been reckless with my own life, and put my own emotions second. I grew up quickly, and compartmentalized how I felt, because I thought it was more important to focus on how everyone else felt. On how I might make life easier for them. Seeing somebody else happy was more tangible, making their lives easier was easy for me. Everyone likes to feel useful, to feel helpful, to feel needed. But I would always put my need to feel needed at the top of the list, and ignore everything else I needed.

And that's not a way to live life.

Life is too short to waste your time doing anything less than what you love, and anything less than what makes you feel alive. Life is too short to stay comfortable, and to not take risks, and to not feel scared. Life is too short to be reckless with anyone's life or emotions, even your own. Life is too short to waste your time on anyone who makes you feel anything less than important. And not everyone has to make you feel as if you're important. they're not obligated to by any means, but for every person who doesn't, you'll find 5 more who will. And they're worth the effort. Your time on them will not be wasted. And your life will be more rewarding for knowing them.

And whether it's your birthday or you just wake up tomorrow and aim to fix what's not working about your life, I wish for you to remember that though it might be uncomfortable at first, that space where things become uncomfortable is where we grow and learn the most. And that space is rare and precious and few people ever make it there. And it's worth going there. It really, really is.

Happy birthday to me. 

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