It was my birthday yesterday, I am officially 26 everybody and to be honest this is the first birthday where I feel different. It’s like I’ve unlocked something inside me in the past year and now, although I don’t know where I am going, I know who I am or at least I am owning who I am.
I usually don’t celebrate my birthday or publiscise it but I did so yesterday and the outpour of love, well wishes and duas (prayers) that I received was overwhelming to say the least (I did a bit of public crying yesterday, I’ll admit). I think it also felt more special because it was the first birthday that I was spending away from ‘home’ and to have everyone take the time to acknowledge that and send me such good vibes was really touching. I am not deserving and I am super grateful for all this light.
I’m using this three day trip to Addis to unwind, reflect and plan for the next couple of months. I think I’m reaching that point in my life where things need to get shook up and I need to step into all the ideas that I have been storing away in my “One Day I will…” list. Many people reach out and tell me how much my words mean to them and to me is super fulfilling. Giving for me is liberating and I recognise the privilege I have to be in a position where I can write or speak and it means something to someone, or it touches someone’s soul, as crazy as that is to me, it’s also incredibly humbling and inspiring that we can all be so connected by sharing stories and seeing ourselves in each other.
About a week ago I was in a car with one of the drivers from work, and two colleagues and we happen to drive past this school that’s just ended for the day and all these teenagers are out in the street laughing, running, playing and it was like one of the most normal scenes until I hear the driver scoof and say “they are so ill mannered”
Me: What do you mean? They’re just playing around
Driver: The girls are behaving terribly…
Me: …But teenagers all around the world are this loud, I don’t understand
Driver: If they want to make so much noise, they should just keep quiet and wait until they get home.
So here is one rule I want you all to incorporate into your life:
I want to thank the people who have inspired me in the past year and take a moment to appreciate the absolute incredible human beings they are. Some I know really well, others not so much but you all have this distinct quality of being so unapologetically true to yourselves. I usually make a list on my birthday of reflections from the past year but this time it’s a list of lessons, thoughtful advice, things I’ve scribbled down etc in chapter 25 that each one of you either said verbatim, inspired or taught me and for that I’m grateful that our paths have crossed.
I pray that you all hear that voice in the deepest parts of you and trust it enough to let it blossom and bloom into an extraordinary mess. ✌🏾❤️