To me, a birthday is a celebration of growth, experience and wisdom. This annual ritual of celebrating is not only a testament to my day of birth but acts as a marker for my individual growth. It’s also important to acknowledge that in no way is this day solely about me. First and foremost, it’s about my mother and father bringing me into this world and the rest of family and friends who have continued to show me encouragement, love and support along the way. This makes it only fair to share my birthday festivities with those same individuals and to encourage them to have a great time because in a sense, by celebrating me… we are also celebrating them.
Before I make my wish and blow out the candles, I spend a good portion of the day and even a few days prior, reflecting on the person I’ve been and the woman I hope to become. I believe that what you wish for, especially on your birthday where you are actually entitled to a wish, says a lot about who you are. In hopes of one day looking back on my life as an old woman, I started a project documenting my wishes in my personal journal allowing my future self to re-experience my annual self-development.
With 5 days until I turn 24, I decided that this might be a good time to share something I wrote on my 23rd birthday. It’s far from fascinating but I find it to be mildly interesting considering how so much has changed since then. In the moments when I reflected back on 22 and wrote this a year ago, I was almost convinced that I had it all figured out. But I quickly realized that I probably never will, at least entirely. There will always be a loose end somewhere that can unravel my life and change things unexpectedly and there most certainly is always something new to learn and experience. I am learning more about the world and its inhabitants every day and most importantly, I continue to surprise myself, which really helps to keep life interesting. So after I share this poem, I will be sharing one written in honor of turning 24 and reflecting on my year as a 23 year old. I hope you enjoy, and if you take one thing away from this post, I hope it’s recognition for how significant a year is in your life. Life is so short and every day counts. Those days add up to years and they seem to just fly right on by.
Young and free
I may have found what’s right for me.
I’ve got a job that works me hard,
They even made me business cards.
They gave me an expense account and another cell,
With a number, when asked, I can never seem to tell.
Where most people go to spend their money,
I only spend my time.
I’ve got a mouthful title that all hard work has claimed mine.
You may think you want it all handed to you
But once it is, you’d just go on and redo.
Another year older, more experienced but not more well read,
And to think I still keep my deep and most interesting thoughts,
Locked inside of my head.
I can’t help but think what you might all think matters.
Time to take a step back, realize I’m setting myself up for disaster.
I don’t care to be judged, but I most certainly will,
I’m 23 and I’m living in thrill.
I’ve got so much to be thankful for and I will celebrate with them today,
23 years with so little the same but always March 21st being my day.
What I wished for: adventure and excitement, the strength to roll with the punches, the ability to stay happy and positive in all pursuits and the health and happiness of my family.
Couldn’t ask for much more,
But chances are I will, since there’s so much more to be had
Didn’t waste any time looking back and getting sad
Went after what I always wanted and now my hearts full to the brim.
But my body’s still learning how to take it all in.
Could be a totally different person than I once was, oh for sure, now I am.
Day in and day out learning how to be my own biggest fan.
Reliant on one thing, and one thing for sure,
Positive vibes and a happy heart will always get you more.
Few things are consistent in a life full of chance,
23 passed so quick, it was gone in a flash.
Making the most of each and every day,
So that when I am old and grey, I’ll look back and find a reason to say:
“My life was well lived” and I’ll believe it to be true,
For every year that passes, I am truly someone new.
What I will wish for: TBD