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Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Happy Birthday To Me

Today is my birthday. Another age, a different year. Since the tender age of twenty-one the months leading up to subsequent birthdays have filled me with dread. My angst never really stemmed from the superficial worry of not aging gracefully (another wrinkle here, some cellulite there), but from what I have achieved during my twenty-odd years on planet Earth.

When we're young we tend to have a plan. They begin as dreams and wishes of what you want to do or to become by the time you reach a certain milestone in your life. If I remember correctly my Dream-Plan evolved in this order: nurse became beautician became teacher. By age seven I decided I wanted to be a writer. Along the way this Dream-Plan was partnered with journalism.

If my life had been a Walt Disney animation, by now my character would be nearing her happy ending. She would be married with five children, be an award-winning journalist and have at least two noteworthy books on the shelf. But as mentioned previously I, like most of you, live on planet Earth.

A friend once said to me: 'As creative people we are expected, or expect from ourselves, to achieve huge success and until we have achieved that we feel like we haven't achieved anything.' I find this to be true. I haven't won any awards and my books are not yet on the shelves, so I must be a failure right?


No, not at all. I have successes/achievements/positive things I can look upon and be proud of:

I have an education.
We in the West take education (at all levels) for granted. I'm currently reading the first book of Nawal El Saadawi's autobiography and I am constantly reminded that the opportunity to learn is not so easy
(dare I say natural!) for everyone. For many across the globe (including parts of the West) it is a constant struggle and not because the individual has chosen for it to be this way. Even in the UK there was a time when many people could not go on to higher education. I do not come from a long line of scholars; for my late grandmother (R.I.P): working-class, female and black, I highly doubt studying for a degree was even a consideration for her. My mother was the first graduate in my family and thinking about this I am humbled by the opportunities and doors that have been unlocked for me.

I have loved ones.
In this (often selfish) world we are fortunate to be able to count on someone else other than ourselves. We are fortunate when someone non-related is willing to share in our bad, foolish and down-right annoying times; as well as when the chips are high and nothing (or no one) can hold us back. I have a small circle of close friends and within that there are two people in particular who I am eternally grateful for:
1) my BFF-ride or die-sister from another mother and 2) the love of my life. I have a sister who I love very much. It hasn't always been this way (for background info click [& vote] here), but we are healing. I also have an eternal friend; He that sits on His throne and watches over me.

I have a gift.
That is the gift to write and to love to write. Outside of Christ and loved ones it is the one thing I am completely passionate about.

So, whether my first book is published before my 30th birthday or after my 40th, it doesn't matter because I believe it
will happen!


Khadija Darani said...

Yes, don't count the years but your blessings.
Happy Birthday Sweets! May you live all the days of your life..
I've given your story on BBC a thumbs-up, deserves two though ;)
Cranky Mombasa Librarian

Icepick said...

Happy Birthday, Rach!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!


Anonymous said...

I think MOST of us can relate!

Anonymous said...

I hope you get your book published!


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