assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
I remember on D's last b-day I called and was teasing unmercifully about reaching 28. Teasing based on a faulty premise that I don't subscribe to; mainly that getting older is a bad thing. I have seen enough death and personal tragedy to understand that birthdays are blessings, every single one. They don't have the guarantee that death and entropy do.
Ah, and now it's my turn to reflect on 27.
The other day I was in Rochester, NY for my friend Nene's wedding, which was beautiful, and a lot of fun. I think because I was in a crowd of Black and Latino folk (she's black, he's portareecan) I thought back to my college days. I wouldn't take nothing for my journey, but I still feel the love of the people and culture I met during those days.
My work this year wore me down, but I learned a lot of lessons, mainly that I need to do what I want to do when I want it, based on my own values. You'd think that a 27 year old woman would get that, but ah, the lesson needs drilling. Apparently. I love the children, am grateful to be working with little muslims, but now I know that this is my hatching ground, and that I'm due to fly from it sooner rather than later.
I learned that my body? Is mashaAllah amazing. I finished a half-marathon. I finished slowly. But I finished. I also learned that diabetes is stalking me regardless of all that training... and I'm taking care of myself more. I learned that food isn't my best friend, since I already knew it wasn't my enemy.
I learned that I'm a pig for some love. Family, students, friends- I need affection in doses that others would find smothering. I'm learning to be okay with that.
I remembered skills and joys I had forgotten. I think I'm going to get sick of my gauchos after a while, but the satisfaction of making them with my own hands was wonderful. I can still make killer salted oatmeal cookies, even if I have to eat one and give the rest away. And nothing will ever compare to a long drive in the country and woods at the end of a warm day.
I finally realised that even though I am a child of an age of entitlement, I can make my own dreams come true best when I am serving others. I am happy when I learn that a small advice I lent helped another sister find happiness and some self-reflection. I need to lean on other shoulders. I need to be needed.
Procrastination might be natural, but Allah swt has given us all tools to work against the worst of our natures- and with the best of it. Still up to me to grasp the tools and get to work, though. And now I know that organization isn't just a luxury, but for me it's something worth the battles with myself. I realised that to love the examples in my deen and to increase my iman and to love the nabi I follow is not shameful, but it's okay.
Companionship, true companionship, is something I pray for; thank God for my friends, the true-blue homies, the ones who are in the mud and the glory with me.
Twenty-seven is a wrap. Alhamdulillah, let the games of twenny eight begin.