A birthday post is a tradition as old as this blog.
Every year, I turn into a recluse in the weeks that precede August 30. All my life, this date has always fallen during the holiday period. School has never been in session. In high school, people would be splashed with water, beaten and thrown up in the air on their birthday, it always seemed fun. I felt unfortunate that my birthday always came during the holiday season, you know, back then, having water splashed over you was the deal.
So it meant I’d always have enough free time on my birthday to do stuff I wanted. It’s a sign of progress and growth that my birthday this year will have me seated on my desk at the office working. I’m done with the school life. Just look at me, a twenty-two year old working class who lives alone fully independent in a city over 500km away from the one where I spent most of my years.
This birthday is not special, it’s like all the other ones, but I have really grown as a person. I have become realer with my veracities and stronger against my fears. I took daunting decisions this year. I made the bold step to leave my comfort zone and move to another state without having any backup plan. It worked out well for me.
On the premise of this new level of independence, I will share some of my struggles with you as I come to terms with a new 365. Yes, I have some struggles; I’m no superman. If anything, independence helped me realize that.
I am not as nice as I’ve always thought myself to be. This is a very difficult admission to make because I’d always pride myself as being one of the nicest guys you’d ever meet. I mean, I don’t smoke, drink, sleep around, break hearts, use vulgar words, do evil, commit crime, and all the other ill stereotypes we’ve gotten accustomed to.
This year, I was a major recipient of unusual niceness from several people. The kind of favours I got this year from people made me realize how far away I was from reality. So many of the things people did for me this year, I wouldn’t have done the same if the roles were reversed, and I’d have valid reasons. On further probing, I’d have probably helped them too but not without dithering and considerations.
I am not nice, and I am pained. Following due process doesn’t always translate to being nice. Being a Christian boy isn’t all you need to be nice, there are elements of human interactions where I’ve been found wanting, for all my ramble about working hard, I still don’t give my all when it comes to work. I don’t even know how to sap myself completely. I am not nice.
It makes me question all those who have been nice to me. Why spend all that effort on someone who doesn’t deserve it? Well, I got my answer; when you’re being nice, you don’t worry about the qualification of the receiver at all. I will spend more time on this moving forward.
I was celibate all through the year. I have never been under as much pressure as I was this year to have sex. I still don’t understand why I was born in this generation – a generation that flagrantly seeks to do the exact opposite of the law. Letting people know you’re celibate doesn’t actually keep them away from you, it brings them closer, which is odd. But I get the reasoning, humans want you to go down with them.
Very few people want you to succeed even if they don’t. The human nature is malicious by default, so don’t blame them. Which is why you must learn to appreciate those who genuinely care about you. I stayed away from every form of negativity this year, I didn’t even have to think about it before getting an earpiece. When there was no one to
encourage me, I plugged in my earpiece and found encouragement in songs and words.
I have become a stronger character, without fear or timidity. The secret? Positive words. You need to always stay encouraged. I haven’t done badly for myself. There’s still more to be done of course.
Is this the life I dream of at twenty-two? I can’t remember. But I know I’m in my perfect place. God has been gracious, I have a job I honestly like doing and I have the right people in my life. Every single thing that’s happening with me right now was orchestrated by God which gives me huge confidence. It also explains why I approach important matters with dull complacency.
I can’t honestly be killing myself over the details of my life when it’s been so evident that God has been working out things for my good. I know what’s ahead of me is better than my wildest imaginations which is why I’ve stopped drawing up plans and goals, because for every single time I did that this year, God showed up with a much better plan midway. So instead, step by step, little by little, I will keep growing just the way God wants me to.
I’m super excited as I grow older!