The countdown to 23 has officially begun, and I guess in some ways, that’s even more suffocating a thought than the actual birthday itself. There are so many things left to do that it almost feels like a joke that I’m sitting here writing about all the things there are to do instead of actually doing them. But the truth is, most of it is healing. Healing from the loss of love, of friends, of my old self, but most importantly, the loss of yet another year.
Scratch that. That’s pretty unfair of me to say. This year wasn’t a loss. In fact, it was one of my greatest years till date. I have learnt so many new things, made so many new friends, but most of all, learnt so much about myself as a person. This past year taught me that despite the odds, I will show up for myself and that is my greatest guarantee. It taught me that at the end of the day, despite the people who stand by your side, there are some things you need to go and grow through on your own, and that is okay. It is okay to not share your grief sometimes.
I know, I know exactly what you’re thinking. I’m such a big advocate for communication and being open etc. etc., but like I said, life is a learning curve and none of us are the same people we were two minutes ago. We are learning and unlearning the things about ourselves that make us who we are and lead us to make the choices we do in life, and that’s fine. If you do not use this time to learn, when will you?
But, I digress. The point I was making is that it is around this time every year that I start to get really angsty about everything because I never really anticipate making it through the year. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean that in the ‘grab a switch blade, we’re about to throw ourselves a morbid pity party’ kinda way, so y’all better put those thoughts to rest. What I mean is, I am a grossly organised person with a meticulous eye for the little details in life, and despite that, I don’t plan very far ahead. My reasoning for that is a very short phrase from the Qur’an that I hold pretty close to my heart because it’s a small thing that packs a big punch:
Be, and it is.
I know if you take it at face value, it doesn’t mean much, but here’s the crazy thing about life (that I believe in anyway), you can plan as much as you want and as far ahead as you want, but at the end of it all, if a thing is genuinely destined for you, there won’t be a single moment that passes between when a decree is made and when the thing reaches you, you know? In layman’s terms, if God wants you to have it, you’ve got it, don’t sweat the little stuff.
I guess the best thing that has come out of adopting a lifestyle like this is that despite the losses in life, I take comfort in knowing that these were situations I wasn’t destined to be in and it is wiser to look forward to the things in life that won’t unsettle the peace of my heart than dwell on them. If there’s anything you could have taken away from this faff of a piece, I hope it is exactly that.
You are destined for greater things, and your losses do not define who you are as a person. While I don’t necessarily believe that man has been made in the image of God, I do believe that God has put a little bit of His light in us all to carry us through when the darkness feels it will swallow us whole. I pray that we all find our little light and hold onto it for all the days of our lives.