First of all, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who made my birthday special with the birthday wishes, calls, prayers, gifts, presents, and more importantly, their presence in my life whether from a close or far distance.
Turning thirty years old is commonly referred to as a very important moment, especially for women; some people actually call it the big 30. Honestly, I have no idea why and I hope to find out soon; I’m still new to the game, as a matter of fact, I am just 2 days old into it since my birthday was April 24th. Maybe it’s because many age groupings start with 30 e.g. 30-45, or maybe it’s because one’s body’s metabolism is expected to slow down or perhaps, it’s because this is the age at which more modern women start to reproduce or because women automatically fall into a higher risk group of maternal complications during pregnancy (too much health research in my head!). Regardless of what it is, something magical and new is expected to happen when one turns 30. Some people feel like it is a good age while some dread it; as for me, I had a lot of bitter-sweet moments in the months preceding my birthday.
At first, I could not stop talking about it once we got into the year 2018. I whined about how I felt like I was becoming “old”, how I had not made any real plans for the age, how I had not achieved certain goals which I had made for the previous years, how I was not sure of how to celebrate my birthday – whether to have a party, or a quiet dinner or travel somewhere far by myself. I thought about doing something new and crazy, something that would shock those around me but being one of the most monotonous people on earth, it was hard to come up with anything novel. A colleague and friend of mine suggested getting drunk for the first time in my life but nah, I immediately thought about acute liver failure. Ooh! maybe I could have a one night stand! But I considered the risks involved, whether I used protection or not; for example, what if something went wrong and I got pregnant or caught an infection? What if he was a stalker or he made a sex tape of us? What if I became emotionally attached to him and then, became the stalker? Or what if he ended up being the brother or cousin to my future husband?! I knew I could not get through with it so I gave up. Someone once described me as “too careful as a human”, I guess they were right. The next thing I thought about was shaving off my hair; that sounded like a good one especially in this #wakanda era. It had been ages since I cut my hair and it needed some regrowth so this could be the time, I said to myself. I could cut my hair and have a photo-shoot.
So I got ready mentally (or I thought I did) and I told my friends and family. I arranged the photo-shoot for the weekend before my birthday and the plan was to cut my hair a day before but first, I had to take off my braids. However, I had some meetings on the day I was to loosen the braids and ended up not doing so until the morning of the photo-shoot. I still booked a haircut appointment for that afternoon and moved my photo-shoot from morning to evening. Just before going to cut the hair, I developed cold feet. It was a really bad one, similar to the type you hear about brides or grooms developing just before their wedding. I was panicking and felt unwilling to part with my hair of several years. I needed some words of encouragement so I began to call my friends and family; I called at least 10 people at a stretch but nobody picked up. It was weird because it was on Saturday midday and usually, most of my friends/family members would pick up around that time. I continued to call until it was past my hair appointment and that was how I did not cut my hair. Yup, I chickened out and so I ended up taking photos with hair. It was not what I had planned but it did not turn out bad after all (pictures below).
As I got closer to my birthday, I was beginning to fall into denial and trying hard not to think about it until my good friend called to ask me to list 5 material/physical things that I would like as a birthday present. It took me about 10 minutes to think of a single item; it was very hard for me to think of anything I needed and even the things I ended up saying were things that I was not even sure that I wanted them badly. It was at that moment that it dawned on me on how blessed I am and have been. Of course, there are some non-human gift items or things that I want or feel like I need but to think that I had every material thing that I need was a pure testimony of God’s love for me and my family and I felt a sudden surge of gratitude. I was no longer worried about becoming 30 and instead of thinking of un-achieved goals, I began to count my blessings over the past 29 years. I had received so much including the gifts of life, great friends and family, having a PhD, my travels to over 20 countries in 5 continents (except Australia and Antarctica), having lived in 3 continents, having my first official audition for a commercial, improving on my makeup skills (still not perfect but at least now I don’t look like a clown when I do my makeup J) and many more including things that may seem otherwise from a blessing such as recently embarrassing myself by crying in front of my supervisor and a few others (it’s gat to be the hormones from becoming 30!), getting out successfully from relationships that were not meant to be, and having and surviving my first car accident (I sincerely hope that is the last though).
After reminiscing about all of these, I felt truly happy to become 30 and on the morning of my birthday, I knelt down, smiled and exclaimed to God “Yay, I am 30 years old today and I am a grown woman! Thank you!”
My goal on my birthday was to look pretty, have ice cream cake and have a good time with loved ones and those were the things I did thankfully. Right now, I am just waiting excitedly for more beautiful and new blessings to come and I pray for grace and favour always. However, I have to say some things never change for me though (or at least have not yet), such as the rule of eating my name inscribed on the cake all by myself J
Thank you again for the birthday wishes.
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