I’m passionate, no, manic, about my birthday. With the way I carry on sometimes, you’d think that the month of August was chosen specially for me to be born in and everybody else in the history of ever had to be squeezed into the other months.
My celebrations usually begin on the 1st of August. I wear something bright and lovely, phone all the people that I can easily manipulate (because of how much they love me) and then go shopping or eating or dancing or all the above. This goes on until around the 15th of the month when a strange calm envelopes me, but only until the clock strikes midnight on the 19th – then I erupt in a series of whoops, giggles, large grins and dance routines.
By the morning of my birthday, I have ascended into a mental state that only allows my words to leave my mouth in short! Squeally! bursts! I walk almost everywhere on this day to avoid imploding and treat myself to the most expensive self-gift of the year. Whichever lucky (or unlucky) establishment I choose patronize has to bear my incessant chattering, bouncing, clapping and vicious bargaining because it is my birthday after all. They should be generous.
My 22 has been a year of writing, massive personal growth, love and baldness. I include baldness because it is not going to feature in my next year. My period of open mourning for my mother ends in September which means I can allow myself to grow, style and be vain about hair once again. I hadn’t planned to do this, had in fact decided to go bald for as long as it took me to stop feeling crippled by Ma’s death, but that is not going to happen. I may as well let my kaweke out of its box.
The opportunities I’ve been blessed with this year have been immense and I finally got to contribute to African Woman Magazine- something that had been on my to-do list from the time I first read it. My relationship with them didn’t end so well however as they went under, taking my stories and remuneration with them. I have long stopped fantasizing about throwing shit-bombs at the editor (and owner) but the sadness of achieving, then un-achieving my dream has stayed with me.
I have been disabused of my silly belief that I am a commitment phobe. This is as a direct result of my meeting somebody that I am compatible with, that I will spend at least 10 years trying to avenge on the event that he is murdered. I have often been described as difficult to love (remember kids, if it’s said often enough, it’s a compliment), and so finding eki laavu laavu was not one of my goals when I was crossing the age bridge last year. It’s a very pleasant addition to my list of achievements. Life without love sucks.
I have read a lot about women and women issues and women’s writing and advice which has turned me into a feminist (of the sheepish variety). I’m not yet super confident about expressing my opinions because I’m afraid that I will believe something completely different the next minute. I also still suffer from ‘don’t-be-threatened-by-me syndrome’ which involves me downplaying my achievements and/ or being overly self-deprecating, but according to the internet and my older friends, that’s just one other thing to triumph over in your twenties.
Happy Birthday, me.