For the birthday folk

This is the first year I am amped about my birthday. The blessings have been overflowing. I am glowing and so are my peers. Some of you have never fully grasped the fruitfulness of pure faith and it shows. Turning 21 is a milestone and should be celebrated accordingly.

05 March 2019 | Columns

Elizabeth Joseph

Although people, especially coloured people, make a big deal out of this, the fact that you are surrounded by everyone you love and appreciate should be the pinnacle of the day.

Some people spend thousands of dollars to make sure you have a birthday you will never forget, and rightfully so. Turning 21 is a gateway to adulthood, to making calculated and uncalculated decisions and to building upon the foundations already laid for you.

Society has certain expectations of you as you age. For some reason no one expects anything from you at 21. You can literally be a sloth all year, without having to own a car or a house, getting married, securing your bag or having a baby.

We just casually cruise through a year of self-love and journey with ourselves. I am not complaining. I love getting to know myself and exploring my abilities, both personally as well as professionally.

What’s the rush? You only turn 21 once. You might as well make waves while you’re at it.

After that, the real adulating starts. Most people would have graduated by then and it is now time to step into the real world. Now people expect us to be “settling”, to be focused, to grow up and to have everything together.

This has to be the biggest misconception ever. Whether you’re looking for a job, gathering a deposit for a new place or blissfully courting a romantic partner, good things take time. Putting a deadline to these things is too farfetched.

There’s no problem in putting certain goals in place and working towards them, but there is literally no urgency. Society hurries us to obtain certain things at a certain time and that can be physically as well as emotionally draining.

I know how hard it can be not to be as privileged as other people. I have to constantly make plans that require me to grow up faster and be way ahead of my age. Staying on my own, stretching myself at work and securing my own, because there is no one pushing me; that is absolutely on me. I love it and I’m grateful for the life that I have made for myself so far, although I wish I had a break every now and again, but the pace won’t slow down or stop anytime soon.

My only desire is to be at Camps Bay and have a real fancy, ‘Instafabulous’ photo shoot. I never did anything like that and this is my chance. I will go all out with the details and those helium balloons from Tumblr. There are these once in a lifetime days in your life, like giving birth, getting married and turning 21. And we all know which ones I’m not getting myself into… at least not now.

As we grow old we lose our excitement for birthdays for several reasons, none of which I will go into because that’s a column for another day. When you have so much to be grateful for and when you’ve seen yourself go though the most and still come out as strong as ever, then you really should celebrate your life and your accomplishments, no matter how minute they might seem.

The proof is in the pudding and I swear I’ve been eating loads of that. Make this year a great one and to everyone turning or who has turned 21, may this year bring you closer to yourself and your dreams. Be good to yourself and others.

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