Here’s to my 21st year.

“If you know me based on who I was a year ago, you don’t know me at all. My growth game is strong. Allow me to reintroduce myself…” 

(DOB: 3 JUNE, 1993; 1800 hrs)

Here’s to my mum, my dad, my beautiful sisters, my awesome brother… for the nights spent on our living room and veranda, talking about night shifts, music, the economy, price of living, the goodness of our God or reminiscing about the past… for helping me remember that I BELONG and filling my heart with contentment and bliss.

Here’s to the friends that stuck by me when I wasn’t deserving of their love. Here’s to being patient with me when I am broken and I shut the world out. Here’s to the long talks about God, life, love, education… the little conversations that have built me, piece by piece, to the person I am today.

Here’s to the ‘perfect’ people, who seem to have life figured out, who are so quick to pick themselves up, dust that dirt off their clothes and walk with their head high and a smile on their face like they didn’t just fall… Thank you for making me realize just how far I am from perfect, and that that is okay. I don’t need to be like everyone. I am emotional. I take my falls to heart. I cry myself to sleep some days, wondering why I was made me this way and not like her. I hurt, and I let the hurt reach its pinnacle before I can pick myself up and continue my journey. I can’t be like you; why would my God create clones? I am messy. I can be annoying and ‘needy’, I don’t look perfect most days. I say things I don’t mean because of how talkative I am. I am learning. I am still going home to myself. I don’t need to push myself to be like you.

Here’s to the most valuable lesson I have learnt this year… to love myself, unapologetically and wholeheartedly. To step back and love me, even when am in bits and pieces and my world is crumbling around me… Here’s to realizing that that is when I need to give myself the tightest hug and give myself a break.

Here’s to the many mistakes I have made. To the guilt trips that have drove me to correct my errors; to take responsibility for my actions. Here is to the mistakes that have made me take a step back from judging others, I have walked a mile in those shoes, and no, it’s not my place to judge. Here’s to the crying with regret till I felt I would just give up on everything. Here’s to my dad’s scorning that left me battered and bruised, I know it’s for my own good and I appreciate every scar. Here’s to the path God let me go down, the hard lessons that I needed to learn as part of growing up. Here’s to the stumbles that remind me that at least, I am trying and still moving forward.

Here’s to you, heartbreak, for visiting me once again. Teaching me to be strong, pushing me to the limit; using my very own friends to break me… here’s to you and your sharp pain. Your very unexpected visits. Oh heartbreak, how you surprised me once again; you didn’t knock on my hearts door but you bulged in and left my heart in a mess as I cried in the corner, terrified! How you humbled me! Here’s to you. Here’s to you, heartbreak.

Here’s to learning the hard way.
Here’s to my Sociology and Economics lecturers for all the valuable lectures that gave me confidence in what I am studying. Here’s to my Gender relations lecturers, for opening my eyes to various realities… for giving me the drive for the Malawian girl child. Here’s to my Quantitative Methods lecturer, who is a lecturer like no other. Who smiled in our faces but showed nothing but wrath in his examinations. Here’s to you, sir, for reminding me that the road is not easy, but it is worth it… and damn, is it worth it! Here’s to the little advice you always gave me when I have yet received a less-than-satisfactory grade, “It can’t be business as usual. You have to change your strategy.” Oh how you heal with your words, but also manage to make the journey even tougher. Here’s to you, I know I will appreciate you later in life.

Here’s to the happiness in my 21st year. The grabbing my throw and making a cup of coffee to watch the sun rise up a hill early in the morning. The calm voice of my parents and siblings on the beach as we await for our meal on dad’s birthday. For the times I realized I was at Malindi Secondary School, mentoring girls and how somehow, that has given me strength to keep going, pushing harder towards my goals, my dreams, my passion… Here’s to the journeys to distant places or the nearby Zomba Market. To little pieces of happiness like having a kid fall asleep in my arms. To the sound of rain as I am tucked in bed. To the laughing till my sides hurt. Here is to you, my 21st year.

Here’s to my blackouts that remind me that life is short; that someday I might fall and never get back up. Here’s to my friends and my family, my lecturers, nurses and doctors that are so patient with me. Here’s to my lovely mum who is beside me when I finally come back to myself. No words can express my gratitude for the motherly spirit God blessed you with, mum. Here’s to you.
Here’s to my big sister who makes sure I’m in the right position. Your care touches me.

Here’s to handing in assignments on the dot, here is to our cat Pookie who comes in for cuddles even when I feel like everyone wants nothing to do with me. Here’s to dad, for letting me take a power nap in his chair during my lunch breaks at work. Here’s to Zomba and your beautiful scenic roads that give me so much peace. Here’s to the musicians on my iPod, keep doing what you do! Here’s to the kind librarian that greets me every time I enter the library, “Fefi! Uli bwino?” 

Last and most definitely not the least, here’s to my EVERYTHING, my God, for the grace and mercy you have shown me. For making me feel loved with your Word when I feel like the worst. For this breath of life. For speaking to me through the preaching of the word every service. For the million prayers you answer, Lord. For separating me from so much unbelief; I am not who I was yesterday. It is by your grace and zero of my works. Your love for me is unconditional, it is like none other. But I also recognize that I need you more than yesterday Lord, be near me now and for the rest of the time apportioned to me on earth. Teach me patience. Teach me humility. Give me a sweet spirit, of putting others first. Teach me to wait on you, teach me your ways. Let me look up to the sky, see a beautiful rainbow, and remember how great you are. Remind me how small and insignificant I am. You are my lifeline, Lord, never let me wander from you.

Here’s to my 21st year.

Here’s to another great year.

-“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139: 23-24

-Something will grow from all you are going through. And it will be you.

-Dear God, when I lose hope, help me to remember that your love is greater than my disappointments, and you plan is greater than my dreams

Posted in Growth.

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