Today is my birthday. I’ve never written a birthday post before, but I have been thinking a lot about birthdays lately. I’m 27 years old, which isn’t old, but I guess I’ve reach that age where people aren’t so keen on becoming any older than they are. 30 is a big deal, and for me, it’s just around the corner. But there’s a lot of stigma around the big 3-0. For some reason, nobody want’s to be 30 (or 40, or 50…)!
Earlier this year, I listened to a speech given by a very inspirational woman who has been suffering from chronic kidney disease since the age of 2. Throughout her life, she has gone through more than 40 surgeries, and is living with her 4th kidney transplant. What really got me thinking was when she described her teenage years. Complete loneliness: having to go through procedures after procedures of dialysis, and wondering if she would make it (alive) to prom. Her name is Lori Hartwell, and she is 50 years old, and one of the oldest survivors of chronic kidney disease in her generation. That’s quite an achievement!
For people with life-threatening illnesses, the one thing they are fighting for is a chance to reach their milestones. A chance for more birthdays for another year to breathe and feel. For them, they are so proud of their age. I look back at the insanely blessed life I have and feel so silly to have ever cursed my age at any point in time.
It’s solemn to think that nothing lasts forever, especially on a birthday, but that is precisely why birthdays should always be cherished. Every single one of them. If you think about it, it’s very memorable for parents when their babies turn 1 because a new human being has now existed for one full year. That mentality of wonderment about our existence should be carried out throughout our lifetime. You gained another year on Earth. How incredible that should be!
We should not focus so much on age, as much as we should focus on growth. At any given time, you are the oldest you have ever been, and the youngest you will ever be. Just live and push forward.
I am proud to be 27 and to have experienced everything that was packaged so far in this 27-year old life. And you bet I’m very much looking forward to 30 and beyond!