Your Next Birthday is not Guaranteed

I was never a fan of birthdays. I always felt inadequate to have one. Strange! I know! It took me 36 years to finally understand the meaning of a birthday. I have been so ungrateful before but now I am wide awake and totally get my birthday.

I am not guaranteed another birthday. I am not even guaranteed another day. I don’t know what may or may not happen to me when I step on the street. Life is precious and we should all appreciate it and love it more. I caught myself saying “I am going to be one more year older….!” My husband said “you are so lucky to have made it thus far…!”

First and foremost, I am so grateful I am alive. I’ve made it this far in my life. It’s a celebration in itself. Not many people make to live that long. I know a few, may they rest in peace, whom are gone. I am so fortunate to have a healthy body, mind and life. I have been abusing it for a little bit by not always exercising.

I want to live and do good, learn and contribute to the world however small. I don’t want to waste my days thinking how horrible my life is when in actual fact is amazing. I don’t want to waste another minute of my life thinking I am not good enough, or not not worthy enough. It’s fashionable to think I need some help and go deeper into myself.

Coaches living is supported by the exact thought. I don’t want to be a cliche but in Africa some cultures don’t even go to school. They cannot read or write do you think they think of ‘I need to go deeper into myself to be able to create something…’ They think of where the next meal is going to come from, are my children ok and so on. It’s a very basic example but you get the point.

We have one life. We have one shot at it. Why waste it on things that don’t matter like getting drunk, taking drugs, wasting time watching Netflix, spending time with people who don’t love you…? My time is limited on this planet and I want to live every second of it.

Life goes so fast. I don’t know where the last decade have gone. I will not waste my time comparing myself to others. I can only compare myself to yesterday self. I can only move forward from what I learn. Another person’s life is another person’s challenge not mine. I cannot possibly compare myself to that.

Comparison is the root of all evil. Just because by 37 I don’t drive doesn’t make me good or bad, worthy or unworthy. It just is. I haven’t had a chance to learn it yet. The fact that all my friends can drive doesn’t mean I am a loser. Not all my friends have two degrees. We all have something someone doesn’t have.

It’s ok. It’s boring to be the same. Life would be boring if we all strive for the same jobs, have the same amount of children, drive the same cars, live in the same houses and so on. Although one could argue that the world isn’t too far off from that already.

In fact that I don’t drive at 37 is ok. The fact that I am only now working to publish my very first book doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what you have or don’t have by a certain age. Who says you have to have x, y and z by a certain age? Why does it have to be how someone says it? It’s someone else’s truth not yours if it doesn’t come from you.

Certain things I agree with we have to go to school. Learn. Be better. Do better. Become better. I believe in learning, knowledge and education. We are privileged to go to school and be able to read and write. Many are not so fortunate. It’s a real privilege to be able to tell stories through a written word.

When your birthday comes be happy you made it thus far; be happy you have another day to do things you’ve dreamt of; be happy for all you’ve achieved others may have not had a chance yet or never will. Real appreciation of your own life matters because you stop being miserable if you ever felt miserable.

Now I appreciate everything a lot more and my birthdays is just a reminder of how far I’ve come. Nothing in life is guaranteed so take nothing for granted.

I am a writer who learned to code! I write about personal experiences within a humanist and global context. Find me on Twitter & Instagram @erikachaudhary

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