I’m always for celebrations, until it comes to my birthday. It’s so weird. I’m an event planner by occupation and though I love experiences, when it comes to the experience of my own celebration…I really could not be bothered.

Shawntel Asemota

There’s too much anxiety associated with trying to get all your friends and family together to celebrate you. Maybe it’s because I believe too much that people don’t care enough or that I lack faith in people’s commitment to me as their friend. I don’t know.

My last birthday celebration was at 28. I hated it. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do and constantly changed my mind. When I finally made the decision to do something, I cried on my way to the celebration. I wasn’t feeling my birthday at all. I wasn’t feeling getting older at all and it has everything to do with the fear of the unknown. I can honestly say that I could see my life clearly up until the age of maybe 25. I knew that I was going to go to college. I had no doubt that I would graduate with honors. I knew that whatever I chose to do; whether join the work force or start my own business or find a place nice enough to settle at for a while, I would be okay and it would be my decision.

My life plans changed. Though I found a job right out of college, it just wasn’t for me. Months after graduating, I got into an accident with an 18 wheeler and not only lived to tell about it, but honestly can only credit God with the fact that I am still here. Every year I get older, it’s a nod to that night I shouldn’t have come home.

I turned 29 on the 8th of February and I am nowhere near clear on what direction to go. If anything, I often feel directionless and lost. Though I have an idea of the definites in my life, I have no idea how I plan to prepare for the next decade of my life. I welcomed 29 with a shrug…you can’t stop getting older. You can’t stop the inevitable all you can do is live life and hope it keeps you fulfilled.

Instead of celebrating my birthday with fanfare and cake and gifts and parties with friends, I worked. I finished up tasks and tied up loose ends. I cleared as much off my plate as absolutely possible so that going forward I could finally have the clarity that I was seeking.

And that’s what I want for 29.

If I spent the majority of my 20s trying to follow this plan I thought I had for my life just to cry about it on my 28th birthday, I want to spend the remainder of this 20th age of life clearing my plate and making a way for the next decade. I want to spend it reflecting on the good, learning from the bad, hopeful for the future and happy for the unknown instead of cringing from it.

I know 30 has it’s own adventures: mortgage, kids, family, business growth and you know what? I’m excited for it. I don’t want to spend another birthday sad because it’s not what I expected. I want to celebrate the fact that I’ve been allowed another year to try out this thing called life. It doesn’t always have to be with a bunch of fanfare, but it will always be with gratitude because at the end of the day, that’s all the Universe want’s from us anyway.

So here’s to 29. May it bring me hope, focus, clarity, more happiness, opportunity, continued love, and support and relinquish the fear of the unknown and the need for control.

I welcome you 30, let’s do this.



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