To My Village With Gratitude

My date of birth has finally arrived.

I have been dreading it all year but if there’s one thing that’s unavoidable it’s aging.

 It’s terrifying.

I want to crawl back into my 20’s. To the sweet spot of 26 if we want to get specific. I could cozy up right in there for another five years and never leave those warm, blankets of denial. Who would believe I’m 26? Absolutely no one. But mom says I can’t do that. I must grow up, albeit reluctantly.

I don’t know how to express what exiting your 20’s feels like. I don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like. Mostly I’m reminded of that line from “Knocked Up” where Craig Robinson, who plays a club bouncer, tells Leslie Mann’s character that she’s (I’m paraphrasing) too old for the club but not for the earth. I would be Leslie Mann in this scenario, turning 30, suddenly only young enough for the earth but too old for the club. That’s kind of what it feels like…a sudden exclusion. Because the older women get the more we exclude them, don’t we? I’m happy to surround myself with women who show me that doesn’t have to be the case.

Anyway, let me not wallow in self-pity because all the other confident 30 year olds will come for my neck.

 I’m writing this because I’m overcome, mostly with gratitude, that I made it to this milestone. Like most people I know there is a village that carries you on their backs to get here. I’m thankful for my village and I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge them. This is the closest I may ever get to an Oscar speech so bear with me.

To God Almighty, for not letting the devil sieve me like wheat.

To my parents, who showed me it’s possible to love without being taught, who sacrificed everything except salvation for their children, and who I’m praying live forever since I am by no means ready to be cracked into a million pieces.

To my older siblings Chris, Annette and Peter who spoiled me to no end, have undeserving pride in me, and love me without conditions.

To my nephews and nieces who I will always love, and who remind me in their tiny little faces why God doesn’t give up on us.

 To Sarah my BFF, who to quote SJP in Sex and the City, is my insides. My longest friend, the person who taught me about selflessness and is an enduring shoulder to cry on.

 To Miracle Valley Apostolic Church back home and the people that raised me there, where I was able to compose my multi-dimensional self from a framework of spirituality. To the Watson Family, the James Family, Mommy Pauline Watson, the Grant Family, Mommy Dunn, the Sterlings. To one of my fathers in Christ, Minister Sterling, whose death remains the most momentous loss of my life. I mourned you for five years in vivid dreams and I wish you were here to see your children and grandchildren.

To my Wolmer’s Girls posse, those years in high school are still the happiest of my life, if those trees on the lower campus could talk we would be in so much trouble.

To my new family, thank you for welcoming me into the fold, for trusting me with your son, and for making me laugh almost as hard as my own family does.

To my sweet, sweet Jamaica. The only place I’ll ever call home.

To the co-chair of the new village we will create, my husband. I wonder what it’s like to watch me age. Thank you for leaving me in the dark on that one. Somehow you make me feel the same. Perpetually 18. I knew it was possible for me to hear God talking to me when I asked him about you and he answered. He made sure I didn’t mess this one up. What a loss that would have been! Love isn’t everything but I’ve watched you enter this commitment with only love, and you’ve allowed it to teach you everything else about us. Forgiveness, kindness, and patience. Thank you for being there this entire decade, I quite frankly couldn’t have made it without you.  

Below are some pics of how I spent my day. My awesome hubby spared no expense…getting me giant balloons, gorgeous flowers, a perfect bday cake, taking me to a super posh dinner at Del Frisco’s downtown (if you’re ever in Philly you have to check this place out), and to completely knock me off my feet…gave me a new engagement ring. Fully felt like a queen 🙂

In bed at the start of the day…12:03 am
Brunch with my mom and sis at Nudy’s Cafe (also a highly recommended spot if you’re in Philly or Ardmore)
It was one of those nights where I could not for the life of me get a pic that was perfect! Dress is from Jluxlabel.

Cheers to all my 90’s babies! 30 here we come!