My little sister once informed me a few years ago, that the age 33 is the age Muslims believe we will be in Heaven, in permanence. That people who will enter paradise will be at the age of “strength” and “youth”.
After some minimal research, I believe it may be a hadith (story during the prophet’s time that Muslims use for guidance and direction), but if I am wrong, feel free to correct me. Whether that may be in God’s plan for me or not, I am glad I get to spend this particular birthday with my parents in my hometown Oshkosh, WI. And I am grateful for the time with family the past few days, which is always precious and minimal, and even though it was very short and we only get to see each other once or twice a year, it was memorable.
I always take my birthday as a time for reflection, as most people do, about accomplishments and mostly about who I am, my character, my person-hood. And as someone who sets extremely impossible high standards, pressure, and expectations for myself, every year, I assume I would have accomplished some things by now.
Especially in this year, hitting that special number 33 (as I have now concocted in my head), in which I held even greater standards, this was certainly the case. As even in this past year, I should have done much more. With this mentality, we will never feel good enough, we will never feel enough for anything or anybody.
At the age of 33, no I am not married to another human being (just my doctorate LOL), I don’t have children, (nothing to be ashamed of, contrary to traditional cultural customs) and I may not pursue that path at the moment or perhaps ever with the way things are going, even though there have been moments of curiosity about that life pursuit, and nor do I actually have my phD, nor am I a published author of fiction or non-fiction, and the word “aspiring” remains a descriptor in my personal and professional characterization…
I guess some things go a little slower for some, and that is okay, as long they keep going until they go somewhere and that “somewhere” may be an endless route… And things have at least been moving forward, and that is what matters.
Amid the usual traditional birthday rant I have on facebook every year, I write this also as q reminder to myself to refute those conditioned beliefs that I have done nothing with my life, and to remind us that no matter what age we get, we should never stop pursuing our dreams and taking those critical risks.
I love birthdays, and my family knows that, no matter how old, fat, ugly and grumpy I get, and they made it really special for me once again this year…even when I probably do not deserve it. But I do feel blessed and I will take it… I will never forget the cake my nieces and nephews baked for me upon my return to Oshkosh (pictured above). And I am so glad I caught those moments on camera. No one ever baked a cake for me before …
I guess when the right people see some value in you, it makes you want to be better and do more…for them and for everyone, and perhaps for yourself. And with that, I hope to make the most of this 33rd year of my existence, in the appreciation of the “youth” and “strength” I must revive, as well as acceptance for what God has willed and planned…
with love, your Warrior Queen, Elsa