“A birthday is a new beginning, don’t regret another birthday, the good news is that you are alive and can celebrate it!” A friend sent me this message today early morning.
Am all smiles today, hoping 25 spoils me with love, and surprise me with God’s miracles. I am indebted to God for enabling me reach this age commonly referred to as the journey to adulthood. Every new day comes with an opportunity to discover myself and I believe this year will unveil my hidden potential; for am determined to make the best out of each day, and am so hopeful because my future is in the hands of God.
In the month of June 2019, while 24 years old, I read a book by Franklin Covey entitled the 15 habits of highly effective people. It was very interesting with realistic topics I have actually dared although I was challenged a lot to stay consistent and resilient if I am gonna thrive as a highly effective person. Today I make 25 years old of age a huge achievement, where I will spoil myself with a red velvet cake, celebrate with family not forgetting to reflect and mend my mistakes to perform better. When asked about how I felt about this new number, I was quick to assert that a year’s end is neither an end, nor a beginning but a going on! I believe that what matters is seeing myself and those around me progressing and moving on for better.
In my culture, when a girl clocks 25, she is called “empangare” meaning a mature young woman. In this age and above, she is expected to date responsibly as she is nearing the years of getting married, acquire a well-paying job and behave like a mother. In fact, she may not be expected to mention her years but I am among the bold ladies against the norm of a girl not speaking of her age to the public. I believe age has nothing to do with how I work, relate with people or education which are usually attached to it. Anyway, 25, I wanna cling on to being intentional as I have been and get better by holding myself accountable.
My mentor Eunice Musiime introduced me to the wheel of life a very powerful tool that helped me visualize important areas of my life. I believe it is the best tool to help me assess my 24 and best find out where I can be the best this year.
I managed to make and concentrate on positive friends who support, encourage and challenge me every day. There is a quote in the bible for those who are Christians that says show me your friend and I tell you who you are. I picked so many lessons from spending time in unconstructive and draining relationships. My biggest achievement was meeting a mentor Kemi Gbadamosi who enrolled me to a WhatsAap group entitled “Made For More Tribe” which has different young ladies in Africa that share important information and discuss ways to support their communities and improve their lives. In the online group, there is no room for average because everyone is capable. I have been able to hang out and spend time with my friends. Although, I can do better by visiting my long distance friends, I misssss them!
For people who know me, I love fun. Surprisingly I am introverted by 75%. Celebrating my 24th birthday in Netherlands, Amsterdam with three friends was a memorable day for me. Traveling to five different countries and meeting new people and learning about different cultures was a dream. I did high ropes, sang in the bathroom, watched lots of movies, laughed so loud with the craziest tones, hiked Mt. Rwenzori and Sempaya hot springs and danced while 24. I wanna try out different dancing moves and explore some more ways of having fun responsibly.
I graduated with a bachelor’s of arts in ethics and human rights at 24 years. And later enrolled for a leadership training, an initiative by president Barack Obama called YALI for one month that inspired me to be an innovative trans formative leader in my community. Representing different adolescent girls and young women on global platforms in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV/AIDS was a great milestone even for my community where our voices were represented. A memorable event was the African Girls Summit hosted by the African Union. It was an amazing opportunity to take up the position of being a youth representative at the Uganda Country Coordinating Mechanism of the global fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Discovering my writing skills such as blogging and writing reports for various institutions have been a big step. Aside being an advocate, rapporteuring is my other profession.
Although I have been intentional about my faith and conducting exercises alongside a healthy diet, I must admit that I have not been consistent. These are small things which can be done daily; unfortunately in my life they seem seasonal. 25, am gonna ensure my soul is well grounded and I make 56 kilograms
I must admit that I first saved and invested money, along the way as challenges affected me, I was eager and greedy to use it. I will ensure my financial capital is built by focusing on my savings sacco and draft a monthly planner on how to invest. I hold my family so dear and close, I feel I have not been the best at 24. This year, my family will be my priority which is why the red velvet will be cut tonight with them.
It has not been easy….
It has not been an easy year surely. Challenges which were unbearable came along. I believe everyone has their low and high times. As John Dallas put it, “Each year’s regrets are envelopes in which messages of hope are found for the new year.” Probably these challenges help us to be better, humble and discover ourselves more. 25, am ready for you, am not even about to think of giving up. T.S Eliot, a great American poet said, “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice…” Similarly, I am ready to manage my weaknesses and work on my strengths. I am ready to sharpen my saw, and i can only be hopeful and sure that this, is gonna be a great year. I feel it…………… awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww