Reflecting at 22

Depending on when this post goes up (possibly after the 23rd April 2020), I’ll be slightly older then 22.


Photo by Cristian Escobar on Unsplash

In the past I’ve done many variations of my birthday posts, some years I will switch on and become mindful when spending time with family and friends and other years I’ll spend my time alone, reflecting on my life, how I got here and what exactly it is that I’ve learnt from life.

And of course, today is no exception, having self-isolated for over a month and a half, there is little outward celebration and travelling, and more inward celebration, something I can really cherish and understand about myself. It’s not every day we get the chance too celebrate ourselves and our lives (though incorporating this practice in daily wouldn’t hurt, in my personal opinion).

Truth be told, I’ve only felt that way in the past half hour, the rest of the day and the evening of yesterday I spent crying my eyes out, as someone who’s always willing to lend a hand and help others feel less broken inside, this was incredibly hard for me to open up about. But it was nothing new, last year, and the year before that and the year before that (you get the point), in the run up to the infamous day I was born, a mental breakdown of some sort would always ensue.

Last year I remember it was about my future, my career, my relationships, everything that I felt I had control over came tumbling down and overwhelmed me to the point where I spent an entire weekend in bed refusing to move, a pity party at its finest. This year it was because I felt like I had failed as a creative, I wasn’t making money from blogging, I didn’t go viral or have millions of followers (or even reader to that extent) and I felt like utter crap.

And I cried, quite a lot. Yet another pity party.

Yes, it wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t productive, but it was human. I allowed myself to feel things inside like any normal human being should, because nothing good from repressing emotions, it leads to anger, resentment, shame and guilt and is a key obstacle towards your personal growth. Yet, knowing all this I just couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone about it, away it bubbled until the next crying spell, as much as crying is beneficial, there’s only so much it can help with.

This morning I reached out to people and told them I was struggling, they listened to me, heard what I was saying and lent some advice, I didn’t know I could feel so much more of an immense gratitude for friends that I was already infinitely grateful for. They reminded me my life is a celebration, a canvas filled with beauty and courage, but that could easily be transformed to sadness and neglect, because I had control, I held the brush and only I could choose what to paint.

In the past half hour I decided to throw away the canvas of sadness and anxiety in the trash and pick up a new blank canvas, I’ve picked up new vivid, beautiful colours and have painted (and am still painting), a picture of my achievements, my lessons, my up and my downs, because today is worthy of a celebration, a celebration of me.

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash


© Afiyah/WhenLifeAwakens, 2020. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Afiyah/WhenLifeAwakens with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


|| FOR RELATED POSTS CHECK THESE OUT: ||

HOW TO EMBRACE STILLNESS IN SELF-ISOLATION

HOW TO GLOW UP DURING SELF ISOLATION

TOXIC PRODUCTIVITY

UPSIDE DOWN

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2 thoughts on “Reflecting at 22”

  1. Dear Afiyah. How normal it is to be our own worst critic, everyone does it. You are intelligent, and I hope blessed with health. I am grateful you have good friends to support you. I believe on retrospect you were able to give yourself the same positive advice you would give a close friend who was feeling how you were. After giving yourself a warm hug, count those blessings. Life is ahead, you are driving and the journey will wind but that’s what will make such interesting memories as you look back in 30 years. – best wishes – David

    Liked by 1 person

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