This post is so necessary, not to commemorate another year around the sun but to show my gratefulness to having found such a loving and supportive community in a place I would have never imagined finding one 3 years ago.
My 26th birthday began with me being unemployed, lost, confused yet hopeful. I adapted the mantra “walk by faith” wholeheartedly because some how, after being unemployed for the past 6 months, life seemed to still be working out.
I came back to Shanghai maybe 2 weeks shy of my birthday. I didn’t have anything planned since I was in the process of “getting myself together”.
The morning of my birthday I woke up to pouring rain, the type that forms sillouhetes of rivers on your car window. I checked the weather to see that the showers would last all day. I was told I was just going to a brunch, table for two.
Surprisingly, I didn’t let the rain get me down. I was tired of feeling sorry for myself and so I claimed the day as my own because shouldn’t we all own at least our birthdays?
I wasn’t too familiar with this side of town near the South Huangpi metro but was pleasantly surprised to get out of our car under the protection of a large archway. I can’t quite remember what floor we went up to as I was busy trying to balance myself in heels…something I rarely wore these days due to unreliable pavements. And as I was slowly taking in the impressive decor, I rounded a corner and was met with cheers and a surprise so loud it alerted the entire restaurant to my appearance.
I hugged everyone and thanked everyone for coming out on my behalf. The shots started to get ordered and staying true to my aging self, I could only handle about 1.5 shots but the mimosas were superb.
Even with the unlimited mimosas, I felt like I barely touched my glass. I was so busy beaming with appreciation.
I caught Jarvis, who I had met shortly before my birthday last year and we talked about the weather. He said something that resonated with me, because its something I had embodied earlier that morning. “You’ve got to enjoy the rainy days too”. Coming from someone who had also lived in Seattle (one of the rainiest cites in the U.S) I couldn’t agree more.
From South Africa, the US, Cameroon, France, hell I could even say the moon, my 26th birthday left me in a great mood.
I even risked my knees later that evening by attempting multiple Vosho (a South African dance move) dance moves. In my next life, I hope I come back South African so I too, can have knees of steel or at least as Meg The Stallion.