Island Soul City Dreams

I love New York, but my heart has a Caribbean beat. It pulsates to the traditions of my people. Attuned to the rhythms of this City, I stay West Indian to the bone. I reflect. I analyze. I speak my mind. ~ I Keep it Irie ~

On Turning 40, Er I mean “25”

They say life begins at 40?;-)

They say life begins at 40?;-)

When I was a teenager, ages like 30 and 40 seemed really old. When I marked my 25th birthday (for the first time), I felt as if I were grown, that I knew all about life. When I finally turned 30, I thought, “Oh my gosh, where did the years go?”

My 30s have been my most challenging, most exciting, most memorable years; the years in which I’ve taken the most risks, suffered the worst heartbreaks, took my career and education to a higher level, the years in which I’ve matured and learnt the most. In my 30s, I truly discovered who I was and the kick-ass tough stuff of which I’m made.

Reflecting on when I was 21, I thought that by now I would have long been married, borne my twins, living in the proverbial house with a picket fence, ably guarded by my brown Labrador Retriever and black Rottweiler. As an old adage goes, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” For sure, God had and has completely different plans for me than I envisioned.

As I approached my birthday, I’ve been overcome by conflicting feelings. On the one hand, there’s been a sense of unaccomplishment about certain aspects of my life, there’s been a feeling that I am unofficially saying goodbye to my youth, and there’s just the incredulity that I’m already this age! I still feel as if there’s a little Caribbean girl trapped inside, waiting to grow up.

On the other hand, as I reminisced about my journey from St. Vincent to Barbados to Trinidad to Canada and to the USA, as I thought about the relatives and cherished friends I’ve lost along the way, as I grieved with my friend Moni who recently lost her dear mom, and my “bredren” Bertram (25) who only last week buried his beloved mother (who died two days before her 48th birthday), the reality of my own mortality hit me.

I’m reminded of what a blessing it is to awake to a new day, what a miracle it is to be able to celebrate another birthday. So today, I will not wallow in self-pity about what is missing from my life, but I will give thanks. Thanks for all I’ve achieved by the grace of God, whether tangible or intangible. Thanks for all the wonderful people, the angels in my life that have held my hand at whatever leg of this journey. Thanks that on January 30, many years ago, Victoria gave birth to her firstborn, and that four years later on that same date she gave me my best birthday gift ever, my sister Sancia. Thanks that my sweet, loving mother nurtured me into the God-fearing, fearless, faithful woman I am today.

Yes, today, I give my heavenly Father thanks for opening my eyes on this my 40th er, I mean 25th birthday. #Fab40

~ I Keep it Irie ~

P.S.: While in Barbados for Christmas and New Year’s, I launched my birthday celebrations and used the opportunity to ask my longtime friends there, some of the people who know me best to share their favorite memories/reflections of me and thoughts on our friendship. I recorded their responses on my iPad and iPhone and made a “movie” of it with a soundtrack that’s my testimony. Click on this link and check it out. I promise, you’ll be entertained. Thanks and one love.:-)

Life is a beach - especially at 40.:-)

Life is a beach – especially at 40.:-) Photo taken at Sam Lord’s Castle Barbados Christmas Holidays ’14-15.

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6 thoughts on “On Turning 40, Er I mean “25”

  1. Anthony A on said:

    Beautiful read as always. Growing up is always seemingly a hard thing for some but not you, re: FB post from today. Growing into yourself is an amazing fete. Yes, I mean fete.

    The kind that starts off dry and boring, it’s tough on the legs from standing too long, but then the dj starts playing all your tunes and you lose yourself to the point where you just wanna tek off yuh heels and bruk out yuh closet dance moves. Lol!

    I digress, yes.
    It’s truly been a feat, to look back and just thank God for being with you through it all. And as the old adage says, “Just like fine wine….You grow better with the years”. Amen.

  2. Well written as always! I am thankful for meeting you (special shout out to Dionne!), love the laughs we share, and am always honoured and humbled by the fact that such an accomplished person as yourself occasionally asks me for feedback and advice!

    This is one of your strengths; there are others, too many to list. With your attitude, determination and drive, more blessings are absolutely guaranteed to come your way!

    Enjoy this next year of life!

  3. garethkhaleel on said:

    Even in my 30’s, 40 still seems pretty old ;-p

    At least it did until I realized that you were 40. I thought you only had a year or two on me. I would say you certainly don’t look 40, but maybe you’re setting a new standard and you’re exactly what 40 is supposed to look like. Should I stop emphasizing 40 now? Lol, ok.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve told you before; you’ve lead a very interesting life. You’ve had many varied experiences that seemed like a bit much for a lady of only 25 years, but now it makes more sense; you’ve done plenty of living 🙂 Still, I believe the best is yet to come. All the goals you have set for yourself, I’m sure you will accomplish. Your tenacity tells me it’s not a matter of if, but when. Plus as they say, our disappointment is God’s appointment, so anything you haven’t accomplished YET, is a blessing God has stored up for you. May you receive them all in His time.

    Stay blessed. Stay encouraged. Stay young at heart.

    • Gareth, I see you’ve been listening too much to my sister and nephew with that extra emphasis on my ripe young “25” years lol! Thanks for your sweet thoughtful sentiments, truly appreciated. I look forward to those blessings. One love.:-)

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