• E.J. Wanjiru

The 39th Year: Looking Back & Forward

Updated: Jan 7, 2019

I turned 39 two weeks ago and with the celebration of a new age came the ineluctable fact that this is the last year in my 30's; a tumultuous yet rewarding decade that played an integral role in molding me into a woman I can be proud of when the lights are off.

And so it's only fitting that I give a much needed nod to the past nine years of my life because they kicked my ass, forced me to face myself, brought me closer to family, fostered new friendships and brought back old ones, helped me grow and taught me that I was much stronger than what I gave myself credit for. Hindsight is 20/20, right?

Nine years ago this month, I was boo-hoo'ing over a pseudo-relationship (w/ an urban hoarder) that HAD to come to an end, grieving the loss of a ten-year friendship that dissipated largely due to my actions or lack thereof, and dealing with the realization that I didn't know who the hell I was nor what I wanted out of life. If it wasn't for my sister insisting (after she came to visit and was horrified by the conditions of my basement apartment, which I'm pretty sure I shared with a snake, and by the amount of butter I smeared on my toast at breakfast) that I get the hell outta dodge and stay with her, I'm not sure who or where I would be today. That was at the tail end of 2008.

And with that, the third act of my story began. I found humility in going back to the basics and taking care of self. I dipped back into my creative pool and started writing again, which helped heal some wounds. Found an amazing job that added structure and discipline back into my life. Met some new friends and rekindled relationships with others and discovered that friendships are indeed necessary. Forgave myself for past mistakes and let go of the shit I couldn't change. But as many personal highs as my 30's brought, it also came with a few lows-- like trusting wolves in sheep's clothing and getting stuck with a $20K debt because I felt the need (against my better judgement) to "help" a scammer #SMFH, or believing I was in love with someone that refused to respect my gangsta. #ThankYouNext

I've been through some memorable realities but I don't think I would change any of it. Well, maybe one or two things #lol. But to be where I am mentally, at this moment, ready to take on 39 with a vengeance despite the fear within, is priceless. I feel like my own hero having made it through the fire countless of times. But I can't take all the credit because it truly took a village of awe-inspiring, strong, dedicated and unconditional humans to get me here, and for that I am eternally grateful.

A wise woman told me that it is imperative to have something(s) to look forward to when I turn 40. And so as this new year arrives, I plan to be bold and step outside of my comfort zone and accomplish things I've been day-dreaming about -- like publishing my first book of poetry, getting back into the business of music, venturing into the world of #urbanart, learning video production and writing a screenplay. It's time to jump into the waters while they are raging #kingsofleon.

This blog post is my way of holding ME accountable in a very public way :)

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