Today I Turn 27

Today I Turn 27

I wrote this a couple of hours before my 27th birthday. Just in case my mood found a way to spill over into today, I wanted to have this handy.

On days where I really struggle. When stress has made a mess of my face. When anxiety causes frequent trips to the bathroom so my coworkers aren’t tempted to ask what’s wrong. When I start my day feeling like no one here deserves me and I’d be better suited staying in bed not being anything to anyone except me but only for myself.

This list is for those times… these times. Because even though they don’t last forever, they always find their way back.

1. Working limbs.

2. Steady pay.

3. Family — even when they’re the source of my frustration.

4. Higher awareness of self, in all regard.

5. The ability to get sh*t done. Even when it hurts. Even when I’m broken.

6. Being able to Goblet squat and one arm thrust 35 pounds. (Thanks Coach Moe)

7. Recognizing when its time to let go, even if only temporarily. (See you April 18th for Cocktail Conversations)

8. The gift of writing and all of those who’ve challenged me to push beyond the limits I give myself.

9. Racine McGee for all the moments we share. Especially the ones where its you doing the ear tugging. I be listening.

10. An ever improving relationship with my supervisor. I appreciate the teach and learn moments we share, the random check-ins, and the pep talks we give to one another. The dots are connecting finally and I recognize that being on this team with you has done a lot for me personally and professionally.

11. I appreciate those closest to me that take the beatings on my bad days and still show up with an open heart when I come to my senses and say, “I’m sorry for yelling at you.”

12. Strangers. As much as hate to admit it, I’m a stranger magnet. I’ve met some pretty cool ones this past year. Most recently my Lyft driver, Jean, who I invited to a Lil Wayne concert after being in the car for less than 60 seconds.

13. Black Men. My Black Men. You know who you are. Thank you for keeping me safe, for reminding me of my light, and pulling my card when I start trippin’ over f*ck boys.

14. Black Women. My Black Women. Again, you know who you are. Thank you for understanding, for loving on me when I need it, and for a genuine sense of sisterhood.

15. Every single person that has ever said “I see you.” That statement holds so much power, especially on days I feel invisible.

16. My Ancestors. The source of my strength and my foundation. There is absolutely nothing in this world I cannot do with you all on my side. Give thanks.

17. A place to comfortably lay my head.

18. Muffin. My baby love, my heart in (kitten) form.

19. Breaks from the world.

20. Vegan food that tastes good when I cook it myself.

21. Sunsets + Sunrises and their symbolism of both rise and rest

22. Health insurance. Even though I refuse to use it, after 26, I’m grateful to have it — just in case.

23. Toxic people that come into my life as a mirror. I have some sh*t to work on too, thank you for showing me that.

24. Clean water. There are still thousands of people throughout the City of Newark and millions of people in low-income communities across the U.S. without access to clean water. Our collective efforts must continue even as water distribution to those who need it slows down.

25. Today only, I’m claiming 27. Tomorrow I’ll go back to being 25.

26. Second chances

27. Another trip around the sun for myself and for those who’s legacy I carry on.

Today I turn 27 and I’m just grateful to still be here.

Yolanda Danae’