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43 and counting

43 years old, I’ve just turned 43. A sunny day, summer day!

I’ve been born in Northern hemisphere and always dreamed of a nice summer day for my birthday, with lots of sun, laughter and warmth.

It took me 30 years to achieve my dream and just before turning 30 I’ve started my journey to the other side of the Equator.

For 13 years now I celebrate my birthday in summer, a long, warm summer day!

Every anniversary is a chance for reflection. I never considered that the New Year is the moment for reflection and resolutions. I always thought that you should periodically reflect about what have you been doing and to persevere, change or improve, whatever is the case in that given time in your life.

But with anniversaries is different. Each year added to your journey is another moment to feel grateful that you are alive, that you’ve evolved, that you loved, hated, experienced or suffered. All your experiences make you more aware of your strength and weaknesses, help you realise what you want and what you don’t, what you are attracted to and what you can’t tolerate.

Is not the day itself, is not the party you have, is not just the friends you are gathering around, is not just how many flowers and likes you get on Instagram and Facebook. Is not just about how many people are sincerely thinking of you, how many lives you managed to help, influence or inspire. Along with how many you made suffer, reject and abandoned.

Is about yourself, about your evolution and awareness. Happiness comes from within, therefore external confirmations are just confirmations, nothing more. You need to know who you are, what you have achieved, where you’ve been and more importantly where you want to go from here.

 It is a peaceful summer day, as peaceful as my soul.

It wasn’t always easy, it wasn’t just roses and butterflies. It never is. As someone told me once: there is no pleasure without pain.

None of us is perfect. After all, what is perfection? Who defines perfection? The norms and the society? We need to go to school, get and education, find a job, marry someone, have children, work, retire, look after grandchildren? We are conditioned to believe that we need to follow rules and expectations. It starts early on when we are just toddlers and we’re constantly told what we should do and shouldn’t, and it continues for the rest of our lives. When our parents stop influencing us, the society continues. Our peers, friends, movies and articles in famous magazines.

And you start questioning yourself every time when you deviate from the script. We completely forget that this is what makes the world go around, the variety, the different perspectives and approaches to life. Otherwise we will all be robots. Look back in history, the empires, the communism, all systems were working for a while. But you can’t condition an entire society for centuries. People have different believes and expectations and feelings. We could all blindly follow a dogma or a leader, but after a while you stop and ponder if you want to continue or change direction completely. In saying that, in the same time, we all want acceptance and appreciation. From society, from the loved ones, from our environment.

And we end up in a vicious circle, desperately trying to get accepted in the society, with periodic glimpses of repression.

43 years young

I went to school, I got a proper qualification, I’ve started working, I rebelled against my circumstances and left the country for a warmer place on the other side of the world, I got married, the child followed, I’ve got divorced, rebelling again, and so on.

I strongly believe it never stops. You can have periods of calm and so called peacefulness, followed by challenges and internal turmoil. Could be your children, your career, your parents, your spouse, one of your friends dying, losing your job, etc. There is always something, good or bad, there is always something that life throws at you.

It all depends on you. On your feelings and expectations, on your believes and mind structure. There is no solution, there are no 15 steps to become happy, 10 steps to have the man/woman of your dreams, a solution to all your problems.

There are steps, there are solutions, but each one is individual and each one applies in certain stages of your life. A solution that was working 5 years ago, might be completely useless today.

Because we are all changing, we are all evolving, all our experiences shape us into who we are.

My 43rd anniversary is another reflection. On good and bad, on happiness and failures, on experiences and feelings. I feel grateful for all the people in my life who helped me out to shape the ME today. Some offered infinite support and love, some lessons and some left just a bad taste in my mouth. It’s all part of the experience.

Here I am, alive, healthy, functional and grateful.

43 and counting!

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Written by Oana

I'm Oana, the storyteller behind the Romglish Vagabond. I am inspired by mental alchemy, mindfulness, creativity and exuberance. My enthusiasm for travelling helped me discover this spectacular planet with its myriad of cultures and places, but more importantly is providing guidance to a better, healthier and more grateful me. Thanks for joining me on my journey!

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