Birthdays are often bitter sweet, they are an opportunity to celebrate one more year of experience, and it means that your one year older.
As children, its all about gifts and being the queen of the day. Though when we age, things start to change.
Coming from a practicing Shia Muslim family, I get to celebrate my birthday twice a year: once on the lunar calendar and once based on the solar calendar. My lunar birthday falls on one of the most important days of the Shia calendar and my parents decided that’s when they celebrate me. Living in West, the solar calendar makes more sense to my friends. When they find out that I get to celebrate my birthday twice a year though, it makes me extra grateful for the family I was born into.
My recent birthday was significantly different from previous ones.
This year, I happened to go through many life changes, from career to relationships.
As I was contemplating my life, I wondered, should I evaluate myself based on my past accomplishments or future goals and plans?
As a Shia Muslim, Dua and prayers are a big part of my life. I believe that what you wish for, dua, says a lot about who you are and what your worth is. Based on this, I would have to evaluate myself based on what I want in life going forward.
On the other hand, I am revisiting my professional identity and making major changes in my life. As the result, I am constantly looking back at my accomplishments to update my resume and to practice presenting myself in future interviews.
Looking back, it makes me feel very proud and content. In my mid 30s, and I am very well experienced in my professional field and in life in general. I have everything that a successful and happy woman needs to thrive.
Looking forward at my goals and dreams, there are still so many mountains that I want to move.
Reflecting on my past and my goals, I have to admit I am very blessed. Maybe birthdays are not about evaluating my life, rather about counting my blessings and journaling my gratitude.
As Allah says in the Quran: “If you are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you”.
To another birthday and more blessings to follow.