“…learn to celebrate the magnificent, shining part of you—even when life’s storms momentarily eclipse its brilliance.”
Two years ago, I was sitting in my psychologist’s office, relaying all the unpleasant things that have happened and how I feel I have lost complete control of my own life. She was attentive and empathized with me but affirmed me. “Katlego, you are so hard on yourself, you have been through so many things that a lot of your peers have not been through, and you need to give yourself more credit for how far you have come and where you are now.”
At that moment I did not fully grasp her words, I mean, credit for what exactly mam? I’m barely holding it together, and I feel like I’m falling further and further away from where I want to be. And two years later, on my 24th birthday, I’m like “Hell yeah, this girl right here needs to be celebrated for every damn thing!”. Because in all humility, I have no idea how I am still here and still so eager to show up every single day in this hard but beautiful world. I don’t know how I still have so much hope for myself even when everything around me does not seem to align with my deepest aspirations and ambitions.
The journey of learning to celebrate yourself is not an easy one, more especially when you feel so unworthy, undone and unaccomplished in so many ways than one. But on my special day, these are the things I am boldly celebrating:
1. I am celebrating me, and the marvelous woman I have come to embody.
2. I am still alive—breathing, softly and slowly.
3. I rejoice that I fully understand what living a life of surrender means.
4. And I, therefore, celebrate that the girl who has such turbulent thoughts and a tumultuous inner world now knows peace even in the midst of chaos.
5. I celebrate that I still stand, that I’ve learned to stand when everything in life wanted me to stay down.
6. I celebrate that my hardships have not hardened me, but have made me all the more softer.
7. And for that, I celebrate the woman who steadfastly remains true to the essence of who she knows herself to be.
8. I celebrate that I am enough, in whichever way that I show up in this world and that nothing will ever take away from my enoughness.
9. I celebrate the hurting 9-year-old me, pained by the abrupt abandonment of her father. The girl who thought she couldn’t take the pain of it all, crying desperately on her grandmother’s cold, grey kitchen floor, on the verge of drinking the full bottle of bleach. But she courageously heeded the voice of her guardian angel saying, “You have so much to do in this world, Katli.”
10. I celebrate that I’m still here. I’m still here, fully convicted that I am worthy to be here in and with all that I am.
11. I still celebrate the woman who radiates so much light in this world even though she often fails to see the intensity of her own power.
12. I celebrate that I am learning what patience is, and most of all, what patience towards self is and showing compassion to myself when I need it most.
13. I celebrate how the timid little girl I was has beautifully transformed into this brave woman who is so firm in who she is that she is completely comfortable in never conforming.
14. I celebrate the woman who loves being in control but is getting the grasp of what it means to rest in the truth that “what will be will be.”
15. I celebrate how I have become a woman who no longer feels the need to perform her greatness or worthiness because again, this woman knows how enough she is.
16. I celebrate the woman whom no matter how undone she may be, how untogether her life may be—she still has the courage to see beauty in the process of everything gradually coming together.
17. I celebrate the woman who relentlessly refuses to give up on love and is eagerly fighting for her fairytale romance despite many disappointments and heartaches in love.
18. I celebrate the woman who is no longer so hard on herself but approaches life with a new found childlike carelessness.
19. I celebrate the woman who is no longer afraid of living outside of her comfort zone that dares her to do all the things that terrify her.
20. I celebrate the woman who has become so positioned in her purpose to profoundly impact her world that she no longer has any care to live up to anyone’s expectations of who she should be.
21. I celebrate the woman who is learning to speak her truth boldly without the need to discard pieces of herself to make others comfortable.
22. I may not have fulfilled my dream of becoming a medical doctor, but I celebrate that I have lived a life of being a healer—healing hearts, nourishing vulnerable souls and tending to the emotional needs of those life has brought along my sacred journey.
23. I, therefore, celebrate the woman who often believes she hasn’t done much with her life but will never truly know the number of lives she has touched through her existence.
24. And I give a celebratory standing ovation to the woman right here, who through the worst has become her best, remained unshakeable even when her world shakes, and fought through wars that nobody could ever dare to live through. But this woman still lives, and I celebrate her immensely.
In continuous celebration,