It is my birthday! Today I became 26 years old, but feeling like 18. I always make jokes about myself that when I don’t wear any makeup that people think I’m 14. They say that girls grow up faster than the boys and I can totally relate with that when I look at my fiancé. He just turned 27 but sometimes I feel like I’m having a relationship with a boy of 21. I know that 26 is nothing in a human life, but I feel really old. Maybe because I’ve seen and experienced more than the average person ..
Age doesn’t tell anything about how much life experience someone has or how intelligent they are. In the last 4 years I realized that your birthday is something special and can be seen as an achievement, but also not. When I was younger I celebrated my birthday so I could give party’s and invite friends and receive presents from them. It was all about the material. When I became older I didn’t feel like celebrating thing this with others, I preferred to be alone. Then all of a sudden my mom became ill.
We heard that she had cancer all over her lungs, shoulder and slowly spreading to her bones. It was only a matter of time before she was gone. Doctors said that she only had a few month’s left and that no treatment could help her. But as stubborn and strong as she was she still tried it and stretched her life with 2 years. Those 2 years we celebrated every special day: birthday’s, Easter, Christmas and new year’s eve. As a family we lived every day like it was her last one.
When she passed away on 06-09-2016 I lost a piece of myself. The happiness and motivation to get through things. I became stronger but also weaker. The last moments we had with her were so hard for all of us, it changed me. My birthday was the first special day we celebrated without her presence. I remember this moment so well: I arrived at the train station when I just finished work and my dad and little sister would pick me up by car. I entered the car so we could have a nice dinner with the 3 of us. That moment when I stepped into the car my dad just broke down. He grabbed my sisters and mine hand and told us that this was the first special day without mom and that he missed her so much. I couldn’t hold back my tears and I saw my little sister (who was just 15 years) shaking. It was a very sad moment, a punch in the face but it made our bond stronger.
It changed me in 360 degrees. Before my mom became ill I was an ignorant daughter that was only thinking about herself. I was afraid to take steps because I liked the comfort zone. Now I feel more empathy for others because I know how hard life can be. Not always, because when friends nag about their family situation or when they hate their life, I can almost scream at them that they should be happy with what they have! They can’t imagine how hard life can be, because they never experienced it. My hateful side became bigger than my sweet one. I see things more in a negative way so I cannot be disappointed.
When I read back my story I think I might had an emotional break down here, but this is how I really feel these days. Every day I try to change myself in a more positive way. Turning 26 made me feel more like an adult and having a backpack filled with experience. This might will be a great age to finally start exploring myself in what I really want to do with my life and how to be and stay happy. The first step that I’ve made is to focus more on what I like to do: photography. In 2019 I will be working fewer hours on the office to focus more on my Instagram and blog, that will hopefully make me more satisfied and happy about this life.
Becoming older is a gift, having the opportunity to see more things of the world every day. Exploring new things and learning yourself a little bit better. I sometimes use the phrase “yolo” but that is really what I’m going for: you only live once.
Happy birthday to me!