I started writing this piece days before today so that I may have as much opportunities as may be necessary to capture the very details, I hope would help project what is now important to me as I clock 40.
Before today, I have read many greetings to other people who clocked 40 and it keeps ringing in my head what it is like to be 40. Well, now I am and interestingly, the day is still 24 hours and sky, blue. Does this then explain again that age, as many say, is nothing but numbers? Did we just decide to put meanings to everything? Super 5, Big 10, Sweet 16, 4th floor and many more.
Let me backtrack, when I started writing this article, I thought to myself, what if this day never comes? What if I die? These kinds of questions may sound morbid but I have come to understand they are real and true to the very existence of man. We shall one day, be away like atoms of the air and life will continue like we never were. If we are fortunate, we may live in others as a result of the love we shared, the kindness we showed, the good things we did and so on. However this plays out, whether I see this day or not, what would be most important to me is that I have spent every single day of the conscious part of my life being deliberate about the actions I take and knowing that beyond the opinion of men, I will be standing one day before an impartial Judge and give accounts.
Alright, enough of sermon, today is my birthday and I am here, (taking a stab at the fact that I actually made it.), what is today about?
I give thanks again to the Creator of the heavens and the earth. The best Planner and the Disposer of the affairs of men. The most Beneficent and most Merciful. The Lord of the day of Recompense. Alhamdullilah.
I am grateful for too many reasons and I don’t take today any lightly for I know the importance of every passing day measuring by those who have left, by those who look up to me and those I look up to. Measuring by the landmarks reached, the successes and failures, the tears and laughter, the ups and downs, the good and bad news, the losses and the gains.
I will see today beyond the greetings and messages, the foods and drinks and whatever fun it comes with. I will be sober and mindful of what is left to accomplish, where adjustments needed to be made, the lessons left to be learnt, and above all, what time is left to spend before I take a bow and exit the stage.
I know that today, I have spent X – 40 years. X being the actual number I am destined to stay for.
I will critically reappraise my role as a son, a brother, a husband, a father and a member of the larger community and above all a servant who knows there will come a day to give account.
I will not be hard on myself knowing that I have my faults and that I am just human but I will be more determined to make sure what is left counts more than the past did.
I have learnt in life that I owe myself the duty of happiness and that life does not revolve around me alone; to love myself more but not be selfish. To be confident and trust my instinct but not arrogant. To be deliberate about my connections with people and seek value as I add same.
Now that I am 40, I will take chances and follow my dream a little harder after all, I have just this one life.
I will love, live and laugh.
The journey to where I am today has not been a jolly ride but the current destination gives me reasons to appreciate where I am coming from and what lies ahead makes me want to keep going.
Which of the favours of Allah would I deny? None. I have been that guy that took an interesting dive at starting afresh. Nothing guaranteed but I took with me my firm faith in Allah knowing that what would be mine would be. Wriggled my way out of Alausa, Ikeja to the amazing skyscrapers of Downtown Dallas and Houston. Making my presence felt across the biggest names in the American corporate space. I didn’t give myself any chance; I just believed and kept grinding the mill and today, I can say, it only could have been grace.
In a life where nothing is guaranteed, everything counts for me.
I want to thank everyone who has been part of this journey. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, please note that at this time, I am sending out love, positive vibes and appreciation your way for your contribution in whatever way or form to my life journey. I am extremely grateful.
I may not know where this journey would finally end but I have decided to keep going and taking each day at a time. I will tie my camel and let Allah take charge.
On a final note, it is time to get used to who and what I have become. I have not a single intention to conform or adjust to fit one man’s idea of what I should be. I have chosen to live and left you the one important option to talk a walk and fly a kite, this is going to be me.
A very big shoutout to ‘Laolu. You have been solid and consistent. You threw in a blank cheque when nothing seemed sure. You believed and trusted me without reasons; you just did. You have been a friend and ally and a super mum to our kids. Thank you.
If Allah wills, I hope to make it start counting more going forward.
It is my birthday, let me fix a plate!