“Just because you’re grown up doesn’t mean settling into the doldrums of predictability. Surprise people. Surprise yourself.”-Victoria Moran.
So since my last blog post I turned 21. I was lucky enough to be taken to my favourite city Paris by my parents with 20 of my family members and friends. It was such a euphoric weekend, one that I know I will honestly never forget. For me I have never really been a birthday person. I love celebrating people but I am just horrible at giving birthday presents and when I am without an oven I am utterly useless. The only really exciting part about birthdays for me was more about the promise of cake at the end of the day without judgement on my eating habits (not like that has ever stopped me.)
Birthday’s are for celebrating the you that you are in that moment. Once a year for just 24 hours you belong to a group of people who get to be at the front of the queue. You get to be reminded of the miracle of life and experiences and all those messy things get tucked away because for that short amount of time you don’t have to go searching for happiness it RSVPs and joins the party. I think I smiled so much during my birthday celebrations that it still hurts today. As you might have noticed I am a bit of a control freak and with all the plans we made I was just trying to make sure that everybody was having a good time but my sister (my permanent voice of reason) would tell me “Be present Yimika, this is all for you”. I realised in those moments when I actually paused and looked around how beautiful my family was. I got to see my brothers face whilst he was dancing, I got to see my friend Leo in her true form of creativity, I got to see my sister laugh so hard that her eyes disappeared. I got to see how a mutual love for a jacket could unite Aziza and Feyikemi. I got to witness my blended family and I got to see how God had orchestrated this dream all to show me he had been listening to my prayers since I was 10.
I realised how highly favoured I was. I had just turned 21 but I can honestly say I know who I am. I am content with being an individual stumbling through life trying to find her footing and I believe that there is peace in that space. Knowing yourself is not saying you have everything figured out its being ok admitting that you don’t and that the victory is in the trying.
To celebrate I decided to make something different, this time a coconut and carrot cake. Don’t worry I haven’t vowed to join the fit lifestyle just yet but to me nothing is fresher than coconut, it celebrates the impending summer and shows what 21 represents, a start into proper adulthood. The carrot is a root vegetable and to me represents my being rooted in the truth of my faith and the person I am.SO this is it friends, come as you are and be whoever it is that makes YOU happy. I think society nowadays makes happiness conditional on what you have and who is there to share it with you but sometimes you honestly have to selfishly hold on to your happiness that way, it is not dependent on anybody else but you. Jack Gilbert in one of my favourite poems, A brief for the defence said “We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world“. Honestly times today are really hard but if we cling on to what is good in our life, this is what makes it worthwhile and if that doesn’t help, use your experiences to learn and ultimately you will find that you are falling forward.
Here are a few pictures of my birthday weekend and the cake:
My full crew
Headed to my fave restaurant Le Georges
Picnic at Le Tour Effile!
When Family and Friends Collide
Absolutely stunning birthday Dinner
My amazing family
Ready for the oven
Glorious colour and coconutty goodness
Coconut cream Frosting was just devine
It sat on the counter for all of 5 minutes before we dug in
Literally 5 minutes
To the next 21.
Lots of love,