Monday, September 04, 2006

Happy Birthday... to me.

Today is my birthday and I am 27 years old. Am I now at the age that I should be keeping my age a secret? I still feel 22. I know some people say they look forward to each year with joy and cherish each stage of their life. I still remember being 9 years old (left) and standing by my window looking outside and thinking of the elderly couple I had seen earlier that day at the library. The woman holding on to her husband as she walked towards the check out counter... each step she took was painful and pronounced. Her husband, feeble himself, did his best to help her maintain her balance as he propped himself on his crane. I realized that day, that growing up meant going there and that day on the eve of my tenth birthday, I no longer looked quite so forward to being one year older. A birthday marks the march of time as it drums on caring not whether or not you are willing to go, it swoops you up in its clutches and takes you with. Time makes you grow up, time makes little brothers you climbed trees with and rode bikes with into people you see a few times a year. Today as I talked to my family on speaker phone hours away from me I missed them with an ache in my heart that I feared if I examined too closely, would open into a crater and swallow me whole. But today I learned a childhood friends father who was my Sunday School teacher died of cancer. And then it hit me. Seventeen years later. Time will come either way but the fact that she comes for me at all is a gift I am lucky to have. Instead of looking to the past at the time gone, and things not accomplished, I can look at it time spent with loved ones and loving. Instead of looking furitively and with sadness to the past, I should focus on the now for the now is the only thing that is real.

44 comments:

Mia said...

Happy Birthday! Remember eventhough time is ticking away birthdays and life are a gift. Enjoy both to their fullest. I hope your day is filled with kisses, cake and birthday wishes. I hope your life is filled with love, laughter and the clarity of mine to enjoy and remember it all.

Ek Umeed said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ek Umeed said...

Dear Aisha aapi:

Sometime ago, I found you through Mezba's blog but kept coming back on my own. Perhaps because I am always floored by your unique insights. Perhaps because the questions you ask make me think and think hard. Anyway, I wish you a really happy birthday.

When you spoke of growing up in your post, I realized that my birthday is coming up in three month's time also. And I no longer look forward to it. I had once asked a cousin, "Why do you not celebrate your birthdays?" He replied, "Why would I want to celebrate getting a year older?" At the time, I had been surprised by his cynical outlook. I had been quick to dismiss his words as hastily-spoken and careless. He is missing the bigger picture, I had silently thought to myself. Then no longer able to contain my thoughts in the confines of my mind, I mumbled to myself, "Why does getting older matter?" But I now realize that it does.

Though I miss the innocent greediness of wanting birthday presents and thereby looking excitedly forward to all my upcoming birthdays, I realize now that birthdays do not hold for me the same meaning or gaiety. Sometimes, I feel like birthdays are simply a way for other people to easily categorize you into certain categories of "infant, child, adolescent, young adult, adult, middle-aged, or old." But I am not ready to be categorized as anything, for I still lack the maturity and experience that I imagine young adults are supposed to have; moreover, in some important ways, I am still a kid at heart. Sometimes, I feel like each year I grow older, I lose a part of my "old" self. I do not mind evolving as a person with greater knowledge and wisdom of the world, but I do mind having the inner core of my being change in some fundamental, yet unquantifiable, indefinable way.

I am glad, however, that you have found a new way of looking at birthdays. I have yet to come to the same conclusion. But hopefully, I will.

And Aisha appi, I was wondering if you actually have MSN Messenger or AIM Messenger. I think that would be an easier avenue for me to communicate with you about my law school ambitions. And if you have the time, go over my blog and read my recent posts on marital unions titled "Marriage: To Do OR Not To Do. That is the question" divided into three different parts. I would absolutely love to have you share your views on the topic, for I think you just might have another thinking point to share or vantage point to look at the matter from. After all, you are married and Masha-Allah happily too.

aragorn said...

happy bday.

Smilez said...

Happy Bday!! May Allah bless you with many more happy and healhty years!! May all of your dreams and wishes comes true! Hope you have a wonderful day!!

Sohnii said...

Aisha!!! happy birthday! :D

sigh im turning 22 in a month and I already feel 27. wanna trade places? :D

I dont really mind growing up that much myself, but I really really miss the relationships I had with people in reference to that time. I miss my school friends being that age, I miss my brother being so young, I miss the outlook of life I had then. Sigh, who said growing up was graceful. Lol Im planning on going kicking nd screaming to all my birthday cakes from now on.

Do you believe in horoscopes? You dont seem at all like any of the virgos I know.

mystic-soul said...

Masha-allah - bohut achha express kiya hai... Happy Birthday !!!

"Waqt" se ziyada meherbaan cheez koi nahi aur "waqt" se ziyada be-reham cheez koi nahi.

Recently, I saw movie "click" and it really portrays the whole concept.

(My 27th Birthday was my first birthday away from Pakistan - and I woke up with a surprise. My host's kids had decorated the wall, brought cake and celebrated my first birthday away from home... I still count them as my first family..(thanks for reminding good memories)

Aisha said...

Mia, that is one of the sweetest birthday wishes ever. Thank you :)

Ek Umeed, thank you for your kind words. They made my day :). I think you hit the nail on the head though when you said that its how we're categorized by age that depresses me. Everything is "how old are you" or news stories "The cop, age 26" etc. Its just everywhere and you wonder, how am I suposed to act now that I'm this age? or what not. Its stressful. As far as contacting me, my msn is on my profile but I dont use it much these days.. though sometimes on Mondays/Fridays on my day off from school you might catch me there. Add me and then if we run in to each other we can talk. But email is the best way I think to ensure a conversation :) Btw- I noticed you called me appi, lol. No one but my brothers really calls me that.... do I know you?

Aragorn, SmileZ: Thank you! :)

Sohnii, thanks dear, long time no see! Why don't I seem like a virgo to you? I find it very interesting you said that because I Dont think I act like one either. But how could you tell over a screen?

Mystic, :) I'll have to check click out. That must have been nice of your host family to do that for you!

Ek Umeed said...

(Laughs). No, the only reason I called you "appi" is because it is a sign of respect. In fact, I remember once when I had been talking about a cousin and had not mentioned the word "appi" after her name, my mom had been really, really irked. She had scolded me, "Where are your manners and sense of propriety? Is this how you address people?" Ever since then, I have tried to be careful, lest I be mistaken for a rude and socially inept person.

Abdusalaam said...

Happy Birth day.

mystic-soul said...

I forgot to give you dua

"khush raho, abad raho aur hamesha yunhi muskurati raho"

Jane said...

Happy Birthday! What an adorable child you were! I hope this year brings you many blessings. Remember, with age comes wisdom, at least for most people.

koonj said...

Salgirah mubarak Aisha!

Christina said...

Happy Birthday Day, Aisha!

I know exactly how you feel when you said that you still feel 22...time can go by so fast.

Enjoy your birthday and many more!

Samiha Esha said...

Hello Aisha Apu,

First of all Happy Birthday To You... I think...In USA its still 4th september right...:) So Once more Happy Birthday....:)

I just found your blog yesterday andits quite interesting that today's your birthday....:)

You are really fantastic writer and I just fall in love with ur writing....:) Wanna know more about you...can u email me about urself please :)

Anyways Take care......Hav Fantastic Birthday....27 is my very favorite number...:) So Again wishes for your special birth year...:)

Okay Theeeeeen Birthday Girl BYe BYe :)

wishes,

Samiha Esha :)

www.usamihaesha.vze.com
http://amazon707.spaces.live.com

Baji said...

So, so true! Celebrate the day and best wishes to you!

Baraka said...

Saal gira mubarik jaan! :)

Suleman said...

many happy returns of the day. great to know that u're a virgo aswell. :D

mezba said...

Happy Birthday. I can relate to your post. I still feel like I just graduated from university, even though it has been sometime now. If only one could remain this age forever!

mezba said...

BTW, seeing some earlier photos of you on your blog, I can totally recognize you from this picture u gave, your face hasn't changed.. is that good? Does that means when you are older you will still retain an younger look? ;-)

When I was a kid we used to have these older guys we used to call bhaias and try to copy them them when they went playing football or doing chores with the uncles. Now *gasp* I realize I am that bhaia.

Aisha said...

Ek Umeed, no big deal, lol. I'm called Baji often, but appi is something I dont hear everyday:)You can call me Aisha though, its okay :)

Abdusalaam, Koonj, Baraka, Baji, Suleman, thanks! :)

Mystic, aww, thank you :) Insh'allah

Samiha, welcome and thank you for your kind words :) Feel free to email me anytime I will try to respond soon :)

Jane thank you!! :)I hope with age comes wisdom. I still feel like a kid. (sigh)

Mezba interesting you should say that b/c earlier today at a friends house they saw the pic and said the same thing.Do you reall think I loko the same? I feel like I look so different. I dont knwo if thats good or not. But I do know when I was young aunties always commented on the fact that though I was a child my face seemed older. So I dont know how to take that. i'm thrown off that people think I look the same sincel ike I said I look totally diff. in my own head :)

Maleeha said...

happy bday babe!

abulhasnaat said...

happy b'day...
i really thought u were 22...
:|

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday!

You don't know me but I read your blog all the time. Each time you seem more and more intelligent. You do a very good job of putting things in perspective :)

Anyway enjoy your day!

-Komal (from Toronto :) )

tahin said...

Happy B'day Aisha:)
(Let's talk about gifts now:P)

Tee said...

Aisha, happy birthday. This day is special because it is the anniversary of when you came into the world and made it a better place. Even though we didn't "meet" in the conventional sense, I feel blessed to "know" you. I hope that you do something fun with Kashif and your friends. I'm sorry your family can't be there. Special days make missing family members so much more obvious. {HUG}

Your thoughts are well-written. I turned 27 in March and I was feeling exactly the same.

Lovely photo :)

Aisha said...

Maleeha thanks :)

Tahin... gifts. hmmm where do I begin, *pulls out list* hmm... Your duaas, that sounds good! lol ;0)

AH: Nope 27 indeedie. :(

Komal, that is sooo kind! :) And thanks for commenting, its great to know whose out there reading! :)

Tee, I feel the same about you. I have familia in MD I'm sure one day our paths will cross :0) Just got a feeling. Thanks :)

roora said...

happy birthday aisha, may your comming days be as good as now or even better inshaaAllah.

Hasan the Not-So-Great said...

yppah yadhtrib!

that's happy birthday backwards

Aisha said...

Roora, jazakkallah sis :)

Hasan, lol. Hmm you had me confused... note to self. Finish reading whole comment before letting self get confused. Thanks :)

mAn[S]o0r said...

Happy *belated* birthday aisha jee :)

many happy returns!

n dont look so forlornly to the years ahead.. they wil come when they come.. make the best for the time u have now

Shabina said...

happy belated, beta :)

i should have remembered that you're a sept baby like me, since we're bizarros and all. hehe

wayfarer said...

Happy Birthday!!!

wayfarer said...

BTW...it's so cute that you have the exact same smile you did in that picture. It's a very happy smile mash'Allah.

Aisha said...

Mansoor, thanks, true true :)

Shabs, When is your birthday???

Wayfarer, thanks! Do I really have the same smile. How funny! lol :)

rehtwo said...

Happy (belated) birthday!

momyblogR said...

I'm so sorry to be late wishes my wishes...we were away for the Labor Day weekend, camping.

Happy Birthday my friend!! What a beautiful picture and post. Yes, we are ALL very blessed for having the gift of time.

:)

Aisha said...

Thanks :)

Sohnii said...

Hmm... most of the virgos i know (no offence meant to anyone) are more in-your-face types with a basic agenda of their own. You seem way more grounded and down-to-earth then them. But then again, I dont really believe in horoscopes too much.

Karim said...

....I missed them with an ache in my heart that I feared if I examined too closely, would open into a crater and swallow me whole....

WOW !!! You have definitely got creative perspectives....

Aisha said...

Sohnii, really? I dont know... I heard virgoes are very serious and prim and proper. I'm not at all. I mean i some ways, but I mean not like thats the first thing that comes to mind for me, It hink? but yeah horoscopes are baloney to me :)

Karim. Thanks :)

Chic Mommy said...

I feel younger than I am too. I think that's supposed to be a good thing.

Living Away said...

Aisha, happy birthday!!!

i do hope that you can get your dream job and it turns out as a dream birthday gift to you!
congratulations!!

pixie said...

Happy Birthday!!!!

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