Eighteen years on earth and I still don’t know the best way to celebrate my own birthday. I’ve only ever had two memorable birthday celebrations. The first one was when I became ten years old. My mum got me a very big cake and a couple of my friends came over. I don’t really remember much about that day, I’m not even sure I have pictures to commemorate the memory. One thing I do remember about my tenth birthday is that when it was time to take pictures, I was unable to open my eyes properly. They were really itchy for some reason and all I heard was ‘Just manage and let us take these pictures’ and of course, they was taken nonetheless.
The second one was my sixteenth birthday. Yeah, my sweet sixteen. It was sweet but not as sweet as the ones I saw on TV because nobody got me a car. I was in boarding school, my final year as a secondary school student. My father called earlier that week and asked what I wanted, I just asked for ice cream (nothing fancy). Now that I think about it, maybe I would have gotten a car, all I had to do was ask. The day came and he was in my hostel with enough food (jollof rice, fried rice and chicken) to feed everyone and a really big bowl of ice cream (I think the largest size available). Not to brag, but I think each person’s portion was more than the regular portion of food we were served in the hostel. Thinking of it, my tenth and sixteenth birthday were probably so nice because they happened during the weekend.
Fast forward to my 18th birthday: This was the birthday I was really looking forward to. I was going to be a man according to the laws of the land and I would be in school and in charge of my own finances. I knew I wanted a proper birthday celebration but I just couldn’t bring myself to plan anything. I didn’t know the first thing about planning a birthday (I still don’t). I got advice from a couple of my friends but never really put it to good use. My birthday came and it was just another regular day because I had nothing planned. Eventually, I was pressured by my friends to get something to celebrate my birthday. I mean, their guy can’t be celebrating his birthday and they wouldn’t have anything to eat. I got drinks and snacks, still no cake, but at least everyone had something to eat and drink. This year, it will be exactly nine years since I had a birthday cake for myself but trust me, I eat a lot of other people’s birthday cakes, with immense pleasure.
In all my years on earth I haven’t really gotten a lot of birthday gifts and if you were to ask me what I want, I sadly wouldn’t be able to give you a clear answer. This isn’t because I have all I want because obviously, nobody does, but the things I want are more than just clothes and shoes. Plus, I find it really hard to make such demands. Maybe I’m just making a big deal out of a mere birthday gift or maybe I’ve come to perfectly realize we only live once and what is a man without legit enjoyment? So, henceforth, if someone asks me what I’d like, I will mention as many things as possible. I can’t continue doing birthdays without receiving gifts even though, I honestly already have the best gifts a man could ever ask for: I’m alive and well, I have an amazing family, wonderful friends and I know I am full of potential. I think the only problem is that I’m a Nigerian and I live in Nigeria. I wouldn’t mind living my life outside this country. What’s patriotism without a Canadian flag beside the green, white and green in my Twitter bio?
This year, with my 19th birthday just around the corner, I think I finally have a clear picture of what I want my birthday celebration to look like. I want a proper dinner/night-out with my boys and ladies. Nothing fancy, just a day with the people in my inner circle. But I wouldn’t be getting that this year. Asides the fact that my purse can’t afford such expenses, my exams are around the corner (exactly 12 days after my birthday) and I also didn’t accomplish all my goals for the past year, an offence punishable by ‘not having a proper birthday celebration’. I’m sure my friends won’t be expecting anything from me because they know we’d already be in exam mode. Besides, they are all too serious to be coming for one yeye birthday so close to exams. However, this year I will fast on my birthday. I can’t remember the last time I did so. There was a time I made a pact with myself to fast during the lunar calendar equivalent of my birthday but trust a human to be human. Where there’s no way, there’s scam. However, I will fast this year and if I remember on my birthday according to the lunar calendar, I will fast too by the grace of God. What’s better than one birthday? Allow your high pitched Jay Z voice finish the line.
To end, be sure to wish me a happy birthday and best of luck in my forthcoming exams. Nineteen years is such an odd number to celebrate. I have a feeling next year is going to be that year, you know, that year that changes all other years. We’ll see.
Post by Guest writer for L.A.G.U
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