Twenty Four

Dear Chebet,

I can’t believe that there was a time and a universe in which I knew you by a different name. At the end of this year, I will have known you for ten years and a time like this next year, you will have lived for a quarter of a century. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves now, shall we?

Happy birthday my love. You are 24 and it feels like yesterday when you were 14 talking of dreams of being the President of East Africa, having numerous babies and owning a chocolate factory. Along the way, your dreams have expanded to accommodate both the pain and beauty that comes with living. They have met with disappointments, detours, a sense of familial responsibility, heartbreaks, new found friendships and more but through it all you have remained the woman I fell for seated on the grass in that November optimism of the start of school holidays.

There is not much I can say now that I haven’t yet said. There is no way for me to love you more, to love you better or to show you how proud I am of the woman you have become. I think as we grow together we are becoming what we need for each other in these moments. I hope I continue to be a safe place for you as you have been for me. I hope that with me you find a place to commune and to rest your head away from all the noise that comes from adulting. If there is one relationship I got right, it was you. I’ll be sure to take that to my grave so thank you.

You my friend, are a force. A force that much of this world is not ready for. If there is something I ask of you in this coming year is that you take the time to invest in yourself. To figure out who you are and what matters for you. I hope that you take the time to heal for the traumas of your past and to reconcile with that which you cannot fix. I hope you get to find your purpose and know the path you might take to get there. I hope you shall think of the legacy you have started to leave in this world and how perhaps you might continue to add to it.

At this point, I think you get my point so let’s not spend too much of this day in heartfelt notes. Birthdays are meant to be celebrated, not theorized. But my prayer not just for today, is that each day of your life is a celebration.

Love you!

Lovingly,

Your Person.

Published by

Atieno Otieno

An intersectional learner, unapologetic feminist, radical afro-centrist and holistic wellness enthusiast passionate about decentralizing knowledge and leaving an impactful footprint in this digital world.

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