Turning 39

In February 2015, I turned 39. It was a birthday filled with mixed feelings: feelings of thankfulness and feelings of sadness. Thankfulness for being me – for trying to understand and loving myself; gentle sadness because it took me 39 years to start learning and appreciating myself, life, and love.

In my silent moments on that day, I asked myself how I allowed myself to be in my 30s before I understood the meaning of living. Why did I waste so many years struggling when life could have been as simple as I made it to be? But then, on second thought, I say to myself, I am glad it took that long, for the learning was worth it.

I know why I am here. I am glad that I found out the simple things that make life great – the simple, beautiful logic behind life before my 40th birthday – which, to me, is to love and to be grateful for this amazing experience we call life. This thought makes me happy, for I realize that my life is just beginning and my learning is just opening up to more and more. I am like a vacuum getting filled up with knowledge every second.

Now I understand the concept of being quiet, of being alone and knowing me. The concept of loving and giving without expecting anything, the meaning of selflessness. I think I know a bit on all this, and my heart is open to learning more and more each day as the sun comes up.

At different points during my 30s, I learned so many vital lessons, some through very painful experiences and some while just being me. The ‘aha’ moments come. Life, I have realized, is the way you make it. It is all disco with bright lights if you want it, and it is also sad and difficult, swallowing you in misery if you let it. Taking things and accepting them as the come and living fully has brightened up very dark moments for me. It has not been easy, but then again, nothing ever was or is easy. It all depends on how you look at it.

But who am I? At 39 years old, I am still exploring, still learning, and still taken aback by the beauty called life. Now I can laugh over things, smile, and define what I want in a charming way. I get angry, jealous, pained, and more, but I remember to breathe and I remind myself that it is just life. I can have tantrums or just be grateful, accept, and learn more and grow more – and just live in the moment. I have learned that tantrums don’t get you anywhere.

Simple pleasures, quiet moments, and gentle kisses and hugs from my adorable boys spark my day. I realize that living life fully at all moments and appreciating everything that comes my way brings much more happiness. I realize love is not something I wish for; it is something I am, something I do, something I give away and vibrate in. It is me. I am love in its purest form.

I understand that everyone around me is “me” in a different form, and humans are a race of one. We are all one, with the same air to breathe and one earth to house us all, but diverse in our own little ways.

I understanding the beauty in God and know that my oneness with God, in a unique and gratifying way, has made me strong and free. To me, the appreciation that life is all about learning, and acceptance of our diversity as humans has made me see the beauty in everyone and in everything that I do. I am still learning all these things in my 30s.

Sometimes, in awe of life, I ask myself, Did I learn too slowly? Did I miss so many learning opportunities and special moments because I was blind for so long? Did things that would have made me different pass me by?

It has dawned on me that, from my birth to me being 39 years old has been a learning experience. Things that have passed me by, things I did not realize until now, and those moments that I assumed were lost, were all part of my learning. This is the time that I have chosen to open up to who I am and to see the world in all of its beauty. No time was lost. No moments were lost. Things are the way they are supposed to be, and my alignment is in tune.

So, I am 39 still trying to love life and live life to the fullest. I can, with 2 adorable boys and a great man beside me who are all part of my learning and my gratitude for this life. And most of all, as I grow in understanding of who and what I am, I am beginning to understand my purpose in this beautiful and amazing thing – experience, concept, personal growth – we call life.

Rahinatu Adamu

About the Author | Rahinatu Adamu

Rahina is a dreamer and a lover of life, and she is still trying to find her way in this amazing journey of life. She loves to read and write. She is married and a mum of two adorable boys. She lives in Abuja, Nigeria, and has spent over 13 years of her life working with the most vulnerable in her community.

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13 comments to "Turning 39"

  • Nzinga

    Beautiful amen!

  • khalilah

    I was touched by your story as it reminds me of my own life. Tomorrow I’ll be 39 and I embrace it. I’m still learning everyday

  • Huda

    I am 39 today…and googled what it means to be 39 as a woman. I wish I had the talent to write something so precise, insightful and beautiful! I’m glad God gave someone the opportunity to do so. Thank you for this lovely piece of work that I have discovered on my birthday..feels just like a gift. x

  • Deedee

    Thank you for sharing your story I turn 39 in a couple weeks. I have mixed feelings but most of all its my last of my 30s. Reading your story made me understand and realize that its more to me and I have to uncover it. I thank you again because reading your story give me a peace and blessing that all that I uncover will be greatness. Thank you and God bless. You are an amazing women.

    • Rahina

      Thank you Deedee for your kind words and for reading my story . Blessings and love to you always ❤️

  • Crystal daulton

    I can relate in so many ways thanks for sharing

  • Priscilla

    Good to read and inspire myself… I turn 39 next month and really have lots of thoughts, but I have been inspired by you. Thank you, I must appreciate life and be thankful

  • Sara McCaffrey

    I am three weeks away from turning 39. As for myself, I have for the last few months have seen this coming from the corner of my eye and have been nervously aware of its emerging presence. I have on many accounts this year taken moments to reflect on who I am, who I was , and who I hope to be. I’ve questioned my past,my present and future- but after I read this, I plan to stop
    doing that. I will live In the blessed realm of the NOW. Thank you !

  • Heather Tiger

    Beautiful words! Thank you for sharing them. I turn 39 tomorrow and this resonates so deeply with me, down to the 2 adorable boys and a good man by my side.