I have this weird thing I do where I look too far ahead. It’s a quality I’ve always been proud of – my not-so-inner overplanner – but now I realise I miss out on a lot. I’m so busy looking forward that I don’t get to enjoy where I am. I only ever have fun in retrospect.

Case in point. A few weeks ago, I turned 37. #4to40 was an amazing hashtag … that I should have used all year … if I hadn’t been so focused on the future. And now that I think of it, I do the same thing every year. I spend 11 months focusing on my next birthday instead of my current one. Then one month regretting the wasted year. And that’s a lot of roses I don’t get to smell.

I’m scared of turning 40, because there’s a shit-ton I thought I’d have done by then, and I’m not even close. But also because my little girl is no longer little. She’s living her own life, and I need to start living mine. But I’ve revolved around her so long I’m not sure what I look like outside her.

Late in 2017, I met my truest friend. It’s been a hell of a year with him, in every way. Emotionally. Financially. Psychologically. He’s taught me to see myself in a new way. To let go of parts of me that weren’t serving me. Parts I thought were permanent, until I shed them. I’m a better me because of him.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy. Best-friend-ship – at least the way I live it – is as intense as a marriage. And we all know how I feel about marriage. Right now, I feel that way about relationships too. I think they’re nice for other people, just not for me, and I’m fine with that. Sometimes, the feeling changes

But right now, I’m happier on my own, despite the baby-daddy’s drunken rants demanding otherwise. And no, the baby-daddy and the hangover guy are not the same person. Yes, I still think he – hangover guy – is a good man. It’s just that he wants kids, I don’t, and he wants kids more than he wants me. I’m over him, I wish him the best, and I don’t do friendship with former lovers (or almost lovers). It just doesn’t work for me. I’m not that grown up.

But in this year with my best friend, I’ve realised I’m doing all the things married people do (including NO SEX hehehe). And I’m realising this is all the permanence I need. Because I’m giving him all the things I’m unwilling to give a spouse. And our relationship is just as much work – and just as much reward – as an actual marriage. Yes, that includes the drama.

In 2018, he taught me new things about myself, and helped me shed some old ones. I have more lessons to learn. To judge less, especially myself. To let go of my need to be right. To truly love myself. And be kinder to myself. Much kinder. To not take criticism personally. To enjoy the moment.

So this coming year, in 2019, I’m not going to be ‘almost 38’. I’m going to be 37. I’m going to live it. I’m going to enjoy it. And I’m going to give more – way more – to me. I hope everyone does the same. (I’ll take Mpesa. Till numbers available on request.) #PleaseAndThank you. #NaUsitumeYaKutoa.

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Stay Zedd

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