Today is April fool and today is also the day I have become 28. Yes, 28 years old and Yes, I am saying it loud and even writing it in a blog for future references. I am saying my age loudly, clearly without being shy about it or hesitant. I am writing this blog because I am proud of who I become and how old I am.
I am 28 (I know by now you are bored from reading 28 many times but I am going to repeat it more) and I am not obsessed with hiding my age like before, not totally but still. I remember once I was standing near my aunt and a lady started chatting with me; I guess looking to see if I could be a prospect pride for her son. She asked me about my age and when I answered 26, my aunt rushed in the conversation saying I am 25 but like to portray myself older. I was taken back and amused but this and many other incidents made me always hesitate and think before saying my age.
I am 28 and according to my society “The train has already left the station” which means I am a old spinster with almost an impossible prospect of marriage. Spinster or Not, I am proud of who I am. I am proud of what I have achieved so far, proud that with age my aspiration and mission in life grow older, larger and louder. Proud that with these years I am gaining experience and knowledge but most importantly understanding of who truly I am.
I am 28 and I learned to love myself, even though I still have a long way to go but nonetheless. I learned to love my body as it grows older, stop obsessing about being skinny, or continuously search for a diet. I learned to enjoy eating delicious food while taking care of my health. I learned that I want to marry and have children, who will definitely drive me crazy; however, I will not marry for the sake of or because the people around me think the time is ticking and I need to do it before it’s too late. I know it is easy to say this while I am in the U.S. and I might read this after a year while in Gaza and laugh about how ridiculous I was but that is how I feel now J
I never thought I will reach 28 years old. I mean come on, like many Palestinians I lived through three wars, two Intifada and a 10 years old siege. I could have died in every and each one of these times. I remember when I was a kid; I used to pray to Allah not to live enough to reach 30. As young as I was, my mind realized how horrible the world we are living in; so I prayed to die earlier because I didn’t want to see people suffering, I didn’t want to live in a world full with human right violation, hunger, poverty, oppression, injustice, racism, and so much hatred.
I am 28 and I no longer want to die before 30 because dying to escape the unjust world will not it make better and because I have so many places to discover and so many dishes to taste. I don’t want to die because I heard Mary Galeti sharing a question someone asked her when she mentioned how blessed she was with having many opportunities. A question that said “To whom are you preparing your shoulders to?” I am 28 and I still haven’t figured out to whom I am preparing my shoulders to but I am starting working on this and I better ensure my shoulders are as solid as an ancient rock.
Finally, this is not April Fool and no I am not drunk or have gone mad. I am 28 and I am proud of whom I am, my body, my craving for food, my confusion about life, my naivety and my courage to actually publish this blog.