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When I Turned 27, Everything Changed

Inspiration

I love birthdays.

I spend time coming up with fun and interesting ideas each year because I believe that birthdays should be memorable for both you and the people you choose to celebrate with. But this past birthday was different.


I still did something out of the box (I hosted a clothing swap party themed birthday), but I felt different. For the first time in my adulthood, I actually began to feel like an adult. *Cues Beyonce "Grown Woman'*

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This year I turned 27 and it was as if all of my hopes and dreams were staring me right in the face. But rather stalling or running in the opposite direction, I felt something forcefully pulling me towards them. I was compelled and I didn't feel there was anything in the way of me achieving said dreams. I've always had aspirations, and I'll admit I've been procrastinating; but when I turned 27, it was do or die. Not in a desperate way, but more of a seizing the moment kinda way.

I felt my purpose more than ever.

Prior to my 27th birthday, I decided to take the time to focus on myself and really grasp who I was and the person I wanted to be. To achieve this, I began practicing meditation, reading inspirational books, and writing down goals and mantras. And when I actually turned 27, it's as if all the stars aligned and I began living my best life. I was, for the most part, always in a good mood, I felt empowered, gained more confidence, and I was being more disciplined in my goals. Overall, paraphrasing what Drake said, I liked who I was becoming.

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I was ecstatic to share my newfound perspective and experiences after my 27th birthday with a friend and she eagerly informed me that she, too, felt a sense of self when she turned 27. I soon found out that the rest of my friend circle experienced similar feelings. And then I shared the exciting news with my dad and asked him if he had any similar experiences at 27, and that's when I learned that he and my mom actually met at that age and within months of knowing each other, they moved across the country to start their new lives together.

Hearing these stories, I knew that the number 27 had to have a special meaning. If you look into numerology, the number 27 is reduced to the number 9 (2+7=9) and the number 9 represents the end of a cycle. My life path is 1, which means new beginnings and 1 and 9 are the only two numbers that involves a transition between period cycles, especially at age 27.

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Transition means change and a lot of times, we grow through changes and become more self-aware. I can honestly say that I am on a path to self-identity and I am enjoying every minute of it. While we don't typically look at 27th birthdays as a milestone birthday, it can still signify a momentous period in your life where everything can start to take shape in your life, like it did for me. You may also begin receiving clarity on relationships that were once hard to maintain or you might decide that it's time to embark on a new career path.

Although turning 27 has been a blissful, life-changing event for me, anyone can view their birthday as a way to form new beginnings.

Have you ever experienced a birthday that changed your life for the better? Let us know in the comments below!

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Today is Malcolm X’s birthday. As an icon of Black liberation movements, his words are often rallying cries and guideposts in struggle. In 2020, after the officers who executed Breonna Taylor were not charged with her murder, my timeline was flooded with people reposting Malcolm’s famous quote: “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.”

It was certainly an apt quote to use for the tragic situation surrounding the life and death of Taylor. Quickly, however, a cynicism began to take hold of me as I saw people with questionable politics around Black women repost Malcolm’s words.

Malcolm delivered those words to a congregation of Black people in Los Angeles, California just days after his birthday on May 22, 1965. Using his signature authoritative oratorical skills, he declared the harm that this world has caused Black women. In this same speech, he would go on to say: “Who taught you to hate the color of your skin? Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? Who taught you to hate the shape of your nose and the shape of your lips? Who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the soles of your feet?" Hating and harming Black women is akin to hating and harming yourself.

For Malcolm, to protect Black women, to respect and love Black women was not a hypothetical position to take. Just a few years prior to giving that speech, Malcolm severed ties with his mentor Elijah Muhammad after allegations against the Nation of Islam leader of having affairs with underaged girls were revealed, an allegation that Malcolm didn’t initially want to believe until speaking directly with one of the accusers himself.

He showed us that to show up for Black women means holding the abusers within your community accountable — even the ones you admire. It means listening to Black women but also taking principled action in response to what you’ve heard–even at the risk of your relationships and even your life.

The name and legacy of Malcolm X conjure strong feelings in many people. To some people, Malcolm was a militant hellbent on stirring racial unrest. To others, he was a messianic figure, who sacrificed himself for the good of the people. But this is how I choose to remember him: as someone whose love for Black women anchored his life. To honor Malcolm means to honor Black women, today, tomorrow, and always.

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