Today I turn 30. Here’s what I wish for my birthday this year, but nonetheless for the upcoming years. Feel free to take upon yourself any of these wishes, send them over to people in your life who might need wishful thinking right now, or simply read this list over when tough times come:
1. Equality, because the doctor who helped my mother give birth to me was Syrian and thus knowledge, resourcefulness and excellence should know no borders.
2. Acceptance, because the most important people in my life are extremely different characters (but this hasn’t stopped me from sending equal amounts of love their way).
3. Tolerance, because my 10 years of battling depression and anxiety have been and continue to be one of the most challenging aspects of my life.
4. Freedom, because one of the darkest imprisonments is that of one’s own mind.
5. Kindness, because it stays up to date the universal key to opening all hearts and undressing all layers of fear.
6. Better politicians, because right now the world looks scary (and so does visa application).
7. Confidence, because too often I scraped my head around the idea that I might still not be good enough/acceptable.
8. Money for cultural development, because without us journalists, creators, storytellers, major industries cannot survive (and small ones cannot rise)
9. Help, because too little I knew how to accept it, and too aften I believed I should only offer it
10. A publishing deal for my English poems, because I was not seldom told my writing helped others move forward, make peace with themselves, love, laugh or cry, and my heart belongs to a place that hasn’t made it between book covers yet.
11. Courage, because it’s always been the one force to drive me through my fears, especially in spite of my fears.
12. Leaning to swim, because floating on water undeniably felt like the most soothing, relieving experience for my body.
13. Learning to drive, because in my dreams I still take imaginary highways and in my waking life I still collect songs into playlists filled with wanderlust, joy and liberation, meant for that moment when I’ll be able to fasten my seatbelt in the driver’s seat.
14. Learning to ride a bicycle, because I’ve been looking for balance all these years.
15. Listening to my inner child, because she comes from a place of no right or wrong, black or white, prejudice or resentment, where everything is still pure and
16. More white flags – in relationships, friendships, political agendas and education – because we are now endorsed with countless capacities to spot red flags but too often we forget about reconciliation.
17. Time, because 10 years ago I would’ve never imagined it could run so quickly. I basically feel like I need an extra 20 years until I hit 40 to accomplish everything I’ve planned upon, or to have more fun, or to feel completely prepared to have a baby. Anyone else feels the same way?
18. Good meals, because they do work wonders as stimuli for our energy, concentration and a general good mood, and I’m still learning to accept I can’t think, work or play on an empty stomach.
19. Fun, because if there’s one thing that helped me overcome tough times, it was my sense of humour.
20. Constant education, because it only takes 20 hours to become pretty good at a new skill. That’s 45 minutes a day for a month. Imagine the (really infinite) posibilities!
21. Respect, because we owe it to ourselves first in order to fully offer it to others.
22. Rest and relaxation, because it takes self respect to respond to stress with a good diet, a good attitude, and a good night sleep.
23. The power to forgive, because there is only too much guilt ingrained in our systems, in society and oftentimes, unwillingly, in our upbringing.
24. Long, contemplative walks in nature, because as to quote my dear friend and mentor, there’s nothing as magical in life as talking to a leaf.
25. Affordable airlines, because as my eyes have to travel, my spirit needs to explore and unravel.
26. Compassion, because nothing reads „I’m here with you” more genuinely than a look, or a gesture – be it from a stranger or a close person to you – that dissolves all pain and sweeps away the storms from all the corners of your soul.
27. A long life filled with countless adventures that can boost my creative juices, because as to quote Francoise Sagan, „I will be a bad writer if I don’t live, and I will have a bad life if I don’t write”.
28. Health, so I can enjoy the latter.
29. Friendship, because I want to believe that our lives are more connected than our Facebook profiles, and today, as I prepare to embrace all my dearly beloved into a new decade, I wish for everyone reading this story to turn to someone they love and cherish each other’s blessing.
30. Owning and channeling my superpowers. We all have them, regardless what life or other people may have led us to believe. My superpower today was to sit down with my racing heart, listen to the song that soothes me and pen down this story for you to read. What’s your superpower?