The month of May officially ended last week, it also means that my birthday celebrations have also officially ended.
I turned the amazing age of 25, and to have that much life sitting under my belt, is somewhat hefty! I have to admit though, I don’t remember the last time I was so excited about a birthday like this one, I had no particular reason to be so excited but I was and I’m still excited at the fact that I am 25!
Looking back on it, everything I had planned, to celebrate my birthday, actually happened! Proverbs 16 verse 3: “Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.” I can only be grateful to God for allowing me the chance to celebrate my birthday and to do so in New York. Considering that so many of my close relatives and friends share the same birthday month with me, made it that much more exciting by the time my birthday came around.
Every week in May I had something planned; at the start of the month I went to Brooklyn Museum, exploring the work of artist/activist Ai Weiwei. After wandering around the museum and taking in everything it had to offer (everything that was free of course), my friends and I had the opportunity to get our creative juices flowing in regards to the exhibition dedicated to Ai’s work. It was a nice time, that God used beautifully, to allow me know my friends that much more and to thoroughly enjoy ourselves in the simple things.
The month continued, as months do – work was exciting, being given the chance to attend a few work events and maintain responsibility for “App user experience” – you’ll be glad to know that it wasn’t as nerve-wracking as I had assumed. In the midst of my 5am-wake-up-calls-for-three-days-straight because of my work event, I somehow found time to attend the first day of the African Film Festival, New York, with the award winning, Nigerian film “Confusion Na Wa” opening the festival. My friend and I found the film hilarious, whispering “YE!” often! We were able to sit through the Q&A session with the Director/Writer Kenneth Gyang, Producer/Writer Tom Rowlands-Rees and the film’s lead, Nigerian Actor, O.C. Ukeje.
Apparently, May was my month of celebrity sightings! I saw the one and only Diddy! Yes, I was one of the many people whom Diddy called “Unicorns” during his speech at Howard University.
I had gone to Washington for a much needed break, to watch and celebrate my friend, @IWearAgbadas‘ graduation. I just loved how “American” the whole day was! Highlight for me, was knowing how appreciative she was to have me that weekend. Knowing you’re welcomed in any place, makes the memory much more pleasurable.
More work related stuff, a grasp for my Managerial Accounting & Finance class, and more birthdays came before mine. I celebrated a friend’s 21st birthday in Washington Heights (were I find myself often being), not before being beaten by the rain, and discovering that dancing in “these” heels wasn’t gonna happen (unless of course some #AfroBeats was being played lol). Being that I intended to faaji (enjoy life) that evening, a friend kindly accommodated me and fed me freshly baked bread with blackberry jam.
In Layide fashion, I had already taken days off from work, and as days got closer to my birthday, I treated myself and got pampered! As Missy Elliot once instructed “If you ah fly gyal, get your nails done, get ah pedicure, get your hurr did…” ~ Missy I listened!
Like I said earlier, May happened to be my month of celebrity sightings! After watching the awesome Broadway Musical “After Midnight” starring Fantasia and Dulé Hill on the eve of my birthday, myself and my friend managed to get a picture with both of them after the show. Everyone who starred in the musical was PHENOMENAL! One lady even sang with her lips hardly moving and she didn’t actually sing a word (it was just “oos” and “ahhs”).
We thought we were done! Nope we weren’t! Across the street, we found ourselves locked in under an umbrella of umbrellas, chit-chatting with southern Coast Guard officers, (I couldn’t understand a word though) while waiting for Uncle Denzel Washington! Yes, Uncle! First Sean Patrick Thomas came out waved, posed and showed us his “this-is-how-I-saved-Sara’s-last-dance-smile”…then Uncle D. came out, and we managed to get video clips, not before a 6ft GIANT used his whole circumference to push me, having me nearly touching the ground. This “man” could see Uncle D. clearly from where he originally stood….but NO, my 5ft something self was blocking his view *KMT* he didn’t rate my actual existence …I was really Neo for a moment!
Yes that’s how I was with my phone in one hand, with my friend trying to hold me up! Click the picture to get the full effect of my situation (minus the bullets).
After steadying myself, we were about heading back, when I remembered that Anika Noni Rose was in the same play with Denzel, we made an Usher “U-turn” and caught her just in time to get a picture and a video clip. She was so sweet and pleasant.
And then it was my birthday! It consisted of FaceTime, cards, calls, prayers, more FaceTime, [future] spouse talk that turned into spouse [now] prayers, text messages, Facebook posts and voicemails before I knew it, it was time for dinner! Myself and a few friends headed out to Pera Mediterranean Brasserie on Madison Ave. It was nice and intimate (just how I wanted it to be). We ate, shared dishes and spent money we really didn’t have (lol student life – the food was good, but for the amount we spent our portions should have been much more); I almost caught my card on fire, I was too close to my birthday candles (lol). I blew my candles out then opened my cards, shed a few tears (a lot of attention/creativity was put into the cards and it made me emotional – I never get that emotional over cards). We paid, we tipped badly (lol student life) and made our way back home. A night, just the way I wanted it, but the way God planned it.
The following day I realised that Brooklyn is actually a really nice place to be, the vibe is so…. “London”. I spent the day in Brooklyn, first at BAM watching DanceAfrica 2014. The energy was great, even though some dances were boring and some performances were questionable. Exiting the theatre, we were met with more live music, it was one big street party!
After a short while, I made my way to the DreamJunkies‘ first ever NY show and I was thoroughly impressed. I’ve been following their music for sometime – before DreamJunkies was formed, when Ruslan and Beleaf were theBREAX and when John Givez was John Givez. Apart from rocking the crowd amazingly well, all three of them were the nicest and most inviting CHH artists I’ve met so far (others have been equally as nice – but these guys we’re genuinely excited and interested in speaking to everyone who came to support their show – super nice guys). Shout out to Beleaf who clearly has some Nigerian friends, from my name alone he knew I was Nigerian and my tribe, I was impressed.
I loved the love being shown during my birthday week/weekend, another friend of mine, from church, treated me to an amazing brunch and served as my Spanish translator, when we purchased some “shaved-ice-juice-drink-thing” and I was being asked to taste my drink it if it was to my liking; it went down well. After church, I made my way to Village Underground for their open mic night with another of my friends. It was a nice chilled night and after hearing all types of vocal ranges (a lack thereof), by 2am my face hurt! LOL!
Memorial day, I spent with my aunt and my little Americans. The best way to recover from such a busy week!
And there you have it… How I became 25.
Fast-forward a few days later, I found myself at Six Flags theme park with some of the coolest people I know. What a memorable day! My arms never looked so trimmed, due to holding on to the bars so tight and my abs looked chiseled, due to an excessive amount of laughter. #DarisGodOhh! #ThereIsGodOhh!