It’s my birthday today. I’m a whole 40 years old. I see it as a start of a new chapter in my life, and the closing of a very eventful decade… my 30s. When I turned 30, I was really happy to close the chapter of my 20s, as it was incredibly unpleasant and something I just could not wait to be done with (NB. It did have a lot of great things in it as well). And although I was excited to begin this new chapter, never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how much I would achieve (and in some instances, endure) or the decisions I would make. I’ve chosen just 10 of those that stand out:
performing Hajj (with my sister and Dad)
doing multiple marathons and Two Oceans ultra-marathons
learning to swim in my mid-thirties in order to do a triathlon
finishing an IronMan 70.3 and a FULL IronMan, and being the 1st in the country to do so as a hijabi
spending a stint in Silicon Valley with TechWomen, visiting the biggest tech giants on Earth
quitting my solid job after 10 years at a major company, without a plan of what to do next
being unemployed for a year (due to previous bullet point)
reinventing my career and carving a niche in a new industry
running world-class community projects teaching well over 10,000 kids to code
traveling to 15 countries
In addition, there are the constant battles that need to be fought as a woman trying to make it in a society built for men, and the obstacles to overcome by choosing to blaze trails where there aren’t any, to forge paths where there are none but there should be. Those obstacles and battles often come from corners where they are least expected.
The past decade has been one of building, shifting, transforming. I’ve had metamorphic experiences that have altered the course of my life, my career, my physical abilities, my outlook on life, and my beliefs about what’s possible. If there was a theme song for my life up to now it would be this one…
Yeah I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me. So we will continue to fight for those who cannot, to give them the opportunities that even we did not have, and to work to bridging the divide in this beautiful country that is bursting with opportunity, and to build a better world for all.
The start of my 40s is already alive with possibility, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.