She's 23 and stuck in Quarantine! Wow, what a year. If you asked me a year go what I was doing for my birthday, I would have never guessed that I would be staying home. When COVID19 hit Toronto in March, I was pretty devastated to hear that we would be social distancing for the next few months. For those who know me, I make a pretty big deal out of birthdays. It's the one day of the year I get to show out and show up for myself. For the past few years I have always spent my birthday celebrating with my best friends, so I was pretty disappointed that I couldn't leave home this year. To my surprise though, it was one of the best birthdays I ever had and I'm excited to share how I spent it.
Leading up to my birthday, I was a bit overwhelmed. Even though, we're all kinda just chilling at home, I still had other responsibilities like online classes and working from home. I just wasn't as excited to celebrate my birthday this year. However, the week before one of my best friends Blossom was keeping me in good spirits and encouraging me to still dress up and have a party in Quarantine fashion on Zoom, an app where multiple people can video chat each other. So I was like bet, the show must go on and I began telling my friends that Friday night we would be celebrating my birthday virtually. However, two days before my birthday my mom and I had an argument and I was ready to cancel everything. Being stuck at home is definitely making everyone a bit stir crazy and arguments are bound to happen if you're social distancing with a big family like I am. So, one of my neighbours who is also social distancing and lives alone invited me over the night before my birthday to celebrate and breathe a bit easier. When I went over, we did a mini impromptu birthday photoshoot using a gold backdrop, hockey sticks and my iPhone. It was so much fun! As a creative, it's always refreshing to create and collaborate spontaneously. We created a video, took the shots and listened to some Jazz. Then as I finished changing out of my outfit in the bathroom, I walked out to the living room to see a birthday card with my name on it beside a bottle of Rose Moët. Such a sweet gift and birthday note. We spent the rest of the night listening to more music, talking and laughing. Midnight came, and we popped the bottle to celebrate my day. The night was perfect.
In the morning, I woke up to a beautiful breakfast: Almond egg with mash sweet potato and hemp hearts, with a bowl of kiwi on the side. My favourite! I got dressed in one of my favourite black lace outfits, put on some makeup and came home to another surprise. The whole living room was decorated with balloons and birthday signs that my mother and sisters planned. My younger sister then came out with red velvet cheesecake in her hand (another favourite of mine) and everyone began singing happy birthday. I was surrounded by love and wouldn't have changed a thing. My birthday this year was also on Good Friday, so we ate some cake, alongside some fish, bun and cheese and played an Easter Egg hunt with my youngest siblings. Between the food, the TikToks, the sweet messages I received, the rap battle my siblings and I had (maybe we will show the recording one day lol) everything was perfect. Two of my friends Lika & Tobi even had cheesecake delivered to my house. Lol, my friends clearly know me! I'm so lucky to have them. I didn't think the night would get better, but it did.
I started getting ready for my Zoom Party, put on this beautiful leather dress bought me and was amped. I shared the Zoom link to my closest friends and let them know at 8:30 I was ready to go! 8:30 came at first it took awhile for my friends to join the chat, making me feel a bit anxious and send out "where are you" text messages. Shortly after, 7 of my closest friends joined me and we spent five hours on a video call, dancing, laughing, sharing and just having a blast. Shout out to my DJ, Ellen who played all the dancehall tracks and made me get lit in my living room lol. After the dancing, we played a card game that I recently purchased called We Aren't Really Strangers. 10/10, I recommend everyone purchase this game! I did not expect us to play this game for hours, but it was never a dull moment. We all opened up, talking about things we are grateful for, things we are trying to improve and why we think we all met and are so connected. The questions were challenging, insightful but so much fun. Tears were definitely shed, and I felt like I got even closer with each and every one of them. In no particular order, just want to extend a huge thank you to Isaiah, Deja, Minzi, Cinzia, Blossom, Bernice and Ellen for creating these memories with me last night. I know some of my favourite people were missed and couldn't join and that's completely okay. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. I admit, at first I was so fixated on numbers and making sure the whole world joined me online just to celebrate and now I am so full of gratitude that it worked out the way it did because of the level of intimacy we were able to share with just the eight of us. We probably wouldn't have been able to play the game successfully if there were a bunch of people in the chat. We got off video around 2:30 am, and I remember just feeling so loved and at peace with how my birthday went. I think 2019 was the year I definitely tapped into my vulnerability and started unravelling all that I am now, so it was refreshing to celebrate and honour that vulnerability with my friends.
I know I am rambling now, but my 23rd birthday was definitely amazing. I am so blessed that I was able to celebrate with both friends and family. I am so blessed that I don't have to social distance alone. Fights or no fights, I am so grateful for this period we are currently in. I am learning how to pause, slow down and go with the flow. Most importantly, I'm learning how to make the most out of EVERYTHING. Life is a gift, I will never take for granted the meaningful relationships I have created, the opportunities that I have manifested and the love that is constantly gravitating towards me. Thank you to every single person who wished me a happy birthday and has been supporting me this past year. Learning How to Fly Diaries is officially a year old, and I plan to continue writing, continue creating and continue evolving. Happy 23rd Birthday to me.
Learning How to Fly is a visual and written diary series dedicated to all things women and wellness. Through digital storytelling, Keosha shares her personal life experiences and how she navigates her own world and the people around her through the lens of a Black woman. Learning How to Fly reflects on identity, hardships, emotions, love and the lessons they unfold.