Yesterday, as I was walking to meet a friend for lunch in Maseru, my thoughts were sifting through all the things I accomplished before 10 a.m. and what’s planned for the rest of the week. Suddenly, my vision snagged on a mountaintop in the clear blue sky. Life is pretty good, I thought.

Then I realized it was my last day at 28.

These annual birthday posts come off as State of Heather addresses many years and usually I say everything is OK. Some years, I have to say that to believe it.

This year, though, things really are splendid. 28 was a good year for me – I ran an ultra marathon, I wrote a book, I deepened my relationships with Basotho, I traveled to Mozambique, I acquired a regular yoga habit, I read more that I have ever before, my relationships at home grew and I finally got caught up on “How I Met Your Mother”. I am finally starting to get to a place where I am proud of my body and my relationship with God and faith are stronger than they have been in years.

Last year, on October 10, I would have suspected that I would fear my 29th birthday, but I don’t, most likely because I am actually looking forward to my 30s. With 55 days left in Lesotho, I very content with my life and have little worry for the future.

I do doubt, at times, if I am leading the life I am meant to. Am I being kind enough, keeping the good people around? Was it really right to put my life on hold for three years? Can I put forth what it takes to accomplish these big dreams? But the older I get the more I believe in myself, and sometimes I force myself to look back and remember all that I have done. When it comes down to it, I really am proud to be me and I have few regrets.

As for my actual birthday, there is little indication of celebration, other than all the food I’ve planned out for the day. I ran this morning with the sunrise and will go to school shortly. All I plan to do is eat (I made Rice Krispie treats for my teachers and family), write, maybe do yoga, watch a movie and enjoy the company of those around me.

But I don’t need a lot because I know 29 is going to be a good year. I’ll go home. I’ll hug my family and friends again. I’ll start a new adventure and it’s incredibly exhilarating that I don’t know what it will be or where I’ll go.

To 29.


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