A Birthday of Firsts and The Best Parents Ever

Good morning to all those on my side of the world, good night to those on the other!

This morning I woke up 20 years old – my first day as a not-teenager and my first day in my new decade of life.

But this birthday marked another ‘first’ of sorts, which makes it a rather special birthday. You see, this is the first birthday I have ever celebrated away from home! And I must say, it sure feels strange!

But, of course, once again, my parents have outdone themselves in making my day feel special and like a real celebration, even while being half a world away!

Celebrating my birthday with my family away from home!

Celebrating my birthday with my family away from home!

I checked my email this morning to find this little [or not-so-little, really] treasure waiting for me in my inbox. I will admit to shedding a tear or two out of excitement, gratitude, and the suddenly overwhelming desire to wrap my arms around my family in a giant hug! In a few days time, I will be able to do just that, as I am going home for the holiday break on the 24th! For now, I will keep reading this and enjoying it.

Here is the text, in case it is difficult to read:
“Noalika shelanu,
You’re just turning Twenty,
And you have to offer plenty!
You clearly stand out from the crowd
For which you, and us, should be very proud!
Leaving the “Teen-Years”, might sound very scary,
And acting as a “grown-up” could seem a bit “blurry”.
Please do not worry, and please take it easy,
‘Cause this type of challenge will ALWAYS keep you busy!
If life is like baking, a pie or a cake,
It could be delicious or could taste so fake…
High quality ingredients , patience, and strong will,
Will make it successful and help “pay the bill”…
With family and friends being there for you,
The journey is fun and much easier to” chew”.
Seek the support, powered by friendly and romantic love,
Otherwise…it’s Perm-winter-day, with one missing glove!
Love you,
Idodi, Aba, and Ima”

And below the picture:
“A person who stands out from the crowd is someone who is comfortable with who they are, has the confidence to be unique and to let their individuality shine. Standing out from the crowd means that you’re not afraid to speak your mind and to avoid following others when to do so results in sameness and conformity. A person who stands out from the crowd may be someone whose appearance is striking in some way, but more often than not, it is about someone who generates admiration and is remembered by others for being someone special and worthy of looking up to.
While standing out from the crowd might not be something you can achieve every day of your life, it’s definitely a worthwhile goal to aspire to as a whole, especially if it helps you achieve your other goals in life.”

Aren’t my parents just the best ever?!

Later today, as I expect to have some free time, I will update you all on what has been going on here in perm – holidays, exams, so on and so forth! I’ll also share more about my birthday and how it was.

Until then – stay warm, stay happy, stay on your toes! xxx

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