Here’s the first part of a short story about a young woman who is anxious about her age as many people are. The story reveals the reasons for her anxiety and how she’s handling it. She’s offered another perspective though. Let’s find out how she responds. Although written in the first person, the story is entirely fictional.

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MY THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY (I)

My thirtieth birthday is round the corner. So I was brutally reminded this morning by my thoughtless younger brother, Fred. He posted on my Facebook timeline, “As you are about to mark this milestone, (your 30th birthday), my wife and I send early felicitations.” While I was fuming about that, he posted more:
08:02 a.m. My elder sis is growing older and wiser. Love you loads. ??
08:45 a.m. THIRTY YEARS is not thirty days. #respect
09: 52 a.m. Tomorrow, we shall have a blast. You’re only 30 once. ???

By then, I’d had it and unfriended him without delay. What right had he to announce my age repeatedly on social media? Like he had nothing better to do. Like he was commissioned to ruin my day and trigger this melacholic attack I am suffering right now.

I’ve warned Fred repeatedly about his morbid habit of announcing that I’m his older sister at every opportunity. Why does a man who is married with kids feel the need to introduce a single girl that way? And why this attempt to rub in the fact that my years are piling up? He was obviously opening me up to ridicule. For example, one of his friends commented on the last post above, “She needs to, cos after dat, evrythn goz downhill.” I imagine there will be some other snarky remarks following each of those posts. I’d best be deleting the lot as soon as I can.

And I’m placing a moratorium on every social media interaction. It’s just too depressing for now. People are graduating from school, getting married, having kids, travelling, and what can I report? My business is stagnant, I have no money to further my studies, no bae (hate the sound of “boo”), no fancy ride, no posh crib, nothing to display.

“Count your blessings …,” the popular song rings in my mind.

“Pleeease!” I counter. I’m just too upset to attend to any client today, so I shut my office and go home for a pity party.

As I undress, I look with disgust at the cellulite on my thighs. I lift my arms and hiss at my close-to-flabby upper arms. I stand before the mirror, turn around and shake my head. I really must hurry and snag myself a man before I develop chicken wings and a massive behind.

“Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done,” plays in my heart.

“Abegi!* Count my blessings, right? What do you think I’ve been doing? Stagnant business, no money, no bae, …, my blessings are conspicuous by their absence.”
-To be continued-
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2016
*”Abegi” is pidgin English for “please” with a sneer attached.

Anxiety can bring desperation and insolence. This is pretty much like how Job in the Bible sounded at some point in his ordeal. Have you ever felt so pressured about something that you reacted like this?

The next instalment shows how the girl resolves her inner crisis. Be sure to read it as it offers insight for those who are feeling weighed down by their current place in life.

Follow edithohaja.com for more inspirational, educational and entertaining articles, poems, quotes and graphics.

You can also connect with me via my Facebook page (facebook.com/auntyedith), LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus and Instagram. Jesus is Lord!

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.
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63 thoughts on “MY THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY (I)

  1. 461519 985907Oh my goodness! a amazing post dude. A lot of thanks Even so We are experiencing dilemma with ur rss . Dont know why Can not sign up to it. Could there be anybody obtaining identical rss difficulty? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx 437274

  2. I sincerely love this story,can’t wait to read the next segment.
    PS…I too hate the sound of *boo*.

  3. 30 years! That’s enough reason to worry. But then God has blessed us with more than enough reasons to smile. Let’s count our blessings carefully, we will discover reasons to smile.

  4. to be plus one is worth of celebration whether things are as planed or not.nobody should wane u down and cease your happiness of that day. God is the giver of all things and HE supplies to our needs in his riches and glories. so dear happy birth day?

  5. I subscribe to the idea that her younger brother, a man married with kids, was wrong to be announcing her age in social media. He could be doing the right thing, but in a wrong way. He knows his elder sister is not married,so his attitude amounts to insult.

  6. what a lovely story. Her brother should have known that his elder sister is not happy she is growing old without getting married.

  7. AGE IS NEVER A BARRIER……….ITS RATHER A BLESSING…NICE ONE MA PLS UPLOAD THE CONCLUDING PART.

  8. one’s birthday is suppose to be a joyous day/moment, but seems to be the opposite for Fred’s elder sister. indeed, anxiety weighs one down. “count your blessing and it will surprise you what the Lord has done”

  9. our desire becomes our thought always but we should not let it control our positive attitude. nobody wants to be lonely everyone wants to belong to the value and reigning things in the society. hope it ends well with her..

  10. Most times the hunger for success gives me pressure, the feeling of anxiety and I forget to count my blessings, I only ask God to do it but I fail to look at what he has already done, Aunty Edith thank you for opening my eyes to things I have been ignoring, continue

  11. Lovely story, interesting well, let’s know if she counted her blessings or she just let the worries of the world now she is thirty weigh her down

  12. its true that its her day but I think her younger brother shouldn’t have announced her age considering the fact that she cannot show off her achievements equivalent to her age. on the other hand, if she could calm down to reflect on the blessing of God in her life, she will have enough reasons to be happy

  13. Lol..what an annoying and caring brother… And what’s wrong with being single at thirty? She go marry herself abi na wetin?

  14. Lol! na wa for that her brother oo. Anyway younger bros can be so annoying at times but very loving most times. I shaa feel for her.

  15. We should understand that Age is not a barrier to achieving great heights. The moment you start seeing yourself that you are growing old,it starts reflecting on your body.it has to do with our mindset…today you see people who are above forty looking twenty five and you wouldn’t know…for emphasis, age is not a barrier for marriage. The right person will come irrespective of your age.

  16. age should not be a yardstick of measuring our success. there are many things bigger and better than that. Fred sef, very hilarious.

  17. For Fred he thinks he is being caring by the messages to his sister not knowing she doesnt like it. Age is just a number, God’s plans for us might come like Abraham’s when we are way older. Very inspiring post ma.

  18. Gods time is always the best. When God will bless you, all those who said who are you shall come back and say how are you.

  19. The African society sees marriage as the ultimate achievement of every successful woman. They often pressurize them to get married once they cloak 30 at the detriment of their personal growth and development. This issue should be properly addressed…. Her younger brother is an inconsiderate fellow who suppose to protect his sister from society’s cruel philosophy. Age is but a number, we all have our time in life.

  20. Wow! anxiety isnt the right to get things done rather it will make you take wrongs steps and decision so its important you wait on the lord because all that glitters are not gold. and for Fred i think he wasnt fair knowing the situation of her elder sister.

  21. Anxiety is a tool that can weigh us down. It is capable of making us stagnant. Depression is on another level. But all this emanates from the heart that’s why we should guard our hearts with all diligence

  22. Fred is a silly guy to be with, the lady should pray hard for God to give her a man of her dream if not Fred will not stop making mockery of her , God I pray for a brother but not a kind of a brother like Fred.

  23. He knows his elder sister is not married,so his attitude amounts to insult. That is being extremely thoughtless ..

  24. U know one thing people fail to understand is that a marriage isn’t for everyone and it is definitely not by force. Hmmm she shouldn’t do things she will later regret just because she wants to marry. Such desperation has led to many failed marriages. She should wait for God’s time nd if it’s His plan for her she will definitely marry. Meanwhile she should be proud of her age. Not many people get to live that long and if she starts being proud of it, her brother wouldn’t see it as a reason to taunt her anymore

  25. u know a good philosophy in life is that we should never compare ourselves to others. of we do we tend to be depressed,fustreated cus we may not have reached where we think we are supposed to at that time but we fail to understand that no 2 people are the same. the fact that she isn’t married now and others are shouldnot be an issue to her. she should just try her own best and leave the rest for God and yes count her blessings cus there are a lot of things she has that some others may not have. she should be contenoted and praise God in every thing

  26. Her brother’s post is really annoying,he shouldn’t have mentioned her age,if I was the one,I will be upset as well.
    Thirty years is enough to worry but let her commit everything in the hands of God.

  27. Though it is not wise to announce people’s age on social media, I think Fred was posting that with a clear conscience. Money, fine house, husband, all come from God. We should not stress ourselves too much over them. Just put your trust in God.

  28. Anxiety can kill. No wonder the Lord warned against it on the Bible. I understand why she’s anxious, but then age is just a number theu say. The way her brother went about the issue is also wrong even if he had the best of intentions. Bottom line of the story is that nothing os worth killing one’s self for that God can’t take care of.

  29. In as much that things are not going well financially I mean, for the fact that we are alive and healthy is a reason to count our blessing. Fred is taughtless doe he have to rub it on her face that she is 30 and not married and in the social media for that matter. Sister take it easy don’t do something that you will regret later. Can’t wait to find out how he handle it.

  30. Lol, funny story, but I really felt for her ohhhh. It is well, Fred on the other hand did not try ohhhh

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