It’s true: When I’m at my best, I celebrate every possible occasion that I can. People who know me know that I LOVE (all caps) a celebration. I often find ways to do it, even if an occasion doesn’t traditionally call for a celebration. Half birthday? Celebration. Took out the trash, washed dishes, laundered, folded, AND put away my clothes? MAJOR celebration lol. When folks have asked where this habit comes from, I tell them honestly: #IGetItFromMyMama Mom made (and still makes) a point to make celebration a practice in the lives of people she loves. Returning from summer vacation at Grandma’s? Celebration. Appropriate grades on an exam or report card? Celebration. I think yall get the point.
As an adult, I’ve taken up celebration as a function of my own well being, as a way to express love for others, and as an expression of joy. This world is a lot of things and kind, gentle, and loving aren’t some of those things nearly enough. Celebration is one way I counter/create light in the darkness or unpleasantness of this world. Celebration, for me, is also a spiritual discipline. I adopted this philosophy after reading a book during a previous lenten season.
There are plenty of reasons why people choose not to celebrate: money, time, energy levels, feeling of no reason to celebrate, etc. I’ve been there over the past year to some extent. In fact, I’m writing this, in part, to remind myself why making/taking time to celebrate is an act of joy and care for myself and those I love.
You may be wondering what celebration might look like in your life. Know that there are lots of ways to celebrate yourself and others. You can make it look/feel/be experienced in a lot of different ways. Here are some ways I’ve employed celebration in my life over time:
- Celebrated the completion of my first 100 days of my doctoral program with homemade ice cream sandwiches with a couple of close friends.
- Celebrated my most recent half birthday with a small gathering of friends at the house for dinner, girl talk, and ice cream cake.
- Celebrated the completion of my doctoral program with a party that my framily planned and paid for.
- Celebrated a good friend’s birthday by driving 5 hours with another good friend to make sure they didn’t celebrate alone in a new place.
I’m an extrovert, and my celebration my look differently than other folks’. That’s okay. That’s actually great. Everyone shouldn’t be extra like me lol. What I am saying is that regardless of how large or small, the victory or accomplishment, make/take a moment or some amount of time to relish in and celebrate it. You’re worth it. Like, for real for real. If you don’t believe that to be true, get some folks who treat you like you’re worth it until you’re able to believe it for yourself.
Prophetess Janelle Monáe says, “To be victorious, you must find glory in the little things.”
#SheAintNevaLied Go ahead: Find glory in the little things. Example: I experienced depression when I literally moved 1000 miles from my family after my most recent graduation. The first day that I didn’t cry after leaving, I celebrated the idea of being able to *consider* being happy here by sharing my good news with my closest friends and treating myself to a favorite meal.
Be they little, big, small, unrecognizable to other people, our victories are just that: victories. Let that light shine sis. Celebrate yourself and the victories of those you love. Victory and joy look good on you.