Low Waste Birthday| Mental Health Journey | Dubai

Welcome back to my blog Peaches,

Waking up into a new age, 29, turning into a new leaf, smells like a garden of blooming roses and jasmine flowers. A fresh start from every angle of my life. Walking in faith. Moving to a whole new city, which I’m slowly falling in love with, Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (from Kenya).

My favorite quote by Paulo Coelho, “Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”

Surprisingly, I never would have guessed that 29 would be a restart button for me. When I was young, I used to think that 29 year olds are fully grown adults who can raise a whole village. That by the time I clocked 29, I would have settled well in marriage, decent job – if my husband allowed it – with kids, and work to raise kids; that kind of never-ending cycle of compromise.

As I grow older though, my perspective in life changes based on real life experiences. I find gaps that need to be filled and renewed definitions of what growth and a healthy relationship really means to me – a two way road. Direction, mental stability, tradeoffs, non-negotiable(s) and God’s timing. Which surrounds the 3 spheres of my life; healthy family relations, friendships and working environments.

“Sometimes your soulmate is yourself, sometimes you have to be the love of your life, until you discover that type of love in someone else.” R.H. Sin.

A quote on compromise through my experience. “You could lie on the floor and let people walk allover you and some people would just complain that you are not flat enough.”

This year, I took time off to redefine what compromise really means in all the spheres of my life. Burnout isn’t sexy at all. You only realize once you shed off that dead weight, how heavy you’ve been carrying it. See, I have been living on survival mode for the longest time. Being a hero in people’s lives seem great until you need a hero in yours.

But sometimes your light attracts moths and your warmth attracts parasites. Protect your space and energy.” Warsan Shire.

No one tells you that the healing process from any situation is a draining work load of decluttering. Its side-effects: extreme anxiety, a sprinkle of depression and ADHD. Adding to the climate change and COVID-19 anxiety we experience on the daily, subconsciously. Nonetheless, very rewarding.

I have been…

Taking my chance with Dubai, which I can’t fully claim yet. Dubai has given me such rich, refreshing and exciting experiences in such a short time speeding up my healing process – except for the harsh hot weather.

Putting myself and mental health first. Taking the no contact route, moving to a new environment to achieve that mental health balance. I confirm this quote, “You cannot heal in the same environment that broke you.”

Enrolling in workshops and courses that align with my goals and career path.

Learning to manage my anxiety. Pointing out my triggers and learning how to navigate around them.

Taking as much breaks as possible, in a world that glamorizes burnout, protecting my space and investing in mental health workouts; I joined Boxing a month ago and it’s worked wonders on my mental and physical fitness. Something about punching that bag hard! 🥊

Doing things at my own pace.

Connecting with like-minded people. Where creatives, poets, artists and change makers meet; people who don’t judge you for stripping your soul naked and wearing your heart on your sleeve.

Making eco-swaps and reducing my waste levels.

Individual activism not accepting single-use plastics in restaurants. This has been a major turn off as majority of restaurants I’d visit in Dubai still use single-use plastic straws, bottles and packaging especially in supermarkets. Different from Kenya, being ahead in the single-use plastic bag ban. However, the UAE has a great waste management system.

Shopping slow fashion, discovering sustainable and thrift stores.

Learning and exploring nature. Currently exploring Expo2020Dubai Sustainability District.

Most importantly, to celebrate myself without needing external validation. The small wins, and yes, my 29th birthday!

Ain Dubai a.k.a Dubai Eye. The largest and tallest observation ferris wheel in the world.

I celebrated my 29th birthday last night,17-Oct-21, dinner at JBR Beach Walk in Dubai, which had picturesque views of the Ain Dubai a.k.a. Dubai Eye. The largest and tallest observation ferris wheel in the world. Amazing laser light show from Ain Dubai signaled it’s officially opening in 4 days! (Update today: 3 days).

I loved my birthday dress which I bought online a year ago but never had a chance to wear it. It perfectly suited to be my 29th birthday dress. Floral, feminine, fashionable, summery, free and flowy. 💃🏾✨

Rewore my stilletos which still look brand new and fashionable. DIY’d a light makeup look and a simple curled ponytail hairdo.

For dinner, I ordered a seafood platter of prawns and chocolate piece of cake dessert at Bombay Bangalow Indian Restaurant at JBR the Beach Walk, which had a backdrop view of the Ain Dubai. I wouldn’t want to waste cake. Loved it! If we were to define a slow fashion and zero waste birthday.

I would rate 5/10 for average flavorful food, sweet pinacolada mocktail, vegan options, presentation, service, views and ambience. -5 for serving single-use plastic straws and takeaway packaging.

Previously, I would make a big deal out of my birthdays to make sure everything was brand new without considering my impact of waste and non-biodegradable decor like latex ballons, single-use cuttlery and confetti. Here’s a blogpost by Greenecofriend on eco-friendly birthday decor and balloons alternatives that I found informative. Also, a special home-cooked meal at home would work.

Let’s not try to achieve an Insta perfect fallacy at the expense of our mental and environmental health. 🌱

My years of life experiences have repurposed me into a wiser version of my old self. To that, I celebrate! 🎉🥂🥳

Thank you to my friends, family and followers for the lovely wishes, celebrating with me as I turn a year older. I’m happy that my Mom was with me during this special day. 🥰

To new beginnings, to a fresh start!
29 🥂

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