#Level24

24. One more year until the quarter life crisis ‘officially ensues’. One more year of being considered someone in their early twenties. These uninspiring thoughts then led to me thinking:

What am I actually doing with my life and how am I actually going to do it?

What am I going to be when I “grow up”?

And will I ever figure out how do my taxes on my own?

Flooded with questions and uncertainty during this time after Q2’s majestic internal  and enlightened reflections coupled with the angst that comes with packing, moving, unpacking and (hopefully) nesting into a new place, I approached my 24th birthday with a doubting heart. As someone who has always loved birthdays, I was not sure it I was excited about this one. Not to mention that it was my first birthday away from my family. I was feeling unsure.

But, what I continue to be reminded of in this season of life is that everything happens for a reason. And much to my surprise, despite all the craziness of other people’s schedules and adjusting to their new living situations, my GHC ZamFam really made it clear that they were my family and that Zambia was my new home away from home. 

Rewind exactly 1 week from my birthday. And it was my amazing co-fellow, Lute’s, 24th birthday. The day right after Q2, we had sweet co-fellow lunch at Noodle. Yummy food, pretty pieces of cake, and surprise and sparkly gifts from the US was how we celebrated the first of our co-fellow pair to get on #Level24. And yes Lute’s older than me…by 7 days. 

Before I knew it,  it was my turn. Showing up to work in my newly made Chitenge pants had me walking with a new “I’m 24 today” swag. I opened my phone to texts and phone calls from the Burton crew and photos of the cards that they got for me (my parents love cards and always gives the to us for the holidays! And it was so sweet to receive mine this year via WhatsAp! #burtonblastoff). And I was so excited for work to be done, so that some of ZamFam and I could FINALLY try the best steak house in all of Lusaka, Marlins. And for those of yall that know me, I LOVE steak/meat/protein. Needless to say, I was super pumped and the day was off to a great start. 

Once we showed up to the Lusaka Club House for dinner  (with Lute dressed to impressed and swervin in her friend’s car), we waited for Kalin and Sara to arrive. Then it was time to eat. And NOM the Pepper Steak was EVERYTHING.

IMG_5377

And just when I thought that I was on cloud9, Lute (aka the best co-fellow EVER) surprised me with a HUGE toilet paper roll cake paired with cute little poop cupcakes that said “You’re Old As Poop”. I literally lost my shit, I was so happy.

IMG_5374

IMG_5364

The INCREDIBLE cake coupled with the AMAZING steak and the ECCENTRIC light up crown that adorned my head courtesy of Kalin in addition to the PRACTICAL work goodies that Lute also gave me ALL made moving on up to #level24 so special.

IMG_5353

As icing on the cake, Lute and I had a joint ZamFam potluck celebration that also served as Effie, Doris, and my official house warming party at our new pad. It was so much fun to bring the gang back together again over yummy drinks and food (and I even cooked NOODLES!)

All of my prior premonitions about this year and turning 24 were instantly quelled and replaced by sheer gratitude for the people that I get to call my family- both in Zambia and stateside. Seriously. #Level24 was made perfect by all of them. Thank you all so much ❤ 

IMG_5412

Advertisements

#burtonblastoff

As many of you know, this is a hashtag that my sister and I created last year to keep us connected as we experienced travels around the world. Now, it is an all inclusive family hashtag to keep us all connected in our new journeys of life regardless of its across the globe or in our hometown. So this hashtag pretty much bonds all of us all the time together and its fantastic. The Burtons roll deep, especially to the airport.

11350854_10204510399256399_2371783600000944956_n

11235799_10202919142420108_2999473495006719420_n 11159491_853932064698855_867596735570699263_n 11655187_10204518435257294_701840012_n

Teary goodbyes were had at Hartsfield as I set off on my Global Health Corps journey representing my first big act of “leaving the nest”. I love my family and we will always be connected by our bond which has been realized through our family hashtag; but now is the time that experience my own adventure as a real adult (whatever that means). Its time to follow my dreams with all of my luggage of course! #burtonblastoff