27. I still cannot believe that I have 365 opportunities to write my favorite numbers together. I am grateful.

At 17, I was fresh off high school with big ambitions and even bigger dreams. In the past 10 years, my dreams have become bigger and my ambition unlimited, yet the details have changed. At 17, I dreamt of money, influence and all the trappings of wealth. At 27, I dream of peace, happiness and kindness.

In my pursuit of happiness and continuous growth, I’ve learn a few thing that will shape the next 10 years.


I deserve all the kindness I can give myself. When I look in the mirror and I see where all my bad food decisions settle, I’m kind to my body. My skin is brighter and my smile is bigger. I am grateful to all this body allows and enables me to do and I will treat it with kindness and demand the same from everyone who makes my body their business.


The best way to live is through compassion, and I owe myself compassion at every turn. Compassion is spiritual experience; we owe it to ourselves and to others. I will listen to my fear and I will address them with compassion. I will listen to my wild dreams and I will tend to them with compassion. I will treat others with compassion, even when its hard or painful or un-reciprocated.


10 years later, my definition of happiness has changed. I know for certain I do not know the how to define happiness, so instead of defining it, I will dwell in the things that bring me joy and surround myself with people that make my heart smile. I will constantly step out to feel the sun kiss my skin, because that fill me with childlike joy.


I will always have enough money to enjoy my peace of mind and access the experiences that give me joy. If it leaves I will be fine and if it comes in plenty, I’ll still be fine. It’s just a paper that allows me access to a few pleasures and my heart will always be content with what I can access, without pressure or pain.


I like everybody else have arrived at this point in life through pain and pleasure. My joys and my pains are unmatched, just like everyone else, so instead of comparing, I will treat you with compassion with no expectation. The only person I can control is me and that is okay. I will ask if your heart is smiling, because deep down I hope your heart is smiling and your mind is being kind to you.


Njeri Ndonga.