This is 34

Joseph-Albert Kuuire
5 min readJan 16, 2022

This post is dedicated to my Uncle who passed away late last year. Rest in peace

Today I turn 34 (Happy Birthday to me!)

I’ve gotten into this routine of writing a post when it’s my birthday. Today is no different I guess.

I mostly write for myself. It’s kind of like a diary session and an assessment of what transpired the previous year and what I hope for myself in the future.

If I had to choose a theme for the year 2021, it would be “Achievement and Losses

2021 started out with a dud. The Covid delta variant was out roaming in the city and taking out a lot of people. Everyone was justifiably paranoid about getting the virus and stayed indoors. So when the 16th of January rolled up, I found myself celebrating a “lonely” birthday which sucked. Happy 33rd birthday I guess..….

The following month, I lost a very close family member to health complications (unrelated to Covid). It was how sudden it was which knocked the wind out of my sails.

The whole burial/funeral brought out all the emotion and tears. But in the end, there was some “closure” and it made understand the whole “ceremony” around funerals. It may sound cliche but it really makes you feel like your loved one is in a “better place” after its all over with it.

The rest of the year was me being in focus and just trying to live the best out of life. I switched to a new job because of the new opportunities it came with and I wanted to push and challenge myself.

I also decided to get more out of my comfort zone. I started taking more hiking and adventure trips outside the city.

I went to the waterfalls (again), hiked up Mt Gbemi, went on a camping trip and also hiked up Mt Afadjato.

It was all fun and made me fall back in love with nature.

Also this year, I went on a freaking reality dating show on Youtube! You can watch the video below if you want to see how that went 😅 (Don’t judge me)

And I finally got a chance to travel outside the country with my friend. Since most places were going through their own Covid situation, Dubai was the best location since majority of people there had been vaccinated and the process of travelling there seemed the easiest. It was a great two weeks of being a tourist and being in a new location.

Later in the year, we had to put down our dog. She was getting old and fell sick. Unfortunately, we couldn’t let her suffer in her state even though we had gotten her medication and she wasn’t getting better. I miss coming home to a small animal genuinely happy to see me. Losing pets suck.

2021 kind of ended with a dud especially with the Omicron variant.

And then, 2021 decided to put a final nail in the coffin when I lost another family member.

What Did We Learn?

So what did we learn in 2021?

I learnt that getting out of your comfort zone really does help, especially learning about your limits. New experiences give you new perspectives and sometimes you have to take risks or you’ll never grow.

I rediscovered my love for reading last year. Less screens and being absorbed into a book is such a great feeling I miss especially from my university days. I even bought a Kindle on my trip to Dubai which is helping a lot with my reading. In 2021, I managed to read 10 books which were all non-fiction.

New Kindle device

It’s a weird thing to say but I also learned that people can be “disappointing”. But that’s not really on them. It’s my “expectation” of them. My therapist told me that I’m on my own high mountain top and I keep expecting others to reach my “level”. But that’s not always going to happen and I need to stop putting high expectations on them.

It’s a probably a reason I like being “alone”. It helps with the disappointment. You don’t have to have expectations when you’re in solace. But of course, you can’t live in solace all your life. (unfortunately)

I also got tired of social media apps like Instagram in 2021. The constant viewing of people’s stories and their “personal branding” pictures is exhausting. Everyone is doing it. It’s boring. It’s unoriginal. And I miss the “old” Instagram. I want to see nice pictures of what people are “seeing”.

Also, I tried using Snapchat again. Nope. Still can’t get into it.

So What’s Next

I know when it’s your birthday, it’s a day of celebration. But when it’s my birthday, I think of my own mortality.

I’m 34, single and sometimes wonder if I’m “growing” or “evolving”.

I’ve been thinking about new challenges. Thinking about what I want to do to gain more experiences in life. I want to do stuff that I enjoy until I expire.

Does that include moving to a new country? Or just allowing more people into my life? I don’t know. As I get older, I’m not as certain on some things. All I know is that I just want to maximize my life experience.

Do I want/need a relationship? I don’t know. I’ve been single for such a long time and I’m getting comfortable with that. Maybe I need to start dating again….or maybe not.

Or maybe I need to just take whatever comes…

I’m looking forward to more health for my family and people I care about. Looking forward to more career opportunities and growth in my endeavors.

My 30+ years have been great so far. I don’t think I’ve had more fun and focus during this period in my life. I don’t know what 40+ looks like, but I’m hoping for good health to reach that stage.

Till next year. Stay healthy. Be nice to each other. Get out of your bubble and take risks.

Joseph-Albert Kuuire

My personal writing space. (UX Designer | Blogger | Social Introvert) UX Design writing: