Today is my 33rd birthday. One year ago, I was pregnant with my second child, had just had my PhD defence and was preparing for my first major editing job. Three years ago, I was heavily pregnant with my first child, praying he would stay in a little while longer so that we could both have our separate birthdays (he did). Five years ago, I was newly married and preparing for my first visit to Israel and Palestine, three months that have shaped my professional career immensely. Ten years ago, I was still at the beginning of a relationship with the man who is now my husband and the father of my kids, and enjoying university life and all that entails. 15 years ago, I thought life was not much more than school and the people I went to school with; at the same time, I was desperately clinging to the tiny hope that that was not so. 20 years ago, the Berlin wall had come down and I had realised for the first time what politics actually means (that people can make things happen). 25 years ago, I was dreaming big, unapologetically and blissfully. 33 years ago, my mother gave birth to me on a hot August morning, full of dreams of what I could be.
It’s a long way, and I tend to forget both how things have changed over the years, and how certain things always stay the same, even though they may take on a different shape. Today, it is a comfort to look back and know that change is constant and bad times will be replaced by good ones. And that some things, like love and dreams, do not falter, even in the darkest haze.