"Midlife Half Birthday" by Josephine Mairzadeh

Artist and Activist Josephine Mairzadeh took an unconventional approach to self reflect as well as grieve following her beloved grandfather's passing earlier this year. I was fortunate to be part of an interesting experiment that caused myself as well as others to stop and reflect on their choices in life. Her transcript for her video invite was sent to her closest friends and family-- which I will share below. 

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If you’re seeing this video invitation, it's because you’re invited to join me in reflection of my Midlife Half Birthday! You may be wondering what a Midlife Half Birthday is? Well -  I’m taking ownership of defining a new space.

 

After my grandfather’s passing in January, I reflected on my life’s purpose and the value we place on role models. I figured, if I’m lucky, I have 70 years of quality living and everything else is downhill from there! Therefore, how I invest my time should not only be calculated and purposeful, but be positive for myself and those I interact with.

 

Like yourself, I also faced the trials and tribulations we encounter within our life’s path, that leaves us with bittersweet lessons. Up until my current crossroads, my grandfather’s words of wisdom, integrity, and defining empathetic actions - grounded in humility, anchored my moral compass. However, I now realize that the seeds that gave root to his exemplifying character, were due to the obstacles he faced, the decisions he had to make, and the lessons he learned from them. 

 

With that said, I devised a strategy, well - maybe an experiment, on how to live more purposefully by gaining wisdom without going through hardship firsthand. And, on my Midlife Half Birthday, I plan on taking my friends who represent various phases of my growth on this journey. 

 

There is an African proverb that says, “it takes a village to raise a person”. Although my grandfather was pivotal in teaching me impactful lessons, I recognize that you - my friends and community are now that village. 

 

So, I have approximately 6 months to reach what may be the midpoint of my life. This also means that in the time to get there, I can reflect on the questions I intend to pose that are designed to help our village: analyse circumstances that are beyond our realm of understanding and help us unearth parts of our consciousness that reflect our hidden character.  

 

With everything said, the key to internalizing these lessons is humility, and the one thing that blocks our potential for wisdom is arrogance. I have much to learn. We all  do. And this can be another opportunity.  

 

As villager, I  recognize that I too have a responsibility toward you that is greater than myself. And in order to be introspective while being a better friend, and community member, I inevitably have to be vulnerable, and look at myself from the outside, and explore my valuable relationships.

 

I would be most grateful for you to fill out an anonymous questionnaire, as your midlife half birthday gift to me. I like to take responsibility for my actions and pay tribute to the value I put on my friendships, while respecting your judgment. You see, it’s humanly impossible for me to comprehend your quantitative thoughts and feelings since they are subjected to your experiences. We all have room for growth. For the link to the survey please take a look at the post in the description box. 

 

My Midlife Half Birthday will be held on 8/17/19 at a venue in Manhattan. The location will be given upon RSVP at (midlifehalfbirthday@gmail.com) by DATE (August 15th). 

 

I will be collecting homeless care kits as your goody bag for people who could use them. If you don’t know what to put inside - google it. Also, if you’re not already registered in the Gift of Life Marrow Registry, you can request a free kit in the link below. And make sure to click on the “show more” icon to see the details. 

I look forward to having you as my guest. 

(1) Midlife Half Birthday anonymous questionnaire: https://forms.gle/2SAwbaUFKHJjCygF6

(2) FREE ‘Gift of Life Marrow Registry’ kit: https://www.giftoflife.org/register 

(3) How to make a homeless care kit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0oidjltXo4

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