The twenty third step

Another post from “The Hoarded Notes” series.


I turned 23 on the 11th of October and it was as amazing a birthday as I have ever had. On subsequent birthdays, I would write a sob story about not having the millions I wanted and how I wasn’t where I dreamed I would be and that was what it was, a sob story. By the next year, I, somehow was not as famous as I wanted to be and would be absolutely depressed as the next birthday came along.

In 2011, I started making themes or mottos for the year. The first was the “Try everything for the first time” theme. I had an exciting “firsts” filled year and that was it. Still no money, Still no stability. My thoughts always went back to when I was little and used to say by 25, millions would definitely be sitting in my account. It made me wonder where that little girl went. Three years have since passed and as this birthday came along, I kept thinking of what to do.

My birthday morning was rather peaceful. The previous week, all the social network reminders had been deactivated because I wanted some time to myself to reflect and I seriously did not want the birthday drama. I had to go get a bicycle because bicycles are the Ferraris in Denmark and was petrified because I never learnt how to ride as a kid. A little practice session with a friend took place and riding turned out surprisingly well except for when I rode into a fence. Wheeling the bike home, because I wasn’t about to die on my birthday, I decided to walk on a side of the road I normally did not take. 

Some minutes to my dorm, I noticed what seemed to be a bundle on the ground. The first thought that crossed my mind was that someone threw out a whole lot of stuff. On getting closer, i found an unconscious, slightly bloodied man on the street. I parked my bike and tapped him to see if he was alright. He was not moving and didn’t seem to be breathing. At that point, I knew I had to call the ambulance. With no knowledge of the emergency number and no one on the street to ask for assistance, finding someone from one of the houses was his only chance.

Running from door to door and knocking frantically, a million thoughts flew through my mind. I prayed to God that he wouldn’t die and that someone would help me. Finally, an old lady finally came out, she couldn’t speak English and would not come out to the man’s body with me. Most of my talk came out as panicked phrases but somehow, she understood me and grunted some numbers in Danish which I understood from listening and cursing the pre-recorded Danish voice on the Lebara network mobile toll line. I called the number and while the ambulance was being re-routed to my location, I was asked to perform CPR by a nurse who was on the line. 

“I need you to intertwine your hands and push quickly five times against his chest, you will do that repeatedly”, she said.

I counted out loud as directed and when the man started coughing and trying to talk, my eyes brimmed with tears. A car passed at that moment and I flagged it down. An old man driving it stopped and ran to assist me and he talked to the guy in danish while the nurse asked that the man be turned to his side. That was difficult for me to do because I was pretty sure his knee was injured and if you have seen a Danish man, you would know moving him was almost impossible for me or the old man.

The ambulance could be heard in the distance and suddenly two ladies and another man appeared out of nowhere and helped move the groaning man. It was a relief when the ambulance finally arrived and the police took my statement. I wheeled my bicycle home and throughout the short walk, I was in shock.

It took a while to realize what had happened. I was stricken with fear and could have done with an ambulance myself. A sudden realization hit me that a little deed had been done. It might have changed a life, I would never know, but someone would live another day because I decided to do things differently and care about another person.

I realized life was about making the world better and that change begins with me, with you. A new year had come and with it, new ways of approaching life, new paths explored. Life would not be merely about trying out things for the first time but immersing myself in giving back to life for perhaps the first time.

An amazing birthday to me has never been parties or a huge collection of friends fawning over me but it was never anything meaningful. This birthday has taught me that life is here for the taking. There are always second chances. Little drops make an ocean and that we make our own destinies by our decisions.

My boyfriend, Obiora, always says life is not about riches but about finding fulfillment. I finally understand him. Everyday we all get thousands of chances and situations to show how beautiful we are in and out and the real key to success is taking that chance and running with it. Today, I have a reinforcement that life is worth living, worth going ahead with, worth fighting for. 

Today, I have a new theme, “Give back to life”.


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