“Icho buhday, we gon’ pahteh layk, icho buhday!”
You feelin’ it?
*swerves head following the groove*
No, that’s not Swahili.
Sing it with me!
“Icho buhday, we gon’ pahteh layk, icho buhday!”
I hope you are all enjoying this day, as much as I am.
The electric company decided to throw my very first surprise for the day, and boy, am I bedazzled!
Have any guesses?
Well, an 8-hour power outage! How bow dah? So uplifting! *sulky face*
Nevertheless, that does not take away my optimism for the day!
I have nothing grand planned. In fact, I do not really pay special attention to my birthday because I grew up that way.
Usually, I am content if my family remembers and greets me in an entirely cringe-worthy manner possible. “Happy birthday!”
But don’t get them wrong. My family, as wacky as they may be, aren’t a showy bunch. We all aren’t expressive, if I may generalize.
I remember one time, they greeted me on a plain white paper. Written in red marking pen were the words “Happy Birthday!”, and it was hanging on our peach colored curtain by itself in our receiving area, which is a good angle to be in, as I saw it as soon as I woke up and got out of my room. I have a feeling I just turned 7 then. Or 6… Or 8. Anyhow, I wish I kept that piece of paper. It was special.
There was also one time when I received a rectangular box from them, it was red and white. In front, a pink paper was glued. It was a letter from all of them – my family. Inside, there was a brand new mobile phone. If I am not mistaken, I was around 16 that time.
Apart from those, I only see the pictures in our album. That of my first birthday party that I can barely remember, where neighbors all around IV-B celebrated with us.
I’m still thankful. This is why I am also appreciative of the very few who remember.
Like when I turned 18, some friends who seemed like family back then, sang “Happy birthday!” to me, where my supposed cake were instead packs of cooked Lucky Me! Pancit Canton, surrounded by Nissin Wafers,
(Hey, I am open to advertising gigs!) and had a candle in the middle the size of what you use on All Soul’s Day.
I swear, I cried. Oh, and not because of the gigantic candle, I promise!
But today, I wanted to celebrate my birthday, for a change.
In the most unusual way possible.
I have given it so much thought when I decided I’d give myself a gift of myself.
Oops, I caught you! I saw you did a double take.
A gift of myself to myself.
Let me explain.
I’ve been working on this gift for quite some time now. A gift I know I cannot instantly give myself.
Something that won’t happen in a snap of a finger, or a blink of an eye, or the content of my wallet all surrendered to the cashier. Something that would take too much time, effort, discipline, and perseverance. Oh, and patience!
A gift of myself to myself – a happier & healthier version, simply put.
Sounds like a tagline from a commercial advertisement, yeah? But truth be told, it ain’t easy, and won’t ever be.
You see, as a single mother of two little ones who always keep me on my toes, I am sure I can use up all the excuses available. And there are a tad load of them!
I mean, why?
Why when I am now 8 kilograms lighter than when I started?
Why when my Hangul is more fluent than it had ever been?
Why when my skin has cleared out a lot?
Why when my double chin is slowly bidding me farewell?
Why when my health is slowly but surely getting into tip-top shape?
Why when I can say “Jij betekent de hele wereld voor mij!” or “Ik ben een konijn, alstublieft oordeel niet, hartelijk bedankt!” without getting tongue-tied?
Why when my mood swings have lessened?
Why when my collarbones are proving me wrong about their non-existence?
Why when my spending has mellowed down?
Why when my kids tell me that I’m their star, their heroine, and that their love for me will see no end?
Why when my smiles are more evident?
Why when my hair – well, it has its own pace, but it’s getting back to normal? #ByeBlonde
What I’m only implying is that no matter how little, I see progress.
A progress where I am rewarded with a better sense of self-worth every time. A self I have learned to love so dearly and more than ever, since I began this journey.
So why would I stop now?
Now, that I engage in several activities in hopes I can maintain an active lifestyle.
Now, when I started indulging in personal growth sessions as much as I can squeeze them in my schedule.
Now, that I try to think, act, and breathe as positively as I could.
And now, where I am slowly ousting drama in my life, with the exception of Korean ones.
*sneers at the thought that I might have just dropped a really good pun*
*brushes my khaki corduroy blazers that I don’t actually have in real life*
So, that’s the road I am currently taking. #TheRoadTo30 *frowns*
That’s the gift of myself to myself. *smiles back at the wholesome idea*
Moreover, I’m working on a huger project.
One that I’d like to fondly call…
*insert Stars by The Weepies in the background*
Living A Life Of Legacy
You see, at this time and age, I feel like I am already halfway through my life. Who knows, right? And I don’t feel like wasting any moment further.
I only ever wanted to reach out and make sure people are okay. That they don’t feel alone in their loneliest of days. That they don’t feel desperate looking for someone to talk to yet no one is around.
It’s hard. But I’m here! And I should honestly make an effort to make myself useful. I don’t want to die living this way. I don’t want to live dying this way. I don’t want to be forgotten, just like that. I want more from life. I want to look out for people. I want to be the person to worry about them when nobody does.
And thus, I want to live a life of legacy that way. If not for everyone in the world, at least for people whom I know, or have been with, or will meet. I’m trying to make it up to a lot of family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers, even.
Mostly those whom I feel are like me.
Those who would take a lot to unravel their depths.
Those who have the same tendency as I do.
Those who built their walls too strong.
Those who raised their standards too high.
Those who set their expectations too unrealistic.
Those who shut people off.
Those who shaved their heads.
Those who went mental.
Those who became suicidal.
I’ve been there. In fact, I’ve been through so much.
But so did everyone.
Yet, if I could and have the ability to, I don’t want people to experience that. I do not want anyone to go through the same. At least not in my sight.
If you are going through that now, you’ve come to the right place. Consider this a sign.
When at times, you feel like your only escape is to end everything right there and then, believe me, it isn’t. There is hope.
“For all you know, the universe is rigged up into your favor.” I saw this in one article not too long ago. Very beautiful, isn’t it?
Whether you are experiencing something good or bad right now, know that when you look back after a few years, you would see how things have fallen in place.
I, myself, am slowly picking up the pieces and decided to live life as happily, as positively, as actively, and as openly as I ever could.
As a matter of fact, I created a standard of how I wanted to live my life – meaningfully, that is.
Hopefully, you will too. No, I mean, you should.
Small things. Ripple effect.
Let’s make the world a little more tolerable to live in. Shall we? Yeah? Are you with me on this? *grimaces*
I want you to know I’m here, if anything. Just reach out. Try me. I’ll be around.
Happy birthday to us, if reading this felt like you’ve just been birthed, and that you can start anew, with me alongside of you!