I was never one for birthdays.

Frankly, I didn’t see the point of having to celebrate and make a big deal out of it. I never did get why people choose to fuss over what to wear, what to eat, what to do, how to do it… you know, the whole shebang. I grew up watching media’s screwed up and twisted version of birthdays. Think MTV’s Sweet 16. Tell me then, how could you not scoff at the idea of birthday celebrations when pretty much your entire childhood showed you that your life (and that additional year you’re celebrating) is measured by where and how it was celebrated? Frankly, it was a pathetic excuse to justify unnecessary spending.

Add the fact that we never really celebrated birthdays in our family, I grew up really abhorring the idea and becoming equally awkward towards anything related to it. I am not sure if you can imagine a girl awkward on own birthday, but yes that was me.

But recently, things have changed for me (however surprising and unbelievable that sounds). I began to realize that it was more (much, much, much more) about who you choose to celebrate those special moments with that matters than where and how you celebrate them.

I can only describe that moment as when you feel your heart bloom within the ice cavity that was your chest when you are around those who matter the most. I realize that the smiles, the hugs, the laughter, and the words softly spoken are the things worth celebrating. These are the things worth living for.


3 February 2014

This post is extremely overdue, so forgive me for that. I saved this as a ‘note’ in my phone and had actually planned to upload it the same night but I got sidetracked a lot with everything that’s been happening lately and eventually, I had forgotten about it. The last couple of weeks have been hell, with all the exams (midterms, oh Lord), the projects, and the ever-present fear of the cut-off. Today is a good day because I have loads of free time at my disposal.

More about this post, I vividly remember writing this in the car as I was on the way home. The traffic was particularly hellish that night and it took us longer than what was normal to get home. This was all well and good for me, though, because I had time to reflect on what happened that day and what exactly my feelings were about it.

It was my birthday and as I’ve already mentioned in the post, I’m not really one for birthdays. As a child, I’ve always stayed away from the thought of big celebrations and even my 18th birthday was no exception. I hated being the debutante and I had cried (loads of tears, mind you) when my parents gave me a surprise party. But I eventually got over it because I realized my family and closest friends were there.

But I digress. As I was saying, I wrote this on the way home on the night of my 20th birthday. I can still recall how that day turned out for me. Only my friends knew that it was my birthday on that day and I wasn’t expecting anybody else to know. I chose to dress down even when tradition dictated that birthday celebrants wear red. But when people (even those I only had the opportunity to interact with once or twice) just kept on greeting me the entire day, I felt my heart was going to burst at the seams because I was just so happy. I can’t begin to explain it, but the simplest of all explanations was that my heart was overfull.

They gave me cakes (oh dear, lots of them) and it still makes me laugh that I received 2 birthday cakes and 3 birthday cupcakes that day. Even when my mouth began to protest from all the smiling I seemed to be doing, I can’t complain. It was a great day.

Though it took me two decades to realize what birthdays really mean, I’m still glad because at least now I can look forward to the years to come with a knowing smile.

Photo source x


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