October 5, 2013 § 7 Comments
My 25th year on Earth found me in a foreign land, sparsely populated with familiar things but slowly and faithfully endearing itself to me. Quarter-life crept on me 12:00 in the morning as I was placing the final edits on our group’s presentation. I had initially just planned to get over with the report, celebrate with my groupmates after (and with this I took care not to mention beforehand it was my birthday on our report day if ever our report didn’t turn out well haha), go to mass, and save the introspection for the weekend. Sleep was supposedly on the agenda for later that night.
I woke up on Oct. 1 to my mom’s touching email which is probably one of the best birthday gift she has given me ever. :) Before leaving the hostel, I also
reopened out of much anticipation my first birthday cards for the year from Marge, Gale, April and JM (it came with the survival kit they gave me :D ). I was totally prepared for a rather simple, uneventful but thankful day. Plus I expected my least expensive birthday given the fact I’m not obliged to treat anyone today. haha. I left the hostel in ordinary fashion after answering a couple of birthday greetings in facebook and walked to my 10am class practicing my part in the report. So a couple of hours later, there I was finally thankful for our smooth report when my classmates friends pulled off a totally unexpected surprise. They gave me a birthday card and a birthday gift, and they were so unstoppable that we had a cake-blowing before the day ended. It was a good thing I finally figured out the cake surprise and I managed to buy pizza and ice cream. Kuya Raffy told me I was a spoiler, meh, but I just can’t take too much cheesy favors being done on me without me doing anything. I was really overwhelmed with the entire gesture, considering that we’ve all been friends for a little short of 2 months. It was also a great opportunity to get to know each other more since we ended up inviting our other classmates to have lunch together, including our other friends from my other module. When I got home after lunch, I was pleasantly welcomed by some gifts and a really touching letter my Chinese flatmate, Lanfeng, left hanging on my door. She knew my birthday because it’s China’s national day when she asked me before. Before the day ended, I virtually blew my 2nd birthday candle all the way from the Philippines with Inay, Ama and Gab. And just right after the day ended, Marge & Gale gave me another heartwarming greeting which included my other friends back in Manila. I was also very surprised with that and in fact it left me teary-eyed. And if I wasn’t overwhelmed enough from all those unexpected birthday gifts, I woke up the next day with Czar’s wonderful email that she purchased the piece by L. Einauldi I was raving about ( I would have loved you forever even if you didn’t do that, but yes I’ll keep that promise!! <3 ) and Assel’s video greeting all the way from Kazakhstan. :) Aside from that, I appreciated all the greetings from all my friends and relatives, all the humiliating old photo dumps, and even the “Ma’am”-laden greetings from my former students. :) I can’t thank everyone one by one now, but know that I do.
So I actually have a point in writing all this. I’m usually very sensitive on my birthday. Birthdays have always been sacred for me. I tend to have expectations, especially when I was younger, that my parents should surprise me with a nice gift, or that all my friends will remember me on that day (I used to take forgetting my birthday quite personally haha), etc. I never verbalize those expectations though, and I know one shouldn’t expect (as always haha). And I have to say that because of this, I’ve had a number of disappointing birthdays. It’s really just now that I didn’t start the day with any expectations. It was probably because I was too sleep-deprived to think of such things anymore, but mostly because I’m all the way here in a new place, and all my close friends had already given me so many memorable things before I left. I really wouldn’t have felt bad if they just greeted me ( hmm, yeah I think I’d still take it personally if a close friend of mine forgot my birthday haha ). I literally didn’t know what to do with the flood of greetings that I got that I think I have reached an unnamed feeling beyond “bliss”. I think what I felt was more of a silent but colossal gratitude to God and to the universe for affirming that my 25 years of existence has not been put to waste. That I managed to do a couple of good things to make me deserving of having these wonderful people in my life. I’m tempted to say I don’t deserve all this, but I believe the proper attitude would just be to be happy, thankful, and driven to pay everything back and forward. Thank you universe, I am humbled :) Dear Lord, please enable me to do more good things as You will it for the years ahead. :)
Life surprises you when you least expect it.
Baby Santa & my brother’s birthday card for me (this is the only time I cried over a birthday card from him ). Mamow sent me Baby Santa (he’s been around since I was 7), despite me telling him not to send unnecessary things. But I was actually so happy to see him and I find myself hugging him at times when I can’t sleep.
and finally, this prezi link stays here :)