My wish for you
6th December 2018;
Thank you all for your well wishes! I truly appreciate you taking time to let me know that you thought of me on this day, in your own way. Yes, I am 23.
My family celebrated my birthday the weekend before, since my father was going to be abroad on the actual day. It was all very sweet - my dad took us to a dessert place for lunch and I know how much effort that took because my family has a taste bud very different from mine. I mean they'd never go to a place like Janice Wong's 2am:dessert bar if not for me. Then, my greatest takeaways from primary school surprised me at midnight on the day of my birthday; I was very touched by this gesture because they were all working adults and it was a weekday so they were probably very tired from work. I was very grateful to have spent my first few hours as a 23-year-old with my first friends, eating McDonalds. :'-) We've known each other for 13 years already?!
5th December was just like any other day. Though I did wake up with an idea of what the day would be like, some plans fell through and I ended up at the beach alone, book in hand. Even the sun stood me up and sent me rain in its stead. I was glad to have made impromptu plans with my Homes to have cake, so the day ended on a good note.
Truly, I am thankful for loved ones who made every second of this day special for me. And because I am sentimental I've eternalised every message/photo/video that was sent to me so I can look at them several years later when I decide to take a trip down memory lane. Haha, that cliché.
Birthdays have always been a weird event for me because I swing between "hell yas it's my day I should celebrate my life" and "omfg I'm now *insert age* and I've yet to accomplish anything" and "why should this day even be celebrated I'm nothing but a speck in the universe there are more important things to care about." This year was no different. I kept going back and forth with these thoughts, but something that became very apparent to me was how much weight I had attached to a friend's birthday wish that it became alarming that I had equated their love for me with whether or not they had remembered to drop me a message on my birthday.
And while I prefer not to make a big deal out of my birthday, I have also come to realise I am a hypocrite in that I expected friends who mattered to me to remember this day. (Forgive me, also, for indulging in an entire post writing about said birthday.) I admit I got a little bit upset when certain people I had considered very important in my life didn't send me a text at all. Then I started justifying this for them. It's all so unnecessary. I became very fascinated with the meanings we attached to birthdays and I started on this reflexive journey to understand why I thought/felt what I thought/felt of birthdays. Why do we celebrate birthdays??
I Googled - where else can we find answers these days? Some were more religious (your birth was your beginning); others more symbolic (a homage to time; celebration of life). And because I have nothing better to do, I basically spent the rest of the night/next morning reading about birthdays and celebrations. Also, found out that a child in Ireland celebrates her/his birthday by being held upside down and "bumped" on the floor once for every year of her/his age. Plus one for good luck - i.e. I'd be bumped on the floor 24 times...?! Birthday traditions are fascinating; I recall my parents became quite upset when I wanted to forgo the whole cake-cutting, candle-blowing ritual. Maybe birthdays are kind of like graduations/weddings - it's really for the people we love and rarely about us?
Reading so extensively about birthdays really didn't answer any questions, but it's given me some sort of clarity as to how I can enjoy future birthdays a little bit more, beyond counting my blessings and paying homage to time. One thing I've always believed in and will always believe in: birthday wishes. They say the number of breaths you take to blow out all the candles represent the amount of time you'll take to fulfil those wishes. Every year, I allow myself two selfish wishes and the rest are for my loved ones and other people. I blew out my candles in one breath, so I'm assuming these can be accomplished within the next year:
My wish is for you to -
be surrounded by beauty and happiness;
find kindness and love wherever you go.
Or if you don't believe in birthday wishes, then take this as my general hope for you in the new year.
There was really no point to this blog post. I just needed an avenue to express my thoughts about birthdays so I can go to sleep, at ease.