Another year has been added to my life, another “plus one” to my age. I hate to admit it but I really don’t like birthdays (if it’s mine) because you get older. It was fine when you’re in your teens, especially if you’re just turning 16 or 18, that’s sweet but when you’re in your 20s I don’t anyone enjoys seeing their age drift farther, slowly but surely, from the all-treasured youth. I won’t mention my age, if you know me personally you already know anyways. I’m not really old, I’m still in my 20s but I really don’t like mentioning my age anymore, especially around my friends who are 18-21 years of age, probably because when you’re young you tend to say people are “old” just because they’re older than they are. I remember when I was 16 and some of our classmates were already 18, I view those 18-ers as old, and those in College, especially 20-somethings to be really old… probably why I don’t speak of my age. Well they can’t really tell by just looking at me anyways.

There were just a few birthdays that were really memorable or special to me. We were in financial troubles in my teenage years so celebrating birthdays was not considered important: greetings, family bonding, …those things were enough. Money was scarce so non-material things were more of the theme.

The first time I really celebrated my birthday was when I was 20, I was graduating in College then. I was already working (since I was 19) so I was able to ease our financial situation: I was paying for my College expenses and at the same time having some left for the family. This was the last time most of my College friends and I will be together, my thought at the time, so I ensured that we have a small gathering, my treat of course. I’m not earning that much, naturally, so our celebration was held in the lower ground floor of SM Sta. Mesa, Greenwich Pizza. The budget wasn’t big, but the quality-time spent with special people in your life, not to mention the fact that for the first time in my life I was able to treat several people with my own money: those things are priceless.

Having birthdays for me since then was about reaching new heights, going places, and doing things that are more than the usual. After my birthday in 2004 I convinced myself to go to the gym, even if no one is with me, and the rewards were beyond my expectations: I’ve gained confidence in how I look, it made me feel better for myself, made new friends, and of course improve my well-being. Before another birthday arrived I managed to do a lot of things for the first time (which I need not mention), which I never imagined I could do. Since that time my goal each birthday was to surpass each preceding year, making myself better every time the cycle ticks, although I was already doing that since I graduated from College, but this time around my vision is clear.

My birthday celebration last year was also quite memorable. It was the first time I treated a lot of people at the same time. Managing people’s schedules, who’s who is not supposed to “mix peacefully” and managing uninvited guests were some of the issues I learned to handle. I was also touched because I received a gift from my friends. It was a red T-shirt but it was special to me because I know they thought it over (I liked it!), I’m not the easiest person to give a present to that I’ll surely like. I also think it’s lucky because good things happen when I wear it; it’s special because it came from the heart. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not materialistic (not very much?) but the thought of people going out of their way thinking of a present for you—to me that is sweet. Who doesn’t like to receive a well-thought present in their birthdays?

This year before my birthday came I was able to achieve an accomplishment that I dreamt of for so long but didn’t know that I’ll be able to accomplish. It was one of the most memorable birthday present I ever had. What was it? I was hired as a model for a photo shoot by a photographer. Imagine that, me a model? Wow! To tell you the truth I’ve really, really wanted to be one for the longest time, every time I see beautiful people on the covers of the magazine or on billboards or on commercials on TV—I’ve always wanted to be one of them. That was one of the reasons I went to the gym, I know I can prove them wrong, that if you really put your heart into it you can really become what you want to be! I haven’t seen the pictures yet, I hope it comes out good, it was a new experience for me and I hope there’d be another one because I really liked it! I want to show everyone that I am better than the last time, so the next time will definitely be better! I do hope that I get noticed, and that this becomes one of the new doors that open for me to explore. This year closed one of the greatest chapters in my life and I do hope that with this, a new one will be there for me. This celebration isn’t over yet! We’ll still have a celebration on the coming weekend. Another year, another chance to be better! What’s in-store for this year? Only God knows. Whatever it is I hope that it makes me a better person, inside and out.

Thank you to all your greetings! It was a record number of greeters. Thanks a lot! Thank you for reading this, God bless to all!

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