(Disappearing for a long time without any warning is something so in character, it definitely warrants the sincerest apology from me. Here‘s an explanation. I’m very sorry!)
My husband’s birthday and my maternal grandmother’s birthday fall on the same day. Last December 3, Rg turned 29, while my grandmother (whom we fondly call Nana) turned 90. I wore a new red-orange bow poplin blouse and emerald metallic skirt to a fancy dinner party at the very quaint Makati Garden Club. (Thankfully my new shoes didn’t have to be broken in! I didn’t realize my last pair of black strap heels that were also from Mango lasted me a good 5+ years, so it was about time I replace them with a more updated look.)
While I was away on a social media detox (brought about by an intense physical manifestation of stress/anxiety, on top of allergic contact dermatitis that I’m still recovering from) , I finally came to terms about certain things in my life. I thought about the meaning of birthdays, why people celebrated them, and why I never got too excited about my own birthdays. Until now.
I finally turned 29 on the 24th of November. Somehow, the world created a collective habit for birthdays, a custom that everyone has to go through no matter what. But I realized we’re the ones who should be solely responsible to put meaning and purpose into these personal occasions. To make sure we don’t go through the motions of the system and accept the standard definition so easily, it’s up to us to actively search for the meaning of our own birthday, in our own capacity, based on our own experiences, our own life.
It’s easy to go through the day and celebrate it because that’s what’s supposed to happen on birthdays. But parties and get-togethers are only a small part of it, I think. What are you really celebrating?
I found more liberation in gratitude, in the very moment when the value of life is presented to you like a fragile flower bound to fall any second.
Once I found peace in this idea, nothing could stop my tears from falling.
So this is how it means to still be blessed with another year, to still be alive, to breathe the very air that brought me both happiness and sadness, both relief and suffering.
With this, I tell myself everyday, thank you for the gift of limitless choices and chances.