So I’ve been treading the world for two decades today. Yup, today marks my 20 years of eating, praying, and loving. Just like everyone, I am in quite a dilemma of how to spend it. Allow me to take you on a tour of how my June 16s for the past five years have been like. If only I were at home, I’d be more than willing to include my celebrations of younger years, but I’m in the dorm and the people around me right now have a crazy sense of adventure. Just see for yourself.
Every year, I thank God because Dad and Mom who never complain how much I spend for a party. I have to (or want to) throw at least four separate celebrations, namely: with high school to college friends celebrating at Yellow Cab or at Kennny Roger’s, eating pizzas and spaghetti with friends at the dorm, celebrating with college barkada (bunch of friends) at Shakey’s or at TGIF’s, and with my sisters at buffet restaurants when everyone is available.
On my first year in college, when I turned 16, I threw a lunch party for my friends just so we could all get acquainted. A year later I felt more than happy receiving a compilation of birthday greetings from dormates, college-mates, and friends in the university.
18th was very special. My dormates had to give me a hard time looking for them. They organised a hunt a la Amazing Race for me. I was running through the corridors, up and down the stariways, and even on the rooftop just to look for clues. I swear I looked like this -_- when I found out that the clue was with roommate all along.
I would really like to post pictures of my 19th and 20th birthdays here but… My 19th birthday was a lot of fun because Ate Joy, a student-worker celebrated it with me (since her birthday is three days before mine). She cooked my favorite cheese sticks while I put ready some Filipino delicacies. So many dormers attended, and I’m very thankful that they made were game for the party even if it lasted until 12 and it was a schoolnight.
It’s a good thing, however, that the person who sat beside me at mass today was a nice young lady who took my hand while singing the Lord’s Prayer. And while it was awkward holding hands with a girl I barely know, it made me feel a little less alone. That could be the first highlight of this year’s birthday.
If you ask me, I’d say that I love the fact that I did not forget to turn off the Facebook setting wherein the website notifies my friends that it is my birthday. I guess it’s the only way that people close to me will remember my birthday and that people I barely know and who feel forced to give me greetings will feel less obliged to do so. It’s funny how the first Facebook greeting I got was from a distant cousin who I never thought would remember my birthday. But it’s funnier and more heart-warming when people got the wrong date, greeting celebrators a day earlier.
People change. A lot. I’ve seen it through the years. Just yesterday, I had dinner with my high school chums who study in the same university as I do. We’ve become more mature; minus the moment when we were arguing who among the three of us is the tallest. Earlier still, this high college male friend of mine told me that he can now tolerate hugs. I went all because I never thought that day would come that early. But my friends haven’t changed in one aspect; they are still my good friends.
I know a person or two who share with me my birthdate. I already gave out my greetings to them, and that’s genuine. How could one not feel good about his or her birthday?
This year, just like every year, I celebrated my birthday with my sisters. It’s cool that they invite to luncheon, but I guess their paying the tab for it would make everything better. Of course, I’m joking. I’m generous, it’s my birthday. We went to Buffet 101, which is a notch more expensive than last year’s celebration at Yakimix. Last year they bought me a pair of shoes from my favorite shoe brand, Hush Puppies. They’re more sensible this year, buying me a Littmann stethoscope with my name engraved on its bell. (I promise to post a picture of it soon!) But here’s a pic of how it looked before I ripped the life out of the present.
And because it has been so long since we last saw a movie at the theatre together, we decided to watch Man of Steel. However, I did not offer to pay for their tickets because I’d be spending five digits for just the three of us when I have so many more friends whom I want to celebrate with. Achi, being more of a Batman fan than that of Superman’s, was asleep halfway through the movie. Fraulien, the biggest Smallville/ Superman fan I know, was all eyes and ears throughout the movie. I found myself on the middle ground again when the two of them argued about how the movie should be rated. On the way home, I passed up on a Venti Java Chip while my sisters ordered their usual Sunday drinks because they have to study for this week’s exams or whatnot.
When I told Daddy that the three of us will be eating at some expensive restaurant, he only said sure. He even offered for us to charge it on our credit cards. I didn’t do that, I don’t think my conscience can ever let me do that. Daddy always makes us feel so very special. He also reminded me that today is that one day of the year when no one can ruin nothing, when people who care actually make you feel better, and when one can demand only nice things from the rest of the world. But when I heard mass today, I can’t help feeling that today is just like every other day. It’s the sixteenth of June, a Sunday in the Philippines, I could have been standing at church today had I been late, or I could have not been accommodated at the restaurant today had there been more people who wanted to celebrate Father’s Day. Of course, to everyone who doesn’t know me, they don’t care about how special today is for me. Yes, it’s just another day for another set of chores, or for one person to turn older, or for one person to get out of prison. But I still believe that it’s all in the way we choose to spend and value our birthdays.
I had so much fun today. I guess only my mobile phone can be complaining. I am very thankful for the many people I have met in life, who never fail to surprise me, and for journeying with me throught life. I believe that these people are a reflection of who we are in life.
Thank you, Lord for another year. Two decades and counting. Yes, Lord!