Ever since this year started, I’ve been getting the most frequently asked award-winning question : “What do you want for your 21st birthday?”
I would usually response in another question, “As in what I want or what I want to do on my birthday?” and the person would just say “In general, Win. It is your day after all.” This year however, I am one of the few people whom I know that has her birth date symbolizing her age. My case, I turn 21 on the 21st and apparently, it’s supposed to be a big deal. “I mean after all how often do you turn 21 on the 21st? It’s a once in a lifetime kind of thing!!” a friend once told me and knowing myself, I treat every birthday as how I would treat Valentine’s Day ; just any ordinary day.
So let me take you back to a night rooftop conversation with a friend of mine.
“Someone’s turning 21 soon.”
“Gosh, another year just flew by that fast”
“Big plans this year? You’re turning 21 on the 21st! It’s pretty special”
“No. None. Every social networking sites I have….when it’s someone’s 21st birthday and it appears on my newsfeed, it looks so expensive with helium balloons, a pastel coloured cake, expensive gifts and it’s either in some fancy restaurant or a hotel. Me on the other hand have, not a single clue whatsoever. *laughs a little*”
“Well I hope tonight’s early birthday celebration made you happy”
“*smiles* Of course it did! Thanks a lot by the way. I have no plans because a year ago, around this time-ish, I could never picture myself making through another year. Last year, I was on the floor choking on my tears. I could never imagine myself turning 21 because I was on the verge of giving up. Like on the edge and I placed my fingers on my wrist to feel my pulse to check whether my heart was still functioning. I know it’s sad but hey, here I am with this amazing glass of dessert wine.1 year old me would be so proud of me right now”
“I’m proud of you too, Win.”
“Heck, I’m proud of myself too because it’s pretty amazing how I even make it this far. I honestly don’t know what I want for my 21st because I never thought I would actually live to the day when I turn 21. And so far, August 2015 has been a blessing. I might spend my birthday alone this year and probably have a little weekend getaway. Sleep in,take a long warm shower, sit by the beach or something. I don’t have the money to spend on a fancy party or whatever so I guess a getaway would be good right?”
“That saying was right, huh? On how much things can change in a year.”
“So back to your question, I honestly don’t know but whatever happens happen. Yes, I only turn 21 once in a lifetime but so far, I’m thankful. Every single day, I’m being reminded that I am loved and how blessed I am. What else do I really want more? I had people, though anonymous and some aren’t, telling me how much I’ve inspired them and I teared reading those messages. I’m so grateful. So very grateful.”
“It’ll be fine, Win. Thank you for not giving up because Lord knows what I’d do without you and truly you’re the definition of strength and I’m so proud of you. I’m not saying that because I’m your best friend. I’m saying it because it’s the truth. You’ve come a long way. A long and tough way. Well Win, happy early birthday and do me a favour and please eat all the food that you love on your birthday! Do whatever you want on that day. Wear make up, heels, a dress, eat a tub of ice cream or buy yourself flowers or eat cookies…you know what, just be happy. You deserve that.”
My friends say I grow up too fast and it’s funny how sometimes I wish I could really turn back time to when I was 8 and all I cared about was whether my mom would buy me a new box of Buncho crayons for Uncle Kwan’s art class on Fridays at school. Aside from being reminded by retail outlets on how I can get discounts on items on my birthday, August has been really amazing to me so far. We’ll see how it goes 🙂