Birthdays

When I was a child, we had huge family birthday celebrations. I thoroughly enjoy poring over albums and all the precious memories they contain. I believe this was, in part, due to the fact that my cousin and I are birthday twins and are only 12 hours apart, so it was a chance for the fambam to get together.

Everyone has their own way of celebrating. I’m unsure if this is part of growing up, but mine has become more simplistic. An important part of this day for me is to be mindful of my own perspective of how I want this day to go i.e: to not get caught up in the materialistic aspect and remember to be grateful for whatever comes my way. I also dont believe in the importance of a cake per se, but I do think that it’s a great excuse to have all the junk in the world and enjoy being pampered in the sense that, no one’s really going to be mean to you or say no if you want something, because, duh, birthday.

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In defense of my earlier statement, this was a few days after my birthday, and thus, completely unexpected. I remember insisting if we all could just leave already and everyone around me exhibiting confuzzled expressions. That’s me taking a picture of the cake before anything else, because, priorities.

As exciting as it was to become officially legal to do everything I couldn’t care less of doing in my part of the world, I also felt oddly pressurized by societal & family expectations to conform and play the part of a successful adult. This feeling has always been there since my graduation, but somehow seems more profound now. You wake up feeling special-ish, and then the next couple of days are spent in self-evaluation mode, like. What am I even doing with my life? Why am I not there yet? Chances are, that that there that you have set for yourself is either a completely unrealistic expectation, or you are losing yourself in a toxic sea of comparison with other seemingly successful adults of your age.

What I realised after a couple of days of moping about the situation, was that it’s okay. Sometimes you do need to sulk and be stern with yourself, but it’s best not to wallow in it for too long (guilty as charged). The outcome of this should only be that we need to hustle harder. The past can never be altered and I believe in honouring the decisions and choices we make. Typing this down is my way of making peace with the pessimism that I can allow to get under my skin sometimes. I can do so much by being patient with my circumstances whilst striving for where I want to be. Sometimes there’s no one around us to tell us that, but you need to tell yourself. Or you can come to me and I’ll let you know. (I once had a graphic tee with the phrase: I Am Not A Nag, I’m A Motivational Speaker. Sounds about right).

Onwards and upwards-ingly yours,
-N

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