I’m not that big on birthdays. Unlike some people who make a big event out of their birthdays, I usually just choose to spend my birthdays quietly with my family and a few good friends. Which is why when I was recalling my past birthdays last night, a few birthday celebrations stood out in my memory.
There was this celebration I had in law school where our whole block had a picnic at the lagoon to celebrate my birthday. I love my law school block. Even though we were all so different, we genuinely cared for each other and looked after one another until we graduated. And even until now, in fact. Perhaps that lagoon party counts as one of the happiest I’ve had because I was a freshmen then and totally incapable of comprehending how I could possibly survive four more years of law school. So I appreciated the fact that my block surprised me with that party, as if to say that they had my back and that we were all in that crazy law school ride together. And we really were. Some of my strongest friendships were forged during those four years of law school. When my father died, the first to send flowers was my block. And the other day, when I celebrated my birthday, the first call I got was from a blockmate.
I also remember my 30th birthday— the only time I ever threw a party for myself. The idea was to invite the 30 people closest to me, but that proved to be difficult, so I ended up inviting almost everybody. I had just resigned from the law firm then, and was about to start with my new work, so it was a blast being with my law firm barkada one last time. I remember how they all spied on my crush who was invited, of course. They were all dying to meet him, owing to the fact that I wasted their billable hours talking about him in the office. Haha. It was also on that birthday where we announced that I was about to take on a leadership role in our prayer community, so you could just imagine how many people offered their prayers and support. That party was special because almost everyone who’s dear to me was there. And even though some of them are no longer as visible in my life now, I still remember how their prayers saw me through the most difficult moments of my life.
And then there was the year when my birthday fell on Ash Wednesday which meant I had to fast the whole day. My friend Ria suggested that we hang out at the rooftop of the place where we were staying because she said she had a concern that she wanted to discuss with me. So we were there talking the whole night, when our other friends— who happened to be the sweetest in the world— went to the rooftop at exactly 12 midnight to surprise me with cake, flowers, and lots of food! And from afar, we could see fireworks —although we didn’t know why— but they were teasing that they arranged it for me. I swear, I have the best, most loving friends in the world.
But those birthdays were the exceptions to the rule. The rule is that I just spend my birthdays with my family without any fuss. Last Tuesday, my brother and I visited Papa’s crypt, bought food for lunch, waited for our balikbayans to come by, slept, went to mass with Mama, had dinner with family, and spent time with them. Nothing extraordinary. Which suits me just fine because I’m never really big on birthdays. In fact, when Alett asked me what my birthday wish was, I had to think really hard until I realized that I didn’t have any. I’m just glad to be where I am now— 37 and with plenty of experiences-both happy and sad- to justify what I’ve become. If I live to be a hundred— which I hope doesn’t happen— maybe I’ll throw the biggest party ever. But knowing me, maybe not. I’m a staunch believer that birthdays should be spent doing what makes you happy, which for me, basically means just being with myself. I’m such an introvert, I know. Which probably explains why I’m almost forty and still very single. Haha.
Single and pretty, that is.
Pagbigyan nyo na ‘ko, birthday ko! 😉