I (grudgingly) turned 22 yesterday. I don’t know what it is about 22, It feels like a dubious number waiting to catch me in the never ending threat of the idea of possibilities as a young adult. “Age is just a number!” they say. As the clock struck midnight and the social media and messages of posts came streaming in, I couldn’t help but wonder. What made a birthday so special? People live for their birthdays, with expectations. But what they forget is that such high expectations somehow is always accompanied with our familiar friend- disappointment.
That morning I tried to hype myself. But the more I tried to feel that it was a ‘special’ day, the more it backfired against me. So eventually, I gave up and sat on the fence. I took the train in the morning and came across a email from a reader of mine which was sent in the wee hours of the morning. This man, Who I’ve never met before-wrote the sweetest fan mail. Labelled -you are a hero!- He said,
“ I am on the point of giving up on Asian girls from traditional families. I thought I was too open minded, free spirited and ambitious. But reading your blog gives me hope! I just broke up with my girlfriend and I’m leaving Singapore in a month, but thanks for giving Singapore girls a better reputation.”
As I read the mail. I unknowingly felt a smile creep up my face. I was extremely touched that what I wrote helped them to relate to my emotions and most importantly it helped my readers reach out. I don’t have a very big reader base nor do I publicize my blog on Facebook because ultimately I don’t write 24 hours and I don’t aim to be a writer in real life- it is a passion and a way to write my demons out but a career out of it will definitely kill me (deep deep writer block issues). So right here and now, I wanted to say thank you to everyone who never left me.
I went to work that morning ( Sian!) (But it’s your birthday!). Don’t get me wrong , my supervisor was more than willing to let me take the time off, but I was running a program that morning and weirdly enough, I enjoy talking and catching up with the seniors too, so I decided to take the time after yesterday (I’m off for the rest of the week!).
I chose and planned the activity of cotton bud art, and I spent quite a bit of effort piecing and cutting the pieces of artwork. In the beginning, I was worried it’d turn out bad but, when all the artwork came back together to form the big picture- It was all worth it. Best moment of it all: My executive director happened to walk in at that point of time and said it was worth framing up for display at the center to represent the seniors. By the afternoon that day, the contractor had taken the artwork to frame! 🙂
I ended my day with none other than twin, who brought me to Barossa at Holland Village for dinner.
This was also our first catch up after not seeing her physically for the last 4 months while she was finishing her undergraduate studies in Australia. She had actually confirmed her tickets to depart Australia on the 28th, but changed it to the 22nd so that she could celebrate my birthday with me. For that, I was really grateful and touched altogether at once.
A gift?! I have…… a gift?!
Ripped it open to find that she got me a Peter Alexander PJ Pants!!!! (I take my Sleepwear very seriously. Thank you.) All in all a good night, Barossa’s rib eye steak was ah-maz-ing . I’d definitely come back here again!
Two times the laughter, two times the fun xx
To sum it up: I think after one day- I understood the purpose of birthdays, and why we get disappointed when we don’t get what we expect. Birthdays are special, it is specifically to celebrate the day you were born, with everyone you’ve met along the way in this road we call life. Sure everyone knows that, but does anyone think why it’s so important to their individual selves to celebrate it?
After yesterday and turning 22, I’ve come to realize that my birthday this year made me realize that:
- The people you love might not have the time for you, because we are all at the age of fulfilling something in our lives- be it education or our jobs- and that’s OK, because the ones that really care are the ones that will make it a point to send you a heartfelt message.
- You’d know the difference between a friend who just says happy birthday, and one that says it from their heart.
- It help us remember that a year has gone by, and helps you reflect on how much you’ve grown from the year. Most importantly, it gives you direction, and forces you to change.
- It reminded me not to be ungrateful. To thank god for another year I was given that others might not have had, to thank my family and friends for the never ending support and concern.
- How much we choose to show our real intentions vary from individual to individual. But eventually everyone essentially wants to be loved or remembered.
Thank you everyone for the well wishes! Much love from this +65/
21 22 year old xx