I turned 31 last thursday. I am not afraid to admit my age. In fact I happily tell people how old I am. When I was about 10 I never saw myself living beyond 30 so it was particularly important for me to honour this gift of one more year of life. Not that I want to sound morbid here, but I guess I've always thought that life was going to be short for me given my history of illnesses. So in a way I've always lived life as if I was on borrowed time and thus I try to live it to the best that I can.
This year I told myself I would have a different birthday. After all one doesn't turn 31 every year. So this year I celebrated my birthday in Bangkok with Angeli, my friend from the university.After finishing our "official business" in the land of tom yum and chili crabs, we relaxed by enjoying the fruits of our hard labour. We went on a food trip, a shopping trip, and even a massage trip. We have been both under a lot of stress lately because of work so the trip was equally important for our work as well as our sanity.
After I returned I had my traditional birthday dinner/inuman with my pinoy friends which was fun. Everyone was drunk especially me. haha. I missed having ella and the rest of my manila barkada around though. I have to admit not seeing their faces in my party was abit nostalgic for me. I even miss having olie try and steal the food from the tables.
In turning 31 I learned some important life lessons. I learned that life is simply how we make it to be. We may blame fate for our circumstances but in the end our so called "circumstances" are actually our own doing. I learned that happiness lies only in 1 place--ourselves. Nothing and no one can make us truly happy but ourselves. Sadness and loneliness comes about when we choose to give the power to make us happy to someone else.
Over the past few weeks Ive been instilling some changes in my life by taking back the power of being happy and finding my bliss. I'm slowly finding myself again. And I'm learning to love myself more-including my imperfections and my neurotic mood swings from time to time.
I've learned that being on my own may have given me freedom. But that freedom is choice. And whatever I choose, I should be ready to pay the price. I finally come to accept the truth behind the saying--you can have anything in this world as long as you are willing to pay the price.
I've learned that I have a gift-- a gift of being able to bring together people who normally would not even be together. Seeing my friends get drunk last friday night reminded me of that gift. My mom used to marvel at how varied my group of friends are. When you look at them they don't have anything in common but whenever it was time for my birthday or any of my parties at home, everyone would show up-- and even for a couple of hours they would actually get along.
Most of all I've learned not to settle for anything less than what I deserve. I am not seeking for perfection. But I've also learned that settling for anything less that what I really want is depriving myself of what I ought to have. And if I am fortunate enough to have this extension in life, I know I should not only live it but I should live it WELL.