28 Shades of Life

The clock has struck midnight. It’s a bittersweet feeling. Another year has gone by; another birthday to have a celebration. The transformation, the experience of a person in just 365 days is a little saddening, yet somewhat incredible.

On 1988 March 04th, I can’t imagine how my parents would have felt upon my arrival. 28 years later, here I am. I hope they still adore me. From what I can tell, they are a little annoyed, but they do still adore me. Thank god!

I am no longer a little girl but sometimes the little kid in me still shows up at the oddest times.

I have always been different. Growing up I thought we should all be alike and be no different than others at school. I thought it was all about getting that 10 ‘A’s for my Ordinary Levels and 4 ‘A’s for my Advanced Levels just like the others would do. I wanted to have the courage to go up on the stage and be a popular kid. Now, at 28, I would rather sit in a chair and read a good book while sipping coffee in a solitary place.

I’m not the kid I wanted to be. But I am the adult that I have to be. This is me. This is the transformation of life which I must have a celebration for.

I wanted to be married at 24. As a kid I thought life would flow smoothly according to the plans we have in mind. But growing up, I learned we can never predict what life hold in its store for each of us. I am not married at 28 now and I am still happy. I go on little adventures of my own and, I am excited to be alive at the end of the day. In all honesty, life has worked out for the best and I am not willing to trade anything.

What a difference all these years have made? I am a woman who I’ve never imagined I’d be.

In my younger years, I have had difficulties accepting myself. I didn’t want to look like me. I didn’t want to be like me. There were those ugly days when I didn’t know how to love myself. I was reluctant to forgive me for being me, looking like me. Whenever I stopped and looked in a mirror, I wasn’t too happy about what I saw in the mirror. Years slowly passed by. Now, I’ve grown to love the woman I see in the mirror. It took me years to forgive me for being me. On some days, I still have those ugly moments when I almost hate me. But now I know how to comfort the insecure little girl version in me. I am not the prettiest or the smartest girl. But I’ve accepted myself for who I am, for what I am. It’s the most significant transformation of all.

I usually celebrate my birthdays with my parents, my younger sister and brother. Occasionally, only the close relatives might join us. Birthdays are never forgotten in my house. Growing, changing, learning, birthdays are all about life and being alive. Whenever I meet a person who doesn’t really celebrate their birthdays, I am in utter shock. How can you not celebrate? It’s your special day. How can it not be a big deal? Your birthday is the biggest deal of deals, my friend!

Birthday’s are all about enduring life, surviving and moving forward no matter how hard or unclear the road is. You keep going. That deserves a celebration. Doesn’t it? It means you have survived a year of unending trials that life makes you perform. You have accepted the challenge of 365 days and you lived through it another year. That clearly deserves a celebration, at least in my book. Maybe you didn’t do as well as you would have imagined. But that’s okay, here’s another 365 days for you to try again!

I am not talking about throwing extravagant parties that does nothing but exhaust you and empty your pocket in the end. (But hey, if you are into it, good for you!) Celebration can be as easy as going to your favourite place and having a mint chocolate chip cookie ice-cream with someone you love. It can be as simple as creating a journal, a piece of art to mark your special day. The little moments of joy that you collect marks a celebration, a special occasion worth remembering.

I don’t like grand celebrations nor do I enjoy being the center of the attention. Large crowds make me restless. It’s too much for me. I like my space and my peace comes from having simple things, doing simple things. A small gathering of the people who I love is more than enough for me to celebrate any special occasion.  That’s exactly what I did on my 28th birthday.

I had a simple celebration to mark my birthday—another year of survival on this planet—with the people I love with all of my heart. It was a grand party for me because those little moments of happiness I shared with them is precious and can’t be bought for million dollars. I’m 28. I am alive and living. I am lucky. Celebration mustn’t be stopped.

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