It has been 28 days since I turned 23. And yet the feeling of being 23 did not sink in still. I couldn’t erase the moment when I went to our company rest room and cried my heart out while making sure nobody will hear me. I couldn’t forget that aha spark the moment I changed my mind. It was a split of second. It was a nano-moment I’m so thankful it has registered in my mind forever.
I was planning to let this day go by. Pass me without the hesitation of ever letting me feel that I just turned another year older. Nobody knew my birthday here. Facebook didn’t even have a clue. Only a few remembered. My closest friends are quite busy during this time of the month. People who made my day special last year was the very same people that made this year’s…uhm…quite miserable. Because they forgot. They forgot my birthday. I was trying to understand why.
But then I got tired. And gave up. That’s when the aha spark happened. I approached one of my closest friends in the office. Asked her what would be the best blowout I could give for the entire group. She and another friend went down with me. They knew then something was up on my sleeve. “I just turned 23,” I said. And the rest, as they say, is history. But not for me. Because that was the moment when I finally understood that it was my day. It was a special day. And that whatever reasoning I gave myself to justify my want to spend it quietly is not reason enough to make myself miserable. Because at the end of the day, it is you, it is me who decides how to spend our birthdays. Not other people’s memory. Not even Facebook.
It was almost six in the evening, one more hour before our office time comes to an end. It was almost too late. But nothing is too late if you really want to make things happen. I was pretty much sure that I didn’t want to end that day with nobody giving me my birthday greetings. And so I bought pizza for everyone.
Nothing can describe the internal struggle I was going through at the time. People all around stopped whatever they were doing and came to our department. I knew they came for the pizza. But my birthday greetings came along with them. I was happy. I was contented. After all, it was all I really needed—my birthday greetings.
People back home may have forgotten it, but I’m glad the new ones were there to spend my special day with me. And giving me my birthday greetings. I thought I would sleep that night, still crying with misery. It was my special day after all. And special days are ought to be spent with two boxes of monstrous pizza. Yes. Because you write your own story. You write your own once upon a times and happy endings. You choose how your day will end. And how your year will begin. And this year, I choose to be happy.