“Birthdays are nature’s way of telling you to eat more cake.”
― Jo Brand
I turned 23 today.
For all my life, I spent my birthday either cramming for exams or sitting for one. It was sheer luck that my birthday always fall on third week of May, usually the examination week. Now that student life is over, this year was the first year I celebrate this special day as a working adult. From this year onwards, I will spend 9 hours in the office, until the day when my birthday falls on a weekend.
Birthdays was one of the most prominent memories of my childhood. Back then, there were no iPhones, no Instagram, no Photoshop; we used film cameras and carefully selected memories we want to keep. Apart from birthdays, some old pictures include the first day of school, weddings, or a relative gathering. I remembered when I was in Primary school, I had the same birthday cake for three years in a row until Mum said no to the forth; fruity cheese sponge layer cake with the same printed teddy bear on the top.
As much as I loved birthdays and the significance of this occasion, I have never quite understood the need of a big celebration. Up until I was 17, I had a quiet birthday celebration, just my family of 4. I never asked to invite any friends over (maybe it was because I didn’t have much friends then) and was never asked if I wanted to.
During university years abroad, things changed and I found myself being surrounded by a constant group of friends that I love. I always think that our friendships strengthened due to the distance from home and absence of our families. We found solace in the friends we make and began an unspoken tradition of birthday celebrations. On every person’s birthday, we would take the effort of making that lucky someone feel loved and appreciated on his/her special day. I realised recently that my birthday also marked the end of a university term year.
After graduation, we returned to our home country but soon parted ways, each working for different companies and were constrained to the standard office hours. The only times I met up with them were for birthday celebrations, often during the weekends or Friday evenings. If I had not moved to the city, I would had missed out on so much fun. These pictures showed some of the peeps on their special day.
I had an early 23rd birthday celebration at BSC’s Dancing Fish. As a person who felt socially awkward being the centre of attention, I found myself enjoying the celebration. Perhaps I had finaly became truly comfortable with the group of friends I was blessed with. A huge thank you to the person who organise and all of you who attended.
On the day itself, I had a birthday lunch with two colleagues earlier; it was very sweet of both of them. That night, my parents took me to a nice restaurant for this occasion. I wish my brother could be here to join us too.. 😉
I disabled my birthday in Facebook a long time ago; I felt that the birthday notification that people receive from Facebook made us feel slightly obliged to drop a birthday wish to the person. I was thankfully surprised with birthday blessings from people who remembered without any notifications. You know who you are *winks*. I thanked you all for the birthday wishes, advanced or belated – Thank you for remembering me on this special day.
Today, I am 23 years old, but don’t we agree that age is just a number?