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Thoughts on my 24th Birthday

by Meg R <>
    It's your birthday
    It's your birthday 
    You're not a year older
    only a year wiser...

I turned 24 last January 1, 2000. Big deal.

Turning a year short of a quarter of a century is something not worth celebrating about, I said to myself.

Or so I thought.

At 10 minutes before 12 midnight I got hold of candles and matches, and put them within arms reach -- just in case doomsdayers' predictions of a power failure due to the Y2K bug came true (as everybody well know by now, the crossover to the new millennium was blessedly uneventful. Oh well...)

At five minutes before 12 midnight Nida called to greet me a happy birthday. She was feeling mighty proud of herself. claiming she called me at exactly 12 midnight. I deemed it my duty to tell her she was five minutes early, but she had another call coming, so that was that.

Then Siony called, then Michelle, then Ching, then Lanie, then Nani...

Suffice it to say, if some rich bloke offered a thousand bucks for every birthday greeting I receive, I would have been a hundred thousand bucks richer by now. Nobody offered, but still I was feeling pretty rich -- I never knew so many people cared enough about me.

I got to receive lots of hugs and kisses too - beats having a steady papa anytime, huh!

I once showed Mato my scribblings on a small piece of paper - with teardrop stains and all -- written on my 20th birthday, and it went a little something like this:

    It's my 20th birthday, but why do I feel dangerously close to tears? Why is it that as you grow older, happiness gets to be more and more difficult to be had? I remember when I was a kid -- just throw me a little party, give me a few gifts, and I'm as happy as the next dopey guy high on some God-knows-what substance...

I couldn't remember the rest, because I threw the paper several days later. But whatever the rest of it was, it was such a hit -- because upon reading, Mato laughed 'til tears were streaming from her eyes. Looking back, a background music of the Bee Gees' song - how does it go? - I started to cry/which started the whole world laughing/oh but I couldn't see/that the joke was on me - would have been more than apt - my misery the source of humor of another. Tsktsktsk - what a tragedy.

I guess what I really want say is -- I now realize how silly I've been. I was waiting for happiness to come and overtake me, when I should have grabbed my share while I was at it.

Happiness is a decision. Only we can decide whether we wanna be happy or not.

Let's face it - we are all guilty of overlooking the joys we have in life, because we are too busy noticing the sad parts, the bad parts. Worse, we mistakenly measure happiness relative to what another person has or what he does not have. We have set a criteria for happiness, when it's supposed to be something abstract, something non-quantifiable.

I admit, several days before my birthday, I thought it was going to be a lonely one, because I was still nursing a broken heart, because I won't have that special someone to spend it with (again) - when I was so looking forward to it when I was still with my ex-boyfriend. Come to think of it, I was letting my happiness depend on my ex-boyfriend. For a while there, I forgot that he does not hold the key to my happiness - I do.

I forgot that I've a family that loves me to pieces, friends that care.

Good thing I remembered in time for my birthday.

    "The one person who can truly make you happy is yourself." --Jessica Zafra
    Things to Do on Valentine's When You're Dead Twisted II, Spawn of Twisted.

This column is reserved for the exhibition of every Gen-Xer's angsts, views, opinions, and such, on things, stuff or issues worth writing about, whether they be experienced in real life or here on cyberspace. Views and opinions on this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the editors of WIRED! Philippines (although we might find ourselves nodding occasionally).


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