|Birthday Cupcakes Baked by The New York Sisterhood|
Birthdays, like many things in life, is what you make of it. Sometimes, you have no choice but to make necessary changes to suit your vision. Sometimes, your vision is simply unattainable. And sometimes, you realize, that all you need are those who will show up at your birthday. Even worse, sometimes you have to face that this world is too big for you to have the perfect birthday in that specific year.
Studying abroad, for instance, has certainly dampened my birthdays. Although, I would have liked to have my parents around, in the same room to celebrate it, I had friends who tried to make it as special as possible, which, in its own way, is a testament to how surprising life can be. Be it a disaster or a lack of one, birthdays are also a time to grow. For some reason, the day after a nightmarish birthday, I learn a thing or two about myself or realize other ways to appreciate this new year. Every few years, I realize that I have to shed the expectations that revolve and so often ruin the special day, in order to have a fulfilling year. Sometimes, the road gets tough and I need a slap in the face to wake me up. But other times, I am able to jumpstart my life and outlook immediately.
This socially constructed day will be full of ups and downs, because let's face it, it's just another day in the calendar. Whether it's your birthday or any other ordinary day, try to make the best of it. Of course, it's easier said than done, especially when you're writing in bed, hoping to be back home in flood ridden Jakarta. But, hey, it takes time and energy and determination.
Another epiphany that I've had with birthdays is that it took about nine months or ten to deliver a baby to his/her birthday. The best that we can do sometimes is to appreciate the effort that it took to get there, to attain that special day.
I guess, at this point, I'm babbling. There's so much to be said about birthdays that sometimes it can take an entire cycle to figure out the exact words. This piece is dedicated to my grandfather, as well as to me during past birthdays.
*Author owns the right to use the photo above