The Real Present

The Real Present

Birthday after birthday, my perception of what exactly I’m celebrating somewhat changes, and it has evolved into something I don’t quite want to make a big deal out of because the more you expect, the more you’ll be disappointed. From the time I can remember, my birthdays have been extravagantly celebrated by the ones who love me the most- my parents. My mom would cook up an entire lie (a new one every year) to convince me we aren’t going to do something big, but end up inviting all my closest friends and putting on a party, each time it’s perfect. Every year without fail, my family would remind all my closest friends around me about my birthday and make sure that it’s the best day of my life. And every year without fail, there’d be this cake we gather around, sing the song, blow the candles and celebrate. There’s also always a family dinner.

And I am the luckiest girl in the world to have parents and family members who’d do all these for me.

But this year and the last were different– no cake, no expensive presents, no elaborate parties nor surprises.

Last year, I took it in my hands to bring the people in the OM family I cared about and loved most together, to have an afternoon out together and played board games while eating and laughing and talking. And this year, I also only celebrated with the people closest to heart (my ex-OM team, my godmother and of course, the family). It seems I’m trying to take things more minimalistic and bring more depth than breadth to this special day. It’s not that I think extravagant are bad or evil or narcissistic or anything negative of that sort, I just feel like I’d like for them to be optional. After having these planned out for you for years, it subconsciously becomes a necessity, when it really isn’t. And you forget to appreciate the more intangible and precious things that are reflected on this day– the appreciation, admiration, respect, gratitude and love all expressed because on this one day, people think and express how they feel about you.

Birthdays are just one of the many ‘special’ days or periods that we go through annually, and when we repeatedly celebrate or commemorate them in the same way, we tend to forget the significance or meaning of what we’re celebrating on this day, bringing the focus to how different or alike this day could be from the previous or how much better or worse it could possibly get.

Don’t get me wrong, this birthday was still celebrated, still spent basking in the happiness and feeling blessed admist the wishes and heartfelt messages of appreciate and love. The only difference, I suppose, is that I feel all these a few times deeper when I take the material expressions of these feelings out of the picture.


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