17: My Cup is Full

There are 365 and ¼ days in a year. Each one of these bursts forth with so much potential, so many possibilities. Each one of these is an opportunity. But, there is this certain day that has the capability to stir so much in you, to fill you with outrageous grace until you’re wonderfully swollen: your birthday. It’s that one day in the year where everything is modified by the powerful word “extra”. You feel extra-loved, extra-blessed, extra-happy. You are so full to the brim yet you feel infinite. You feel special. You feel like you have made an impact in this world, no matter how small it may appear. You feel so good. You can even be “over-privileged”, as Kea Bravo would call it.

In all honesty, I’ve been really anxious about my birthday since two weeks prior. I shoved it to the farthest corner of my mind, successfully, until my Mom (who happens to share the same birthday as mine, how amazing is that) planted a reminder of it on the Chewy Choco Fancy ice cream I was enjoying. I don’t know why I was suppressing the thought of a +1 on my age. Why the anxiety on such a special day? Mostly, the stressfulness of being in the spotlight. I am naturally awkward and unused to so much attention. Of course, despite the evasion, I was thrilled, too. New age, new you, and all that stuff. Plus, people important to me make the day memorable as much as they can. It’s touching.

Every birthday is a blessing.

So, here I am: 17 and counting.

I’m writing this because the feelings within me are becoming uncontainable and uncontainable by the moment. I feel like I would just topple over all of a sudden and spill my contents out to the world.

I feel:

  • Blessed. 17 years old—it’s the oldest I’ve ever been and the youngest I’ll ever be (as the quote circulating in Tumblr goes). The fact that I’m still alive after all this time is such a beautiful reason to make me feel blessed. Despite all my flaws, God still makes sure that I get to bask in His unending grace. I really don’t feel deserving at all, but the people around me make me feel that I am worth it. It moves my soul. To think that this time last year, I had a little less of everything: a little less experience, a little less candle on my birthday cake, a little less in height (I hope, but, I’m beginning to think my height’s a constant), a little less friends, a little less hair length, a little less confidence, a little less maturity. Now, I have a little more of everything. The beauty of change.
  • Happy. It’s been quite a long stretch of time since I last used this word on myself. It’s one of my favorite words. “Happiness depends upon the tides of the mind,” yes. But, the tides of the mind aren’t that manageable (and may have a life of their own, in which they have their own brain to manage on them). Having been sailing afar from Isle Happy, the force of the tidal wave that brought me to it had me doubling over in shock. I had forgotten how wonderful happiness can be until I trudged its shores again. This is all thanks to the people who stayed: people who, with their heavy-with-love hearts, rocked the earth and sent the tidal wave galloping towards me.
  • Different. This time last year, I was a wholly different person. I had different preferences, different ideals, different convictions. (I really think my height is the only other thing constant in this world, aside from Change.) This time last year, I had no strength to let go of things fated to cease in existence. This year, I’m trying. It’s so amazing to be different (e.g. being someone you thought you’d never be). I never thought I would learn to love myself, deeply. That kind of love that goes beyond vanity towards one’s very own biology. I am very different now from who I was, but it’s okay. It’s alright to be different.
  • Sad. 16 was a good year for me for it brought me to where I am now. 16 experienced outrageous joy and unbearable pain. 16 was torn by heartbreaks Time itself may never patch. Now, it is handing over these memories to 17, with a sadness that I can only attribute to the fact that I am letting go of the past, despite the difficulty.
  • Lost but, finally, found. I wrote some time before: “People sometimes hide, because they want to be found.” No one ever really came to find me, until two people stuck their heads out to do so without even intending to: Patricia Ticse & Benson Sia. Patricia found someone in me I never knew existed—a person who loves life. Benson, on the other hand, gave me a place where I can start searching for myself, in God’s light—John 3:16 (“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”). I am but beginning to find my own self—a lifelong struggle—but I’m thankful for these great people giving me a heads up on who I may be. Special mention goes to my best friend, Roi, who has stuck with me like I’m Harry Potter. He’s always there for me, even though I falter so much at being there for him.

These bullets are mere representatives of my feelings at the moment. If I were to write all of them here—I wouldn’t be able to in the first place. They are so many, and some don’t have names. The real point is that this blog entry is a birthday greeting to the woman in the mirror, and to her mother.

A more detailed entry (with pictures!) will be posted soon, hopefully. For now, I must face the wrath of a cruel subject disguised in the seemingly-harmless name of Organic Chemistry. Oh, and thank you for reading this. You have given me a gift by doing so.
Kea’s post about December 2, 2011. Isn’t she sweet?


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