This Kind of Happy

I am 19 today. It has been a beautiful day filled with the sweetest gifts I could ever think of:

One―this video of my friends compiled by my forever roommate Joan. I woke up to it and there were tears in my eyes from start to finish. It wasn’t just my heart that was touched; my soul was likewise moved. Thank you for this. ❤

Two―kind words from friends (whom I terribly miss):

@Pepe_V: Happy birthday to the poetic little girl na rume-red lipstick, @sjerliveisclare!

@deedeesison: Happy birthday to my favorite bunkmate @sjerliveisclare!!! Here is us, from a million pounds ago, aka 2010. Love you! (With a picture I’m too embarrassed to place here, haha.)

@KeaBravo: Happy Birthday, @sjerliveisclare The Room, everyone, and I miss your presence dearly!!! We love you!!!

@joshbiascan: Happy happy birthdaaaay to my Sabin, @sjerliveisclare. I miss you everyday! Love you ❤

@abieelc: Happiest birthday, @sjerliveisclare ❤ love and miss you everyday always 😊 and a happy birthday to your moma too!

“The girl with the waterfall hair,

The story you write will be ageless. I love you! Happy birthday. *insert twirling happy hug here* You are a blessing. ♥” – Patricia

“Happy happy birthday Sjerlive!!:) Whaddup friend 19 ka na! Na accdg to Ramon, pag 19, 19-dihan mo na ang mga bagay-bagay. Haha” ―Roi (because the 19 pun never gets old)

“Happy Birthday SJER!!!!!!!  i miss you! classes are so much different without u,:( parang there’s something missing. oh well, Goodluck and Godbless!! i hope you enjoyed ur birthday!” – Jaris

Three―today is also my mother’s birthday. She is 39. 🙂

Four―a dear friend, Imma, dropped by today. She never fails to remember, and that’s so sweet of her. ❤

Five―dinner with family at the nearby ‘80s-themed restaurant, Some Kind of Wonderful (SKOW). The food is superb! (I’m trying to sound like a food blogger, haha.)

Six―a confession to ease the burden of my soul. God is so kind and merciful. The priest who heard my confession is gentle, comforting, and he loves books, too. (We kind of chatted about authors a bit, is that alright?) Plus he was laughing quietly. And he shared with me, as a gift, Psalm 23: The Lord is my Shepherd.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

     He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

     he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths

    for his name’s sake.

 Even though I walk

    through the darkest valley,

I will fear no evil,

    for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

    in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

    my cup overflows.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me

    all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

***

For years, I’ve always been the youngest in the bunch. I’ve grown so used to being protected; to being taken care of that I find it has carried over to this certain grudge at growing old. Before I turned 18 last year, I found myself dreading the days that led to my birthday. I was scared of stepping into the threshold of adulthood. 17 was the perfect age; the lukewarm phase between adolescence and adulthood. And I wanted it to last for a long time.

Something is different this year, however. I am 19, and I embrace it fully with an open heart. It is the last year of my teenage years, before I enter the realm of twenties. I have decided that it doesn’t matter if I’m no longer the youngest. I will no longer look at birthdays superficially. My days will no longer be imposed upon by the boundaries of age; instead they will blend imperceptibly together, such that how I feel right now is not that of being 19 solely but that of a person who has lived 19 years; a person who carries with her the years: 18 was about challenges, 17 about compromises, 16 about beginnings…

I haven’t felt so light and happy in so long. Thank you, Lord, thank you for today. ❤

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