A week ago was supposed to be a happy day. It was my twenty-second birthday. Too many thoughts kept baffling in my mind from which I couldn’t help but stare on an empty space and think of all these random thoughts bottled up inside me. I was happy yet feeling empty and cold at the same time.
I am glad that God has given me another year to conquer life. Another year to live. Another year to accomplish tasks, to strive for the best version of myself, to add rainbows and unicorns in my grayscale world, meet people and learn new things. From my each and every day living my monotonous life, I am glad beyond compare that I can now see my defined purpose. That, the things I was praying earnestly a year ago are now becoming pinches of reality. I am beyond happy upon seeing myself undergoing my metamorphosis. I am thankful for another year waiting ahead.
But that was my most sorrowful birthday. My Lola whom I fondly call Nanay passed away on the day I was hoping to be one of my best. It was exactly 1:00 in the morning when she sighed on her last breath. God must have heard my prayer the night before. I thanked Him for giving me my Nanay and that, I am more than blessed to have a grandparent like her. I prayed that if this is the right time for her to rest, so be it. I am letting her go. I know, she had lived a beautiful and meaningful life, after all. And anytime God wants her to leave this chaotic place, I asked Him to let my heart be prepared. That was my birthday wish. Hours passed and I didn’t notice I had slept. My mother woke me up crying and voiced out the worst news. Nanay was barely breathing and the whole family were gathered altogether. Tears streamed down my face upon looking at her suffer and subtly bidding her goodbye. I was thanking her for everything and that I am good and she can now rest. Memoirs kept on flashing in my mind as I was staring at her. From my childhood and carefree days, my high school years, the complex college life up to date. I was casting my mind back to those days and they all seemed so fresh. And those precious memories which used to be a source of my happiness were now the sad things that dampen my spirit most of the friggin’ time. It got me feeling out of sorts. I stared at Nanay, kept on memorizing her face, tracing every line, every fiber, every detail of her– the beautiful yesterdays. I will surely miss her. I was given another life to live as one was taken away. Unorthodox, it might seem. But hell yes, this is life.
But this. I am grateful that God has blessed me with people who lift me up when I feel down, people I can turn to in times of pain and sorrow, people who stay true to me despite all my imperfections and flaws. I thank my family for staying strong and to never giving up on me whatever it takes. I thanks the heavens that I have these positive spirits beside me to cheer me up when I feel that my world is at the verge of collapse. To my friends who stayed by my side and continue staying at the periphery cheering me on despite failures and rejections. You, guys are the real MVP’s!
I would also love to share my very first birthday surprise. My (very first) advisory class, STEM 4, threw a birthday surprise. That was a day after my birthday, same day with the Cook Fest. Three of my advisee students came to the faculty room, rushing, reporting that one of their classmates (Alex) was again hyperventilating. I was stimied for a moment. I even scolded them for wasting time going downstairs instead to bringing their classmate to the clinic right away. But that was no new to me. So I came up at the third floor, a bit panicky but still composed, so I can immediately respond to her health needs. And ta da!!
I was not used getting surprises though I know that is one of my strengths. I have the flair to smoothly throw a surprise to my friends’ birthdays without them getting any hint. I was the one who prepare birthday surprises to my teachers and mentors and even to my closest buddies. And during my birthday, I felt how good and overwhelming it was. I thank God for having this beautiful moment in the midst of my life’s chaos. Thank you, STEM 4 Quartzite, my love.
I’d also like to thank my students from STEM 2 Slate, HUMSS/GAS Rhyolite and ABM 2 Obsidian, along with my 9-Bernoulli (Brace), 9Coulomb, 9 Dalton, 9 Erlenmeyer and 9 Faraday who greeted me that day. I love you, my dearest students! You are all blessings from above. My heart was overflowing with so much joy upon reading your letters and messages. Thank you from the bottom of my broken heart.
I am twenty-two, still immature and young. I know I have a lot of things to learn from life. Today, I realized that life must be fully-lived and every moment must be seized. C’est la vie! Life is never always a piece of cake and a cloud of happiness. There are moments I should embrace pain and eventually come up stronger. I have to let go of people not because I don’t love them but because this is what they need. This is their fate and God’s heavenly will.
I was born and a life was taken away in the moment when a great soul awakens out of the protospirituality of ever-childish humanity and detaches itself from the mantle of the earth. A from from the formless, a bounded and a mortal thing from the boundless and enduring. It blooms on the soil of an exactly definable landscape, to which plant-wise, it remains bound. At twenty-two, I am that plant wandered around, seeking for the ray of sunlight.
I honestly did not know what to feel during my birthday. Even my feelings were uncertain. But there is only one thing I am sure of right now. I am hundred percent sure I am deeply loved.
Life is (still) good. Happy birthday to me.