As per some article I’ve read online, my birth date is the birthday of the eternally young. Let me tell you, I might start to believe it. I am 26 and I look like a high school girl. And fat. No wonder no sane, decent young man gets seduced by me.

I’m trying to remember how I celebrated my birthdays. My first, of course it would have been spectacular. My third was done with neighbors in tow. My 7th was the last with a proper party, and the rest were more slightly fancy family meals. My 18th was supposed to be done traditionally, with the 18 roses and all, but I was no social butterfly, my mother was no proper big event planner, and my father was no generous support. It became a large dinner at home with videoke. My birthdays came and went like it was just an excuse to have a proper large meal at home, or to treat myself to something slightly better and more expensive. I looked for gifts, but the last time I had was on my debut, when I invited classmates at home. Anyway. Enough of the ramblings.

Twenty freaking six years. (Whips out the calculator).

9 years since my high school friends separated. I missed them, terribly. They have been friendlier and funnier and more accepting of me than any other college or work acquaintances. Still no reunion, and I’d be happy to come. Also nine years since I realized I like my friend; but it had been a silent affair: I effing do not know if we are leading to something. Current status: me still trying to keep the lines open.

5 years since I graduated from college and started to work. I remember always on the second level on the class, just a level below the dean’s listers; but it did no good on me. Most of my classmates who went to Medicine school are now doing internships at the hospitals, others are taking graduate degrees, and some are solid and stable in their jobs back home. A very few of my schoolmates are abroad and they are doing fine, even better, I guess. News of weddings and engagements and childbirths are multiplying and every single one is surprising me. Like a sudden “Hello! You’re missing out!” News of people advancing the career ladder feels more like a slap on my face.

3 years since I went abroad and I feel stuck in work and life. In the three years I am here, I managed to visit very few local attractions. These adventures are a ride away, but I can’t part ways with my money for the fees.  When I was alright with my job, offers were coming. Now that I would like to switch, nothing answers my knocks.

2 years since I joined Singles for Christ. My enthusiasm waxed and waned over my commitment to their activities. I met people, nice. It solidifies my faith. I remember going to Church more in this Islamic country, than in my own home. Still, I’m missing out on the going-out-to-mingle-with-people portion.

This age is a bloody bastard of a crossroad. Or a transition. This is how I feel about it. My wisdom teeth made sure I know it.

Last year I told my household leader (SFC) that 2016 seemed to be a year of big changes. I am right. Truly it is. Change is painful for me.

My friend once told me, it was already nine years. I do not know what he was hinting it. Is he waiting for me, too? To come back for good? Will he just make a move if I plant myself back to unfertile soil that is the Philippines with lack of jobs and low salaries and exhausting transport? Can’t we have a long distance relations?

It was already five years. Surely I can graduate from being assistant and maybe grow up? With my forced switch from HR to Admin, and due to these childlike features (blessing or curse, I can’t tell), I can’t seem to have a break. Everyone I know knows that I’m not some bimbo, but not enough. In this country, I feel like I might graduate from being an assistant by age 40. The horrors.

Most days I feel like a zombie. Some days are harder, when I’m depressed. Or anxious. Rarely do I remember days that I was happy all day long. I have erred on caution, kept myself in line and in the safe zone. I have also jumped too many times, misbehaved at the wrong time, and I have made mistakes even from way back that still affect my present. Still I have come a long way from home. I surely can give myself a hug or a pat on the shoulder.

This is the year when I finally see my life in a different way.

Life is a series of trial and error. This year I resolve to minimize repeating my mistakes. I will not hold back to doing things, and increase my courage to take a risk if necessary. If I choose to bear things, I will endure it without complain. I know what I’d like to do and will persist. I now understand that what I’m sacrificing now will be for my future.  A few more years and I will see what all of these means in the grand scheme of life. I will understand. I will be well. It will be alright.



One comment

  1. aylin · April 5, 2016

    I love how you clearly describe the possibilities and the realities of a 26 year old Filipina and I wonder what would I write if I turn at your age. I believe time flies so fast. Nevertheless, belated happy birthday.

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