What’s there to celebrate about birthdays?

I’ve forgotten when was it that I started to stop celebrating my birthday. I mean, what is there to celebrate? All I did was not die in the past 12 months. Maybe because living isn’t easy. It’s like saying, “Wow, you’re still alive! There’re 7.9 magnitude earthquakes, cyclones, bird flu, rice that costs a leg, ERPs that shorts ECGs… and you’re still breathing today. Great! Let’s celebrate!”

But I think mothers should be the ones celebrating our birthdays. Not us. After a laborious 10 months and excruciating pain, their wombs are finally free of us. So shouldn’t our birthdate be their commemoration of vulva liberation? That could be the reason why my mum used to hold elaborate birthday parties for me through to my early twenties… not so much to rejoice my existence, but her release. Ha.

So I’ve just turned 34. And I immediately felt breathless. Not due to age-related physiological retardation, but an intense feeling that time is running out. I’m still not where I want to be. But do I know where I want to be in life? I don’t know. Does anybody really know? So the race is on… to find out my destiny, to know my direction, to go somewhere, to be somebody. I begin chasing up every doorway, every flight of steps, and any path that seem to emit some kind of light at the end. Everything impresses me. Everyone frightens me. I start to pant. I’m running around in circles in a heavy mist. I lift up my hands and can’t even see my fingers in front of me. I’m 34. I’m blind to where I’m going.

Therefore, the light from birthday candles stung my eyes. They have grown so accustomed to the dark. And with each increasing year, the additional candle added more light, showing more of how lost I am, counting down to what less time I’ve left. Whoever said that more candles help one to see the deliciousness of the cake better is as clueless as I am. Age doesn’t make one any wiser. The future isn’t any sweeter. Hence, really, what’s there to celebrate? What is there to rejoice in the absence of joy? Why cheer the oncoming of receding hairline, macular degeneration and erectile dysfunction? Let’s not even go into wrinkles, sagging skin, age spots and an expanding midsection.

Sounds like I’m not ageing gracefully with so much grouse. Ha. I don’t deny I wish I am younger, to do some things differently, to undo my mistakes. Well, I’ll just take a number and get behind the line. But why cry over spilt milk? So the lesson learnt is not to squander time. I was previously on cruise mode… then button 34 was pressed, and the sampan turned into a bullet train. Instead of gymming 3 times a week, I’m now Cali-ing twice, 4 times a week; instead of 2 jobs, I’m doing 3; instead of being a prey of love, I shall now hunt.

Time is really not a luxury and the sooner we realize that, the lesser time we’ll waste on reproach and regret; the faster we will make our mistakes, get over sadness, stand up again, and find bliss and peace. Hopefully. The risk of course is burning out faster than we can enjoy the fruits of our labor. Like how big flames turn something with form into a puddle of wax that much quicker and ruin the cake before the birthday song is over. So we get through the singing hastily, quickly put out the flames before the candlesticks get too short, and enjoy the sweet, sweet cake. Rather than a little too late, get too much too soon!

But there is one great thing about getting older. Great friends. With all the reasons I came out with for not celebrating my birthday, I realized, they are the reason I should. I’m really touched that they organized a get-together for the actual day even though it was a weekday. Just a simple gathering over drinks at e-Bar but to think they wanted to celebrate for me. Equally heartfelt was I with the dinners that were had to celebrate me. I hadn’t planned anything or intended to celebrate my birthday, but it turned out to be a weeklong feast-and-drunk-fest. Everything was impromptu.

My handphone was also totally drained from replying birthday greetings on that day, and not to mention the many greetings I got through emails, msn and online profiles. Isn’t technology great? We can feel like a mini-celebrity for a day! But the best part is rekindling with friends because of their birthday greetings and making new ones for my birthday gave them a reason to make a connection. Birthdays are useful after all.

So I guess, maybe I did do something more than just stay alive year after year. Perhaps with my being around, the things I did, no matter how small or insignificant, it had meant something to someone. And I realized, celebrating birthday is not for me, but for my friends. It’s not an occasion to scam them of presents but to bask in their presence… and take note of those who never give face by not turning up. Ha ha…

I think I should save up for a mega birthday bash next year… afterall, i’m turning 25.

34th Birthday

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42 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. roy_az
    May 28, 2008 @ 08:58:08

    Wahhh…next year U turning 25..?..?..?…;p
    Happie Birthday 😉

    Reply

  2. roy_az
    May 28, 2008 @ 08:58:08

    Wahhh…next year U turning 25..?..?..?…;p
    Happie Birthday 😉

    Reply

  3. icezworld
    May 28, 2008 @ 12:43:04

    Happy Birthday!
    I know how you feel cos I am turing 34 soon also. Heck it lor!
    😛

    Reply

  4. icezworld
    May 28, 2008 @ 12:43:04

    Happy Birthday!
    I know how you feel cos I am turing 34 soon also. Heck it lor!
    😛

    Reply

  5. seow_boon
    May 28, 2008 @ 13:47:30

    Happy birthday babe. Still hot still hot…. Don’t worry.

    Reply

  6. seow_boon
    May 28, 2008 @ 13:47:30

    Happy birthday babe. Still hot still hot…. Don’t worry.

    Reply

  7. agooddaytolive
    May 28, 2008 @ 14:13:52

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Reply

  8. agooddaytolive
    May 28, 2008 @ 14:13:52

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Reply

  9. universe8within
    May 29, 2008 @ 02:09:03

    Happy Birthday!
    Yeah … still hot! 😎

    Reply

  10. universe8within
    May 29, 2008 @ 02:09:03

    Happy Birthday!
    Yeah … still hot! 😎

    Reply

  11. Anonymous
    May 29, 2008 @ 14:09:42

    Don’t worry…
    … you are not the only one who does not celebrate BDs, and who still do not know who and where he wants to be in life. I have journeyed seven more years in life than you, but am still as lost as ever…
    Perhaps there is no more meaning to life than living itself? And having friends and family and their unconditional love. You are NEVER insignificant to them!
    Glad that you had a great day on your BD after all, and all the best as you prepare for your BIG 25th birthday next year! 🙂
    Cheers,
    Kris
    klwl@rocketmail.com

    Reply

    • celebratelah
      May 30, 2008 @ 06:33:25

      Re: Don’t worry…
      thanks kris… it’s nice to know i’m not alone in being lost. hahaha… thanks for that comforting note and yeah, i’ll stop worrying and start living!! yippee!! :o)

      Reply

    • celebratelah
      May 30, 2008 @ 06:33:25

      Re: Don’t worry…
      thanks kris… it’s nice to know i’m not alone in being lost. hahaha… thanks for that comforting note and yeah, i’ll stop worrying and start living!! yippee!! :o)

      Reply

  12. Anonymous
    May 29, 2008 @ 14:09:42

    Don’t worry…
    … you are not the only one who does not celebrate BDs, and who still do not know who and where he wants to be in life. I have journeyed seven more years in life than you, but am still as lost as ever…
    Perhaps there is no more meaning to life than living itself? And having friends and family and their unconditional love. You are NEVER insignificant to them!
    Glad that you had a great day on your BD after all, and all the best as you prepare for your BIG 25th birthday next year! 🙂
    Cheers,
    Kris
    klwl@rocketmail.com

    Reply

  13. into_the_wild
    May 30, 2008 @ 03:02:28

    Happy belated! =)

    Reply

  14. into_the_wild
    May 30, 2008 @ 03:02:28

    Happy belated! =)

    Reply

  15. not_anotherblog
    May 31, 2008 @ 03:51:32

    great entry, something i dun find as often these days.
    yeah, bdays are checkpoints to see if ur going at life’s right direction, i hate them :p

    Reply

  16. not_anotherblog
    May 31, 2008 @ 03:51:32

    great entry, something i dun find as often these days.
    yeah, bdays are checkpoints to see if ur going at life’s right direction, i hate them :p

    Reply

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