Last year, my boyfriend flew home to Jakarta to celebrate my 21st birthday together. It is just ironic that today, on the eve of my 22nd birthday, I’m flying away from my dearest one.
Perhaps it can’t be helped. I’ve been in Singapore for over three weeks and in two days’ time I’ll be somewhere in Kalimantan. I need one day to recharge. That one day happens to fall on my birthday. And so I’m flying home, tonight.
There would be no blowing candles this year. No going out on dates or birthday dinner. No spending the magical day with someone special. No. It would be just me, my bed, and my suitcase. What a party.
Not that I’m completely disappointed. Not really. Well to be perfectly honest, perhaps I’m a little bit sad. This time there will be no one around to get me a cake and ask me to make my wishes. I can count the people who will congratulate me face-to-face with one hand: my Dad, my Mom, and my Empo (Mom’s Dad’s older sister who lives with us). Perhaps to make myself not completely lonely, I would be online a lot (having a digital birthday sounds a little bit pathetic though). Or perhaps I would not even check my socmed profiles and do an internet detox instead. We’ll see. I haven’t yet decided.
Why, do you ask, would my parents not ask me out for dinner? Well, because we need to be at the airport at precisely 4am the next day. So it’s settled: there will be no dinner. Although I might still open a bottle of beer to celebrate with myself (not a bottle of wine. Being hangover on your first mission trip doesn’t look like a good idea).
In fact, I can see myself spending the day already: my Dad’s at work, my Mom’s at church, and me, at home, turning on my laptop with a beer in hand, unpacking my Singapore stuffs and packing my Kalimantan essentials, with the TV that’s turned on. Perhaps I’ll rewatch the second Hunger Games movie. I’ll also catch up on my sleep because really, I have lost a lot during the past month (and will be losing it for the next few days as well). Then I’ll just sit there on the corner of my bed, hugging Brownie the bear, while passing this somewhat important moment meditating, retrospecting, and daydreaming. And more daydreaming. And even more.
There will be no Instagram pics of coffee, food, or colourful birthday gifts. Nor cakes or candles or even selfpics. None. In fact, I’m still thinking if whether I should reply all messages on Facebook (as if I’m going to get Facebook birthday messages – FYI, I don’t put up my birthday there) or just leave them hanging. Heh, I bet you are all thinking that this post is completely boring and reasonless. Perhaps it is.
Anyhow, I’m grateful to be twenty-two.
This will be the age where I take back the student profession. I also have faith that this will be the year where I’ll finally say goodbye to long distance. This will also be the age when I get to say that I’m an author (read the postscript for details!). I’m still thinking if whether this will be the age where I’m finally getting my own coffee machine. We’ll see.
Here’s my vow to twenty-two:
I vow to love life. I vow to never lose sight of what’s most important (like never again missing the latest blockbuster- just kidding). I vow to be better, to never give up, and to enjoy life’s simple things. I vow to learn, and keep on learning. I vow to always find the wonder of living an ordinary life.
So hello, twenty-two. I’m counting down three years (guess for what?), and special thanks to Taylor Swift for making my year’s theme song.
Ps. As a birthday present to everyone, I’m going to release a FREE (yes, free!) short e-book about life after graduation in the coming weeks. Stay tuned, and thanks for being such wonderful readers!
Photo by Merra Marie