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The transitions of birthdays

sesungguhnya realiti itu tidak indah;

     In my high school years, birthdays meant staying up the night before till 11.59 pm and waiting for the first person that would wish you. Its a funny concept that the person who wishes first would be considered the one who loves you most, or the one who remembered your birthday before anyone else. Although it sounds naive, somehow it is undeniable that during those times, that first wish is usually the thing that excites us the most. As the tradition follows, a birthday cake, (or anything that a candle can be stuck on) would follow, or if there was none, at least the people in your class or dorm wold sing you the birthday song and make you light up inside. A card or letter someone wrote for you. The day then goes on, and back then people wishing on social media was great! (mostly because it was just starting out) A family dinner maybe? If it was the holidays? Then there are the practical jokes, or beat up sessions. All in all, bad or good, the smallest wish was wonderful, because well, everyone was still in school anyway. What else could they do? 
     As you move on to college, the birthday pressure builds up as you have money in hand, more freedom, and perhaps the fact that everyone now has their driving licence. Dinner dates, balloons, surprises, are considered the cultural norm, Forget wishes on facebook, what you want are instagram wishes! The desire to be remembered on ones birthday multiplies when you see what everyone else is getting on their birthdays and you are not. Simply saying, we become more greedy and sometimes ungrateful when our birthday does not reach our expectation. 
     Honestly speaking, I fell victim to this concept a few times before. It was only on my 23rd birthday that I came to  the realization that birthdays can never really remain the same. As we age with each birthday, less people will remember it, or in other words only close friends and loved ones will be around to wish you. You realize that everyone is busy and well, they're happy for you, and wish you the best for coming years, and that's most probably it. It is at this point, there are two most likely options for most people my age. 1) sulk, and whine. be sad that no one cares you turned a year older today, Feel sorry for yourself, and complain. 2) understand that if it doesn't happen now, eventually your future birthdays will come out like this and embrace it. Because let's face it, when you turn 29, or 30, what type of birthday are you going to expect?
     Yes, undergoing this birthday transition can be quite difficult. But isn't that what growing up really means? Coming to terms with the lemons life gave you, and not getting upset because you actually wanted apples or maybe durian. The simple wishes on facebook also mean more, when you think about it again, How many times have you seen that birthday notification and thought "Nah, I don't need to wish them". The person who wished you actually took the time to type in a few words for you, and  to me, that's pretty neat. Most important of all, you appreciate the time that people took out of their busy lives just to spend with you. It is enough that the people you love bring you out just for a quick lunch, or make you a hand written card, and instead of expecting people to treat you, you treat yourself to a small present. After all, it is your birthday, and you made it to another year, who else to be happy for, if not yourself. 
     I myself found the perfect book to celebrate my birthday this year. Haruki Murakami's Birthday Stories is a collection of short stories by various authors on the themes of birthdays. Somehow reading this book humbled me on how grateful we should really be on this once a year occasion.  SO if you are reading this, and it's your birthday, I'd like to wish you a happy birthday! If the day has been going great, I hope it will continue going great. If it hasn't, then its alright, get a cup and squeeze yourself some lemonade. Drop a couple of ice cubes inside and toast yourself to another year, and thank the guy who has been giving you the lemons all these years.



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1992; Part time writer, full time dreamer. A person who writes for comfort and is learning how to become a kungfu master

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