This would probably be the 3rd or 4th time that I’ve written an entry on my birthday. Just for kicks, I decided to read the older entries before writing this one.
I don’t know why, but whenever it comes to my birthday, I don’t consider it to be THAT special of a day. I think it’s ridiculous sometimes to make a big deal out of it and to be all happy-smiling, just because it’s your birthday. In fact if there’s anything I’ve learnt in my 25 years of living, it would probably be the fact that we choose to live our own happiness.
So another year older, what have I learnt then? The biggest thing would probably be coping with death. Coping with mum’s cancer and being with her as she battled on those chemo sessions was a new experience for me. Seeing her deteriote and finally being on her bedside when she took her last breath was a painful but growing experience for me.
Being 25 today, I’ve learnt the most important thing in life : relationships, whether it’s with God or others around me. Although it was always behind my mind, I didn’t realize this until mum’s passing. Up until 8-9 months ago, my entire life was always around me. My dreams, my ambitions, my goals, my feelings, my desires, my career. I felt that if I didn’t accomplish my dreams and if my hopes were not fulfilled ; if I failed to meet the standards of what my work demanded, if I failed to be the best at my work, I’m in shambles.
It took one painful death for me to realize that there’s more to life than just being perfect in everything you do. There’s more to life than just excelling at work and gunning for that promotion. Oddly, I find that I’m repeating myself ; I remember saying along these lines when I was finishing university ; that there is more to life than just excelling in school. Now I find myself echoing those same words, except now it’s about work and career.
At 25, I’ve learnt that faith and belief in God should be at the center of my being. Not some other human being, not my accomplishments, not my career, not even my earthly hopes and dreams. At 25, I realized that it doesn’t matter so much about what I do in this earth anymore, because when I’m on my death bed, I’m not going to be asking whether I made alot of money, or whether I climbed the corporate ladder successfully. At 85 or whatever age that I’m nearing death, I’d imagined myself to be pondering over questions which involve God and my fanmily and those around me.
Having said all this, I still have my hopes and ambitions. I still want to fulfil those desires that I’ve been building all along. But I also am realizing, those hopes and dreams should not be the only thing that matters in this life of mine.
At 25, I’ve also learnt that life sometimes doesn’t turn out to be the way you had planned for it. You can always plan as much as you want, but there’s always going to be that small element of uncertainty and ambiguity in your plans. When life throws surprises at you, take it in your stride, whatever it may be. If it’s a good surpise, live every moment of it, if it’s a bad experience, learn from it, take it positively and move on. Easier said than done I know, but I’ve had my own struggles and I’ve tried to make the best of out it. It’s hard no doubt, but we must try.
Finally at 25, I’ve learnt to care less on what people have to say. There’s a saying that people’s opinions are like the wind, today they blow in your favour, tomorrow they blow against you. The thing is, are you going to give in to what they say? I’m tired sometimes of having to listen to what other people have to say. They’re demanding perfection of me in THEIR own eyes. To them, having so-and-so skills, attributes and attitudes will mean you’re excellent. To another it may be different. And yet another person will have his or her own view. I’ve stopped listening and processing to what others have to say and I’m listening more to what I have to say. Not say I’m being ignorant or turning a deaf ear, but if I’m going to listen to what others have to say till it makes me confused, tired, and uninspired, I don’t think it’s worth hearing and processing. Trust thyself is the motto that I sometimes adopt.
25 is still a very young age and I know that. Probably 5 years down the road, things will be different. I will speak of a different language maybe. But this is how I am at 25.