It’s been three months since I posted the excerpt below, and this 21st birthday has been unexpected and miraculous in so many ways.

Did my 20th birthday wish come true? Yes, and it was incredibly fulfilling and I am so eternally grateful for it.
Materialistic/greedily, if there had to be something physical/an object that I wanted, it would be these:
— GoPro
— that pair of Moosehide Mocs I’ve been eyeing from Minnetonka
— a hardcovered, unique Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar
— a usable and durable fountain pen that my handwriting won’t be illegible in
— The Perfect Sketchbook (now expired)
— All things Ghibli (including that Totoro bed)
— a good French press or grinder (no, Starbucks, no)
— tattoo, (maybe)

I think that’s pretty much it.
If it had to be my 21st’s resolutions, these are what I’ve concluded thus far:
— Locks of Love again
— Diver’s license
— Backpack SEA / US / Japan 2016
(EU 2017, you are for next year!)
— Bungee jump/Skydive
— To watch Joe Hisaishi live
— Society to stop judging and be so terrified of tattoos and appreciate it as a form of art (albeit, not in excess)
— prolonged self sustainability and independence
Altogether too unattainable, but they’re just there anyway. One day.

But there was so much more to the presents (sun flower, chicken-cake, brownie-cake, GoPro Silver 4, travel voucher, fountain pen and travel pillow). I didn’t dare fathom those abroad would pull off something like that: because to succeed in this would require huge amounts of time, effort, expectations, and remembrance and, reason to. On the bus ride home, skimming through this wishlist thinking of what could possibly it: thinking it was only from Elizabeth and OY who were pooling for the present, the french press seemed like a sound guess..? While unwrapping the package – boxed and rectangular, it seemed so like it. Yet with barely any energy left to spare in the last few hours of the day, opening the gift was frightening: just as i was about to base my worth – it is the 21st birthday, after all; and the expectation i have placed on myself – on it, i was almost dreading the uncertainty, of unknowing. of course there was the excitement, as all kids would be when they receive a snail mail or a wrapped present; but the (ir-)rational was looming by the seconds.

First was the puzzled fluster of indifference – then came the disbelief and shock – and when it finally registered, albeit in a very lagged time lapse, came revelation and uncontrolled streams of tears. To be happy, or to be sad. The delight and thrill stemmed from the disbelief of receiving something that i thought would be lightyears away – because it wasn’t something i’d ever buy myself unless i had copious amounts of cash, alongside having something i once stared blankly and enviously at for hours on the homepage of GoPro idealistically wondering if there’d ever be a day i would get to lay my hands on one and call it mine. Furthermore – the ones that i only dared eye were the entry level ones; for the high performance level ones were another level of attainment that altogether seemed too immortal. And when the full impact hit it hurt so much – accentuating the sadness of feeling so alone amidst being so blessed with the love of friends, and the faltering question of dispensability and worth and inadequacies, amongst the missing of friends who are miles and oceans away in different states. Gratitude, amazement, disbelief and puzzlement were the things that seemed to work like burn cream that soothed the burn or lavender applied on fresh wounds, which ached and remedied both at the same time.

That said, the surprises that the friends, new and old, have coordinated and came together to celebrate with me were so much of happy pills, i fret i might be diabetic, or be in trouble for overdose.

I’m so, very, very happy – and sad – because turning 21 is altogether a perplexed process and so is finding oneself, one’s independence, one’s bearings, one’s worth.

I guess my heart breaks, as much as it heals; I guess you could say the past week falls in the same category of my favourite food and drinks: dark chocolate, traditional long mac, and red wine: for all the tears, and laughters that’s brought me to tears too.

“It’s either a raven or a crow, a symbol of the void,” she added, in a mystical tone. “The void?” I’d asked, crestfallen.”It’s a good thing,” she said. “It’s the place where things are born, where they begin. Think about how a black hole absorbs energy and then releases it as something new and alive.”



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