22 on the 22nd

Ruben and I at DJ's cafe

I have a photo of Ruben and I here taken by Elke Shade around noon today (I was actually born around then, by the way, how inconsiderate was I), but we really should have taken a group photograph at the Taiwanese teaplace or San Churros. Sorry I forgot!

I have to admit I think this year has been one of the best birthdays in my recent memory — I mean, I know I’m forgetful but I still remember back quite a few years!

Backstory time!

Let’s get right into why: it’s not that I dislike my friend from primary school, but often in high school I felt that her birthday overshadowed mine; in a joking way, she sometimes accused me of ‘stealing her birthday’. When she got depression and naturally friends wanted to show her how much they cared about her, I understood why they made such a big deal about it being her birthday and showered her with gifts compared to the modest reception that I received. Regardless occasionally it still felt like I didn’t matter as much.

To make matters worse, traditionally my birthday has always been around exam season, which either meant that luckily my birthday would be the day after my exams, or sometime unluckily the day before. Of course, last year it was on the day. #firstworldproblems

Fastforward to the present

I have to agree that this year really did top last year by quite a lot, but not just because of the exam, but because last year I was almost sure I was going to fail (luckily, it turns out I didn’t), plus some general worries about a certain someone’s health! Some generous presents, hot tea, mochi and good company went a long way into cheering me up, but for many months I still didn’t feel as though I had ever ticked over into 21 and was still 20 — it just didn’t feel like my birthday had happened at all.

Of course, this was all resolved come August when some friends generously joined me at Arisun for a lovely belated birthday dinner and showered me with gifts. I finally felt 21 at last.. and today I ticked over into the mystical 22, with no exams or assignments to deal with and feeling more isolated than usual with so many friends disappearing interstate or overseas… but interestingly optimistic.

I felt 22 earlier than usual this year, given it was the first time I also had my ‘celebration’ earlier than the day. I actually wrote my age down as 22, even though I hadn’t turned that yet — my bad. But it is a testament to how good I felt that day, even though I felt kind of feverish and lightheaded now and then during the day because of my cold/flu-thing.

I didn’t actually mention my birthday at all, but these kind friends worked it out and brought me a CHEST of tea, cute nanoblocks, and a large fluffy alpaca. I laughed and smiled so much that day, it was just so nice to be with friends, chatting and enjoying each others’ company. Especially since relaxing has been something that hasn’t happened for a while. This isn’t the post about yesterday, btw.

Celebrate good times, c'mon!

Today, of course, was the actual day and I joined my dear Ruben and his family for a late breakfast/early lunch/brunch, a wander through JB Hi-Fi and dessert, before it was time to open more thoughtful (and fluffy) gifts, and play a couple of rounds of MarioKart (which Ruben proceeded to win — can’t even win on my birthday)!

Then this evening it was a dinner with family… celebrations in my family are a little lackluster, but at least this year I am most impressed that my parents thoughtfully chose out presents to give me rather than just hand me money or something they already had lying around that they decided I might like. The thing I appreciate the most about presents, is that people have given both thought and time into finding you something they think you will enjoy, not so much the price tag tacked onto it (though I admit that is a bonus…).

It really has been a most amazing, amazing weekend, I am really quite reluctant for it to end, but then… I’m sure that I will have more fun with all these lovely friends again in the future.

And regarding Ruben’s tutu comment, well… been there, done that and got the photos to prove it. :)