“There is nothing to look forward to at twenty-two,” people said.

I’ve never been someone who thought much of birthdays (at least, of those for myself). All I could ever ask for was to spend time with those who make me happiest and to enjoy doing the things I love to do. This year, I felt as if I had celebrated my birthday already. I’ve done all that I had wanted to do in the recent weeks, having spent too many weekend “getaways” in the middle of the quarter (thank you Milo Greene, you little defining artist of my college years, and that ARCHIS reunion that reminded me of everything I had ever lived up to). Also, last year’s big #ratchel 21st birth-week was just a little too much fun (it is a surprise to think how much my tolerance level has risen in just one year since my first taste of alcohol).

An old friend of mine was telling me how he felt my “mental being is ready for something new. I feel like it’s been ready since last year.” He told me how he was glad to see that I am more active with my blog nowadays, having seen the shift post-PACN.

As my senior year has definitely been the year I finally took that step back from everything I’ve done throughout college–extracurricular activities, leadership positions, board positions, active participation in countless organizations–I’ve been able to come to a more “balanced” place in my life.

Rather than having distracted myself from the countless extracurriculars of meeting, knowing and putting myself out there in front of so many people, I’ve been able to take the time to cater to myself. When you take that step back from everything and find yourself lacking “real” relationships with people, I wanted to put that time into fostering those moments with people–for the first time in my college career. And, when there’s always been that creative roadblock from distracting myself with too many responsibilities, I wanted to return to my love for writing and music and further push that passion of mine.

Although I definitely did not feel, expect or anticipate anything for my 22nd birthday, it was a pleasant surprise to read and see messages from people I have shared special moments with in the past twenty-one years of my life. From the throwback post from my dance instructor Tita Polly of KARIKTAN, which I had joined when I was just thirteen, I was reminded of what exactly I grew up on and the love of dance and culture I was shown; from my brother’s short-and-sweet “#littlegirlswag” post that reminded me of how much I love and miss my brothers, whom I’ve shared so many sweet moments with growing up; from all the countless “Internet friends” I’ve made over twitter, Instagram, Facebook groups and even here on my blog, I’m reminded that people actually pay attention to what I have to say and feel sometimes (haha, the love of music, my Youtube and “boardies” is real).

All the wonderful birthday wishes, throwbacks and reminders that took me back down memory lane throughout the day were so entirely sweet… They all made me realize how blessed a life I truly live, and how many people and moments I have witnessed in just the 21 years of my life.

So, thank you once again. There’s nothing exciting about being twenty-two–my health is going to decline and it will always be harder to stay awake–but it is exciting to approach this year of change, with graduation just around the corner, post-grad struggles bound to happen, and always always always growing more and more into myself.

“Growing up is just a means of growing into yourself.” Happy 22, to me. #9thofmarch ♡


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