My Birthday. A Reminder on What Keeps Me Grounded After All These Years

I'm supposed to take a solo travel today for my birthday like what I did last year. In fact, I've already chosen a venue where to spend my day - at Cintai Corito's Garden in Lipa, Batangas.

But an unfortunate event happened last Saturday on our way to Mamorco resort in Tanay, Rizal (check my story of this road collision experience HERE) which affected my thoughts on taking another out-of-town trip. Not that I am scared to hit the road again but I feel things need to slow down a bit to keep me grounded. I am also physically tired to think of going out-of-town in the middle of the week.
At Basil restaurant's outdoor area. Lush greens and homey feel

For years, I'm always indifferent towards my birthday. I hate celebrations and parties and having get-together in the workplace in honor of my special day irritates me to no end. So none among my co-workers in the past knew my birthday except my closest friends. Celebration where I am the center of attention is too much for my very introvert nature. It wears me down.

Chilling at the garden while waiting for the opening hour of Basil which is at 6PM

But last year, I had a massive realization about life and how birthdays should be treated. That it is precious, and to be given an opportunity to live another year is a miracle that must be cherished. So I made adjustments by allowing some changes to take place. Change to be grateful about my life, change to recognize God's message of hope. To reach another milestone of birth year is God's message of hope and survival. And I am very grateful with that.

The vintage interior of Basil

So today, I'm so thankful to reach this far in life and to have another chance to see the wonders of the world. For all the blessings I've received and for continue surviving despite the harshness and chaos in the surroundings are graces to live by.

I've been used to celebrating my birthday alone. This year however, I want to feel the compassion of the world by going out for dinner with a good friend. Just to feel I'm not alone in my birthday 😂

I always love nature. The greens, the blooms, the mountain landscape, the lakes, the stillness of the countryside, the cool breeze rolling from the hills. Everything that the mother earth provides. It refreshes my tired mind and body.

With a good friend and former university colleague, Rowena

So for our dinner, I made a research online for the best garden restaurants in Metro Manila. My friend still needs to go to work at night time so I narrowed down my search closer to Mandaluyong. I stumbled on Basil, a Thai restaurant in White Plains. Though I am not into Thai dishes, the place is so calm and relaxing I did not consider any other venues.

Basil is located deep into the White Plains village on the Katipunan avenue surrounded with lush tropical plants, outdoor garden, homey ambiance and quiet neighborhood. An ideal place to have a simple birthday dinner.

The interior is rustic and warm, typical to a traditional Asian family home

What is it now that I turn another year old?

It's an innate character of a human being to be pensive on birthdays. Perhaps because it is a glaring opportunity to be reminded with our personal existence, where we are in our life's journey and how far we have gone through in life. It is a nudging personal event that makes us contemplate to check our subconscious if we are doing things right.

So while having dinner, I'm silently musing. What I've been through the past months. What credible things I've accomplished and where I am heading. And a silent self confrontation about the big decisions I made in life, whether  I am in the right place where I should be or made some terrible mistakes in coming up with actions.

In deep thoughts while waiting for our food

Creeping down to the core of my being, I have realized that I've more disappointments to count than accomplishments. I haven't done anything great. Circumstances keep me tossing back to where I started. And it frustrates me. I haven't reached a milestone where I could say I am satisfied with life.

Sometimes I wonder why I often ended up defeated despite all my effort to reach what I should suppose to get. But while on a conversation with my friend over this dinner, I figured, perhaps the "defeats" are consequences of my bad decisions. And my mindset. Perhaps, I am always rushing things up. Or perhaps, it meant to happen to teach me a lesson and brought me to where I should grow as a person.

Things happen for a reason.

So to keep my feet on the ground and spare myself from always squirming with dismay, exasperation and torment, I'll revisit the goals I have set and the things I should suppose to be doing. And work on it. And attract the kind of fate I deserved.

Failures enriched wisdom and all those disappointments I encountered were part of my journey to make me a better, stronger and wiser person. I resolved to never dwell on regrets and just look forward to things I'm still capable of doing. Because there's no such a thing as too late. We can start at any point in life. Age with time is only a nonsense concept that people created.

To end this lengthy birthday post, here's a peek on who I am and what's on my thoughts

1. Always Remember That I am an Introvert-Thinker Type of Person. I don't like being in the crowd.  Noises and loud people drain my energy. I prefer being in a quiet, silent corner. So don't be surprised if you find me silent while working. There's nothing personal. I just love to seek comfort and privacy of my thoughts. Because having surrounded with people is too much for my very introvert personality. I used to work alone in the office and my transition to a collaborative environment with a liberated culture like BPO is a challenge. A huge adjustment.

2. I THINK A LOT! When I say a lot, meaning every minute of the day. I am a compulsive thinker who loves to analyze things around me, who likes to think why a certain thing works while others not. I am an introvert who finds comfort in doing things alone. Who seeks meaning in everything I do, who thinks life is a total waste if I could not accomplish 70 percent of my goals in my lifetime.

3. I am constantly irritated with people who never make use of their common sense. I am very impatient with people who never think before they act. I am easily annoyed with tactlessness and carelessness.

4. I am sensitive. I easily get hurt. I am still in a period where a slighting or a rejection takes a toll in my self-confidence. I have been building my self-confidence for years but it still got affected with rejection. My being sensitive however, helps me to be more understanding and sensitive about my environment. About how people should be treated. In the workplace, I always feel aghast when I notice someone is disrespecting another person.

5. What keeps me busy when I am at home and not writing? I am a passionate writer. I love writing, it's my life and my satisfaction. I write every chance I got, and even when I am on a bus, I blog too often. But there are times that I take a break to do other things during weekend. So when I am not writing, I keep myself busy by reading books and watching videos about animals, particularly dogs and cats. It brings so much happiness

6. I am irritated when someone asks about my age. Not that I am not proud of who I am. But we are in a society that discriminates people by age. After reaching the modern generation, people still never grow up and still lack common sense, even in the workplace. I hate to be surrounded with people who seem did not mature emotionally. I am always proud of my life and accepted everything about my growing up. But when I am being asked about age, it always comes both as a surprise and annoyance. Because people who are properly educated never ask someone about age as it is something very personal and private. Social etiquette dictates that it is rude, always very rude to ask someone about his or her age. It lacks propriety.

7. Society sets an expectation to us. That's a fact and unless we are emotionally mature and sensible enough to understand life for grown ups, we remain primitive. We will never be fully independent and bound to fail. Age is just a number, it's only a society that sets expectation that we need to do something by a certain stage or age.

8. I am disappointed with people who lack wisdom. I always feel pity about myself to be surrounded with people who seem not aware of social etiquette. People who belong to this category are those who frequently ask questions about: Age, when will you get married, why you still have no boyfriend or girl friend, how much do you earn, did you have a first kiss. It's totally nonsense.

9. I hate romantic movies and heavy drama. I am not into K-dramas because I find it dull-witted. There are still important things to do in life than slave ourselves in watching dramas and romance. I find it boring and useless. I am more on horror, suspense, action-packed movies and documentaries.

10. I love nature and road trips. I have a great passion towards traveling. If I could choose a lifetime career where I could be happier, it should be a travel blogger. It's liberating and where I could find meaning in life. I love nature and everything about landscape and lush trees. One of my wishes is to take a long road trip somewhere with someone whom I love to be with, and comfortable talking with.

11. I am rotating in a small world. I have fewer friends. Not that I am picky but it is too much for my system to be surrounded with so many people. So I stick to the few who share my passion towards life and whom I can talk freely. I would never get tired communicating to someone whom I feel at home.

12. My first job is at a Catholic university. And with all the chaos around and discomfort and all the dissatisfaction I felt, I wish of going back to working in the academe. It's my comfort zone. I always seek meaning in all I do and when I feel I am not going anywhere, I always lose interest. And it gets me affected mentally.

13. I grew up scared of men. Early in my life, I was disciplined by my parents to never get close to a guy while in school. No suitors, no boyfriends until I finish college. So I grew up avoiding boys until I get used to it. I was often scared of men until I started working. So I still don't have a first date haha! Now, I am slowly adjusting and started learning how to initiate a conversation with a guy. But only to a few. I only tolerate a conversation if I am comfortable with a person. And it rarely happens.

14. My Mantra. There's no such thing as too late. We can start at any point in life. Remember that age is a state sets by the society. But never a life's rule. So I am not putting pressure on myself to rush into anything. It might push me more to despair and misfortune. I will just enjoy moments of the day and my life as it happens everyday, appreciate all the goodness in the environment, enjoy the friendship, and be grateful with what I have.

15. As I grow up. I have learned that.  No matter how bad our days, life must go on. That we never met people by accident but by purpose. They could be blessings or lessons. Life comes with no guarantees, no second chances. Each second we spend in anger and regret, is a second we can never take back. So enjoy the moments and appreciate life as it happens.

Tomorrow is another day to live and experience the goodness of life.


Watch this video of Basil restaurant in White Plains

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