It’s my special day… wooooooot!!!!
If you’re into Chinese zodiacs, you’ll probably wonder what my sign is. I’m in luck because 2019 is my year…. the Year of the Pig! Yay! I briefly checked what my year is going to be like, and guess what? My love life is going to blossom more this year, haha! Don’t know what to say about that, but since I mentioned from my previous blog post that I got myself a boyfriend, that one is covered already. All I need to do then is figure out the other aspects of my life: health, wealth, and career.
Let’s get personal
I didn’t want to stray from any non-travel-related blog posts but for today, it’s going to be different.
Thirty six years ago, my mom gave birth to a Chinita-eyed baby around dawn. My mom told me that she wanted to name me “Hope” because my dad smoked this brand of cigarette (no worries guys, my dad smoked many years ago). However, my dad won over the “name-my-child” area and named me “Penny Lyn” after that song “Penny Lane” from the The Beatles . One tiny fact about this song: the US-released date of this song was in February 13, 1967! Mindblowing, right? I was stoked when I first knew about it. Talk about fate… or whatever you call it! If you’re curious, you can listen to it here.
I found a few photos of my third birthday; however, I don’t have any vague recollections of the events that took place on that day. I soon learned later that we just moved to our new house a few months prior my birthday. Also, my youngest brother was born four months later after that birthday.
The most memorable birthday I had was when I was either nine or ten years old. My dad specifally told me I could only invite three friends to my small party because the food was just enough for the family and my 3 small guests. Well, that plan backfired because I was dumb and stupid (LOL). Those three friends I invited refused to go unless I invite this other friend… and another friend won’t go unless I invite this person, and so on. To make the long story short, I ended up inviting my neighborhood friends. My mom was horrified while my dad was more worried that he couldn’t feed all the kids who came to my party. What’s even more embarrassing was that my mom forced me to open my present for everyone to see and was dismayed to see a box full of cute kiddie panties. Yeah, my parents had a good laugh while I was red from embarrassment. From time to time, my parents would bring up the subject just to poke fun at me and there would be fits of laughter.
After that “fiasco”, I don’t think my family threw another birthday party for me – or maybe I was wrong and I just forgot. Money was tight and both my parents struggled financially. There were four kids to feed, plus my mom juggled both work and law school while us kids were still in school. Sometimes, my parents threw a small party and invited friends and relatives over for a special celebration. I did remember not being interested in throwing a birthday party. I just wanted something simple: a birthday cake, a present or two, and food just enough for the family.
Now that I’m older, it became a practical choice not to throw birthday parties. Sure, I’ve been invited to a lot of birthday celebrations from my relatives, friends, and a few acquaintances, but I get often asked why I never throw one. For starters, I cannot really afford to spend so much money for my birthday. Second, most of my friends are busy with their own lives and I don’t want disrupt their lives over my special day. My friends now have families of their own, kids in tow, and have responsibilities and obligations, while I’m unmarried and I don’t have a kid. Third, it’s awkward for me to send invitations to people and get worried that not one of them would show up.
For the last three years, I spent my birthday away from my family. I was living in Panglao back then and I chose to spend my birthday with my few closest friends in the island. Today, I’m also far away from my hometown and won’t be spending it with my family. No fancy stuff. I’ll simply celebrate it with my relatives, my boyfriend and my adorable pup.
What have I learned from my 36 years of existence in this earth?
I know that I’m a work-in-progress. I’m not perfect and I made mistakes in the past. There were some lowest points in my life that I thought nothing mattered anymore. I hung out with the wrong crowd and made some bad choices. At one point, I became selfish and didn’t care if I hurt a lot of people, especially my parents.
I simply had to pick up the pieces and moved on to new things. I let go of the wrong crowd and started surrounding myself with positive people. I pursued my life-long dream as a journalist but after less than a year, sadly that didn’t pan out. Instead, I went on a different route and worked as a freelance online writer, then moved on to other ventures online. It became clearer to me that I didn’t want a nine-to-five job; rather, I wanted a career where I had the freedom to work and still be able to control my time.
Years later, I moved and lived in an island for three years. It was also during this time that I started traveling and solo backpacking… and I loved the adventure! I also started this blog and wrote a few of my traveling stories here. This year, I packed up my stuff, left the island, move somewhere else and simply go with the flow.
Did I accomplish something yet? I don’t know if I can truthfully answer that question. I think I need to ask this question again in 20-30 years and evaluate myself.
For now, I’m living IN the moment and setting some new priorities for myself. I’ve been traveling a bit with my boyfriend and our pup lately in hopes of achieving our goals this year, business-wise. I also hope to get back in shape. I also plan to get my reading habits back and finish those damn books that I started late last year. And finally, I hope to write more and blog more. I’m unsure about my future travel plans yet but I just renewed my passport so I’ll see how it goes from this point on.
By the way, I share a birthday with a cousin of mine. Her name is Mirasol. Her mother, my Auntie Giging, celebrated her birthday the day before as well. And on the 11th, it was my other cousin, Jovelyn. And I have a few close friends who were also born this month. I guess, this month is special in a way because I share a lot of birthdays with close relatives and friends.
To end this, I want to wish all February babies a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY – may this year be amazing for all of us!