18


This post was intended on the 1st of September as it is my birthday. However, since I had no internet connection during my birthday, I am only posting this now.

Anyway, as I mentioned I’m 18. I am of legal age. I may have been telling my friends who have turned 18 before me that they can go to jail already and now it’s my turn to tell myself that I can go to jail as well. It doesn’t worry me, honestly speaking, because I believe I am a law-abiding citizen. Probably the only thing that can get me into trouble is my seldom uncontrollable urge to write some, possibly, offensive yet factual things about people, specifically politicians (like the one I wrote several months back about our current president). For girls here in the Philippines, turning 18 years old is such a special day. It’s when, and I quote other people, a girl “turns into a woman”. In the Philippines, whenever a girl in a family turns 18, they usually have this so-called debut party where there are segments like 18 roses, 18 candles, and 18 whatnot. So having to live for 18 years for a girl means that much. For me, it’s another year worth living, it’s another year of doing all the things you love. I don’t want to think that turning 18 years old is about a girl turning into a woman because of how most people would define that phrase or what they are implying: it’s when a girl must dress up and act like a woman. I do not completely understand what those people are saying. Hell, I could not even really comprehend what it means to be a “woman”. Is this some kind of a gender oppression and inequality or stereotyping or what? I don’t want to think it that way. I am grateful I have lived for 18 years. Hell, I have always been grateful in the past that I turned 9 or 13 or 17! It’s the same feeling of thankfulness every single year on my birthday, perhaps, the grateful feeling is a bit bigger each year since I continue to grow older.

For my birthday, I’m not having that traditional party because first I don’t like dressing up and second it’s impractical especially because we’re still recovering from the disaster that super typhoon Haiyan brought us. I’m just going to pray and thank God that He has let me live for 18 years. For my birthday, I only want to see the people I care happy and well. For me, that’s enough.

I’m actually quite excited with the fact that I am considered an adult by law. It gives me that feeling that I have much more freedom. The first thing on my list that I want to do now that I am 18 is to convert to a new religion. As I already have mentioned in the past blog posts here, I was born a Catholic but the beliefs and principles I have stood by are contradictory to Catholic teachings. A few months back, I thought of not opting to be part of another religion or a branch of Christianity for that matter. I had thought that I don’t want to be branded or I don’t want myself to be defined by whatever religious sect I am part of. However, I have become drawn for some reason to become a Born Again just because the name itself would be quite meaningful. Rebirth. For so long, I felt like I have been caged by traditions, principles, and beliefs that was only taught to me when I was a kid. But now as I have developed my own beliefs and convictions, I feel like wanting to be reborn, poetically. It would be a difficult thing to do, of course. My family, with the exception of my father who believes he should not be listening to priests because of the fact they are also humans, would most probably not accept that I am leaving the Catholic church. Well, I already have left that church two years ago and as you may already know when they found out that I don’t share their beliefs, they were not that much accepting of it. I am only tolerated for my beliefs, not accepted. But I am still going to do it.

In addition to this, there are some things I’d like to share. Let me tell you something interesting: I’ve never had a birthday cake on any of my birthdays as far as I can remember. Plus, if I’m right, I’ve only received quite a few gifts for my birthday but were not really given on my birthday. My new phone, for one, and that 2007 World Almanac for Kids. It feels unnatural for me to share these things. I am ashamed to admit that I do sometimes feel jealous whenever I see people get birthday cakes or birthday surprises on their birthdays. In fact, just this year I realized that I am probably the only one in my family who has never had a birthday cake or a special birthday dinner outside of home. In high school, I would see my other classmates posting this collage-like birthday greetings for the celebrators on the doors of our classrooms and I never got one. I always believed that perhaps I am not that too close or too special to them for them put such an effort for me on my birthday. Or I am too secretive or much worse they are all afraid of me since I have always received honest remarks that some of my classmates are scared of me. Again, I am ashamed to admit that I am jealous of these things. It took a lot of courage from me to share this but I found it compelling that since I am already an adult I should face these things with maturity. Admitting my shame of feeling envious is just not natural for me. I always keep my feelings to myself.

Well, I guess I don’t have anything else to say so this ends with: Happy 18th Birthday to me! Instead of singing myself the Happy Birthday song, I’m going to sing “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons.

 

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