Life in the Fast Lane


With a Quiet Bang

By 12:26 PM , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In my social circles, I'm always one of the first (if not the first) person to celebrate her birthday. Especially among my friends who are my schoolmates — both in high school and in college. Blame this on my being born on a February, having three years of kindergarten, seven years of grade school, followed by four years of high school. Not to mention four years for my college degree.

Anyway, I felt this self-imposed pressure to usher in this new decade with a bang. Since I would set the standard, in a way, for what turning 30 entailed. At the beginning of 2012, I didn't know how I wanted to celebrate my birthday. I just knew that I wanted it to be memorable.

As the day drew near, I still didn't know what "memorable" meant and how to go about figuring it out. I had virtually no time to come up with a concrete plan since my February was loaded with so much work. I basically existed from weekend to weekend.

Things fell into place, however, and I was able to celebrate my birthday in simple ways, with some of the people who really matter.

A week or so before my birthday, a bunch of my closest friends from my high school class and I spent hours belting it out to 90's hits and then some. It was a good thing that the package I got included two free drinks per head. We were spent after channeling our inner Mariah Careys and Adeles.

The night ended with coffee, dessert, and a long talk about the road ahead. We were feeling pretty emotional, especially after realizing that we were *gulp* getting older. But we all felt a bit better after realizing that we weren't alone; we were in this (feeling of displacement and uncertainty) together.

Two days before my actual birthday, I met up with my girls (the ones who've been my friends since the fifth grade) and the boys for an impromptu weekday dinner. We don't get to see each other as often as we should, sadly, because of our different "life stages". Some of us pull near all-nighters, one of us is abroad for work, one of us runs a bar and operates on a different "timezone", and one of us is a new wife and mom. Thankfully, on that night, five out of six of us girls (and their boys) were able to meet for an intimate and much-needed catch-up dinner.

I thought that was that was it for this group of friends, but little did I know that we would meet up again for my birthday. But a week after.

Anyway, on the day itself, I took the whole day off from work. I planned to pamper myself (the whole haircut-hot oil-manicure-pedicure-massage deal). However, my aging (?) body preferred to sleep. And watch TV. And reply to Facebook wall posts and Twitter mentions. And be useless.

I did, however, summon enough energy to see this:

I will forever be a Disney kid at heart (yes, even if I'm 30, 40, 50, and geriatric). It was fitting for me to go and see this movie in 3D when I had a Beauty and the Beast-themed party years as a kid on the year the original film was released. How time flies. And how technology progresses.

Later on, I met up with my family and we pigged out on Greek food. Opa!

For my last (as of now) hurrah, my girls came over for lunch last weekend. With their babies in tow!

We rarely eat at each other's houses anymore as restaurants and gastropubs seem to be our default night-out venues. But I envisioned a leisurely (in terms of quality time) meal and this was exactly what happened.

Thankfully, my culinary genius of a mother whipped up a feast good enough to meet any foodie's standards. Who says one needs to wine and dine out to enjoy a great meal?

My mom prepared a salad (her own invention), penne al telefono, her own version of a roast chicken, baked potato slices, and her own version of a dory fillet. Not to mention the mango cake she whipped up. All these, she managed to do in under four hours. Isn't she amazing?

The fish was one of the first to go. It was the unanimous winner of the day!

Meet my godson Kaiyan, the five-year-old little Einstein (he reads, does addition and subtraction, speaks in complete sentences and says words like "expect" and "direction") and future heartbreaker.

And then there's Sophie, who was born just six weeks ago. She grew so much since that day I first met her!

We spent hours talking about random things — things we don't get to tell each other the months we're MIA from each others' lives — and it was great because we got to make plans for our joint 30th celebration. Right after the last of us turns 30 in August, we're all flying away (just us girls) and swimming with the whale sharks. My final final celebration will happen then, you could say.

When they all left, the sun was about to set. Had I known we'd hang out for that long, I would've prepared dinner as well!

All in all, I guess I can say that I was blessed to have welcomed the new decade the way I did.

And for someone who generally doesn't like celebrating her birthdays (really, I hate being the center of attention; that's why I never throw big parties), I had a great time. Now, my friends have decided that they want intimate house parties for their own 30th birthdays as well.

I wish I could've celebrated with every single person who gave meaning to my life, but that would mean having to take out several loans (I'm kidding). But thank you, family, friends, and colleagues for making this ride a crazy but awesome one.

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