Thirty minus One

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I think of my birthdays as a time for reflection on the “what went on” during the year, and as far as I remember, I have been doing this for quite a number of years already since I turned twenty. I am fond of writing little notes here and there and then I keep it on a storage box after wards – I mean I WAS. Now I can hardly find time to scribble, put reflections on paper, I somehow lost myself in the busy-ness of life. However, this year as I celebrated my birthday yesterday I am writing this stuff in keeping up with the tradition I imposed myself to.
I was deeply touched by one wall post I got from a very dear friend yesterday. To reflect on her words I would quote:

Joan- a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a friend. Just some of who you have been in this life. Needless to say you have been good– exemplary of who you are. Your life is worth celebrating. Happy birthday!

I am especially struck with that exemplary part. Shocked would not be the right word, amazed? Maybe. I am humbled that she thought of me that way. I never thought of myself as exemplary. If I would rate myself, I am just on the passing mark. Exemplary would mean worthy of imitation, something that for me is a far fetched idea. I consider myself as just another ordinary girl. Everything about me is ordinary, even if I believe that every man is unique. There is such a particular order of the roles that made an impression. For me I’m not that exemplary as a daughter; I have my fair share of stubbornness and false sense of self-sufficiency. To elaborate more would take another story. As a sister, I have been not really that worth imitating, nor I’m the worst. Again, I am just on the ordinary. My sisters and I have our memories of cat fights as well as fun moments that we enjoyed just merely watching silly flicks on television. What stood out from my recollections is that one when our parents were out I got my sisters drunk after we tried drinking gin with powdered fruit juice, and one sister threw up and got stomach pains but thankfully it was not worse. Being a wife, I’m far from the perfect wife that most men desire, but I think I’m good enough for my husband- that’s why he married me. I’m not the typical housewife whipping dishes in the kitchen and maintaining a garden, nor the sophisticated wife who rubs elbows with her husband’s colleagues while sipping champagne on an evening cocktail. Again, I am just on the typical.
But I would like to differ on being a mother, which for me I am at my best,well for an average mom. I am proud to say that even while I am just new to being a mother, and that all I do for my kid is like most moms do, I am doing everything I can though grappling,learning something new each day. Every kid is unique, in terms of how they are made to be raised, and it all depends on the people that surround them as they are growing up. In my perspective, my being a mom is exemplary in a unique, ordinary way. I’m getting lost in words but I hope you get what I mean.

I just turned 29. What would life bring me this year, I wonder. I always make it a point to have some time for self-evaluation. In my past birthdays I recall I asked the same question, yet life gave me different answers each year. Answers that define the very being I am now. I am in constant search for what could describe what I feel, what could represent my present state of being, even in a word…

And that word is GRATITUDE.

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