The Reluctant Birthday Girl

Yep, that would be me. Sigh.

When we were young, we looked forward to birthdays.  Birthdays are always happy occasions – cakes, parties, gifts, friends. We simply couldn’t wait till the next birthday celebration.

But as we grow older, more often than not we wish that the birthdays wouldn’t come anymore. We wish that we could skip that particular day and not have to count the years anymore. We wish we could just hide from the world and let the day slip by without anyone else remembering. Or maybe that’s just me. I usually start getting depressed at the start of my birth month – March – and this continues until the very end of the month. I always wished that I could breeze through the days and get to April…fast.

But then the birthday greetings would pour in – and no matter how fervently I wished that nobody would remember my birthday, exactly the opposite happens. Friends and families will never make you forget, hahah. 😉 The only way you could get back at them is to do the same thing to them when their own birthdays come.

birthday card

Birthdays make me ruminate – I couldn’t help but take stock of how far my life has gone: my accomplishments, failures, achievements. I could be pretty hard on myself whenever I make this annual evaluation. I often go – “What? I’m 3_ already, and I’ve only gone this far?!!” I’m my harshest critic ever. (This has its pluses and minuses.)

I’ve another theory, though, as to why I feel more depressed than happy whenever my birthday comes. Here in Japan, March is the last month of the fiscal year. March is the busiest time of year for those who are wrapping up their studies or finishing their work or scholarship contracts. Consequently, this is also the month for sayonara or farewell parties. Lots of people moving out of Japan and going back to their home countries. And it always breaks my heart to say goodbye to friends who had become dear to me. People come and go…and I stay. There is such a high turnover of people here in Japan. It makes me feel like I’m the only one persisting to be permanent here when everyone else is transient. I feel like a martyr.

But I digress.

Nevertheless, my family connived to do something special for my birthday this year. First of all, I got a birthday card from Aya, on which she wrote the words herself! Then I got a bouquet of long-stemmed red roses from (ehem) Baggy. My sister bought me a new shirt, and she even cooked dinner for us. It was very sweet of them, to make me feel special on my birthday. Even the grouchiest of birthday girls couldn’t help but break out of her doldrums!

A brand new year. (Taking a deep breath) Ok, here we go…

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10 Responses to The Reluctant Birthday Girl

  1. caryn says:

    hey kathy! belated happy birthday! hehehe. nakisali pa ako sa list ng well-wishers mo. i hope you don’t mind. hope you had a great day!

  2. A says:

    Hi Ms. Kathy,
    First and foremost, isang mainit na pagbati ng maligayang kaarawan :)
    I’ve been reading your blog for some time now; I chanced upon it while I was trying to find a blog/online diary of a Filipina living, and working-as a professional- in Japan. You see, I am a professional here in the Philippines and somewhat engaged to my Japanese (male) beau. He is about to leave the Philippines for a very promising job in Japan and I guess, he is expecting me to go with him there. Just to give you an idea, I do not speak nihonggo; and am reluctant to drop everything here and go live there. I do not see a bright future for non-jap speaking Filipinas like me in Japan (what with the discrimination-both in gender and race) ; moreso the possibility of establishing a healthy family- life there. or maybe its just an unfair outlook; a personal bias.

    Your stories give me hope. Maybe it can work out.somehow. Kudos to you :)

  3. Gypsy says:

    Aba, I just realized ang dami pala nating March bday-ers na bloggers! Belated Happy Birthday and hope it ended happily! 😉

  4. kathy says:

    Caryn, thanks a lot for the greeting! Thankfully, I’m way past my birthday-angst – wouldn’t mind in any way if someone greeted me a belated happy birthday…hehe. 😉

  5. kathy says:

    Hi A, thanks for the birthday greeting! And thanks for dropping by! I’m very elated to know that there are people like you who are reading my blog and are finding some kind of inspiration – or hope, as you had written. Although our circumstances differ, I could emphatize with what you’re going through. Before I left for Japan, I didn’t speak Japanese. I was fraught with anxiety – I was abpit to embark on my studies, and I didn’t have the 100% assurance that I would succeed. Then there’s the unfathomable language, the cultural adjustment, the homesickness, the longing for things familiar. All throughout my “journey” I kept telling myself – “persevere.” Things will not always go the way you expect them, but be prepared to toughen up when necessary. Perseverance is the key.

    Gambatte kudasai! = Do your best!

  6. kathy says:

    Thanks Gypsy! Hope you also had a blast on your birthday. Here’s to a brand new year for all of us!

  7. gina says:

    Belated Happy Birthday Kathy!
    All the best …..

  8. kathy says:

    Thanks a lot Gina! 😀

  9. Danielle says:

    i know this is soo late..but belated happy b-day!

  10. kathy says:

    Thanks Deyns…belated happy birthday to you too! (Better late than never!)

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