The time I celebrated my 26th birthday

I think this was my first birthday without a cake. To some that may be a trivial matter. And yes for me too! Or so I thought.

It just stings slightly. It’s not because I wanted cake. In fact, I’d only eat a bite. What hurts is my birthday was shadowed by the darkness of Grim surrounding my mother’s life. A part of me screams out, “why the hell do I need to give a shit about all this”  Then I rationalize the situation saying, “its because your mom needs closure from Grim.” This dialogue in my head creates a lot of stress. Its stress about being stressed from something that I don’t want to stress about. 

So given the situation, my birthday seemed trivial. My nervous mother tried her best not to show how a new letter from Grim was eating her up and although my sister played along her role of a supported friend on this day, she too was preoccupied with having to process recordings about Grim. By the end of the day, our family simply got groceries and food at H-mart, stopped by Costco and the mall, and ate crab for dinner. Hmmm… I maybe being selfish, but this day just didn’t seem to be about me. I felt let down. Not even a cake. Not even a song.

Thankfully, I had been spending some quality time with my Korean friends leading up to my birthday. We talked about love, loss, and life over beer and soju. I laughed so much and felt happy to be with them. Oh boy, singing K-pop songs of my teenage years filled up my soul with good vibes. I was thankful to have these friends. Above it all, Sekai surprised me with texts and a gift. She had prepared me a box of Chocopies and a story celebrating my birth – I smiled at it. It was a simple and loving gift that gave me great joy. She knows me well doesn’t she. I miss her smile and her embrace a little bit more today. It sure would have been nice to see her face. We will let that thought fade into the night.  

I’d like to think about 10 things to do during the 26th year of my life. 

  1. Complete a climb to Mount Adams
  2. Travel to another country alone
  3. Say “I love you” to someone at the bottom of my heart
  4. Make 5 new close friends 
  5. Score 242.0 or higher on STEP 1
  6. Step up as a leader of a meaningful organization
  7. Put on an amazing concert that will make people cry
  8. Make my mom and sister smile more often
  9. Master 5 concepts to be a successful adult 
  10. Let yourself love and be loved in return 

My journey starts now. Its a dark and difficult time in myself for no fault of mine, but I will emerge a bright light at the end of the tunnel. After all, I am a righteous light.   

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