I left the always-excited-for-my-birthday club when I turned 25. For some reason, it now makes me more anxious than celebratory. I don’t know–maybe because it makes me do a reality check whenever it approaches. I’m this age already. Where am I? What have I done? How much have I accomplished? Something about my answers to these questions disappoints me. It makes me think that only my age has progressed. It’s sad really. It’s sad that it does make me sulk. But there’s a voice in me too that whispers: there’s more to look at than accomplishments, status, and feelings of stagnancy or even regression. And each year, on my birthday, that whisper grows into a joyful scream.
I wore an all-black ensemble last Saturday. I did not plan the outfit and was not off to make a statement. I just grabbed the most comfortable pair that I have in my closet and wore it. I did not have any plan really–apart from staying at home the whole day to edit a video. Apparently, Caleb had plans. He asked me to accompany him to a meeting with a real estate agent and have lunch. It was raining; so in my effort to make my ‘look of the day’ fun, I brought my big, colorful umbrella with me. I didn’t get to use it though. Had I known that it wasn’t rain that I would be combating, I would have brought a colorful hanky instead.
Caleb handed me an envelope the moment I got seated in the car. I knew what it was: another love letter. I don’t know where Caleb gets his words; but with the many letters that he has already given, he seems to always have new things to say. His birthday letter was beautiful. Borrowing his words, “Ugh! Onion-cutting ninjas!” The letter screamed of a kind of love that I truly do not deserve yet was/is being given to me. It moved me to become grateful and to think of all the other kinds of love that I have received and all the other sources of love that I have in my life. And as cheesy and as cliche as it sounds, I have not much in the bank, have not much fancy things or experiences, but I have LOVE–I am loved. I receive and experience love everyday and if this isn’t the biggest blessing in the world, I do not know what else is.
I am aware that being loved is not the kind of accomplishment and satisfaction that would make people regard you as successful. I know that I cannot put LOVED in my resume, or deposit LOVE in the bank, or use LOVE to pay for travels or fancy things. In this world that we live in, love is not enough. But in the world I chose to live in,with a size just that of my fist, love is all that there has to be.
This year, on my birthday, the whisper grew into a loud, joyful scream. Next year as I turn a year old again and when the scream has possibly fainted, I would find the whisper and listen to it again.