Monday, November 3, 2008

A birthday postscript

Some people certainly love to rub salt into an open wound. When I walked in this morning, somebody asked me, “So how does it feel to be 43?” What is the right answer? A slap on the face perhaps? :D

It’s weird thinking about birthdays after you’ve hit the big four-O. Shouldn’t we stop counting birthdays after age 12? And I can’t help but feel that time is running so fast. At 6, I was wondering how it felt like to be 14 years old and to finally have boobs. Now I have boobs, but I’m starting to wonder how it would be like if I turn back time and re-do the things I regretted doing, starting from age 6.

What if I could?

I probably should have not tried my hardest to ride a bike without balancers…that way, my knees wouldn’t have been so scarred. I should have tried harder to learn how to dance despite my mother’s comments that I didn’t have the grace and rhythm of a dancer. I should have followed my PE teacher’s suggestion of taking up volleyball or any kind of sports instead of reading comics and pocketbooks, and playing dama (Spanish checkers) at the bleachers. I shouldn’t have learned to smoke so I didn’t have to worry about quitting. I should have spent more time with my father when he was alive.

Thing is, I can’t go back.

the evergreen Lake Kabalin-an

Life’s choices are permanent, for better or for worse. What’s done is done. Time machines just aren’t invented yet, so I have to live with my mistakes and see the best in the choices I have made. It’s hard, especially when you get the chance to sit down and look back what you’ve done for the past 40 something years. I can’t help but think of the “what ifs”, and feel sad that I can’t do those things over again and make the right choices.

But I also think about the good stuff, the happy things that happened because of the choices I’ve made.

I realize that falling off over and over again from that bike made me tougher than most kids my age. I realize that I can’t please everybody, especially my mother, and learn to take some things with a grain of salt. The love for reading has enriched my life in ways I can’t imagine, and dama taught me to strategize and gave me confidence around boys---nobody bullied me! Smoking made me realize that life is short and that the residue of my pleasure is but a puff of smoke. I realize that my father loved me anyway despite my imperfections, and losing him early in life taught me about responsibility and self-reliance.

I contemplated at the question I was asked this morning, and my answer is---it feels a lot like 42, only a little more delicate. But really, I'm not 43, I am twenty with 23 years experience!:D


“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

16 comments:

the donG said...

every choice that we make right or wrong has its consequences but i also believe that thru this consequences, we can still move on. scars will be there, but it's there because it reminds you of a lesson others might not have learned.

Witness Street said...

Beautiful post. Thanks for warning younger readers about what lies ahead. But forty-three is not even middle-aged! I recently celebrated the 50th birthday of someone I love dearly and it was like going to a children's party. Such fun! Life, after all, doesn't really start till you're 40. At least I believe that.

bertN said...

"But really, I'm not 43, I am twenty with 23 years experience!:D". I never thought of putting it that way LOL.

Don't be bothered by your age, orientals all looked younger than they do. When my wife was 50 something, somebody knocked at our front door and when she opened it, the visitor asked her, "Can I talk to your Mom?" LOL. Another time, a new friend of our son asked her, "Is your brother home?" BTW, she is not remarkably well-preserved by any stretch of the imagination LOL. Don't let my wife know I said that or I am dead meat LOL.

Panaderos said...

We don't live in an ideal world because God gave us the freedom and power to choose. After making that choice, He also gave us the power and intelligence to make the most out of the choices we made. Whether the choice was good or bad, we also have the choice to make the best out of it.

What matters in the end is that we all became better persons out of the experience. Take care.

Webradio said...

Happy Birthday... Smile...

You have a beautiful photo !

mirage2g said...

Do you remember one of my comments when I was a new reader here? Ah, I really thought this is a blog of a 22 year old! Didnt change even if I learned about your age =)

I'm glad to know you agree with me that destiny is not written by God. TC!

Photo Cache said...

What a beautifully composed post. I enjoyed reading this very much, it's as if you were transcribing my thoughts.

Hoped you had a wonderful b/day.

mirage2g said...

Dumadaan =D Hay a busy weekend pa din, anway enjoy!

luna miranda said...

hi, gizelle! thanks for droppin' by. sana makakahinga na ako this week.:D

luna miranda said...

hello, photo cache! i'm glad you enjoyed this post. i had a wonderful bday. thank you.

luna miranda said...

23 naman, Gizelle. masyadong bata ang 22! bwahahah! i'm perpetually batang isip. we have all the smarts, so we don't have the karatapan to blame God, our parents, the neighbors, our teachers and friends for the bad decisions we made.:D

luna miranda said...

true, Panaderos. as long as we learn our lessons, we're on our way to be better versions of ourselves.:D thanks for visiting.

luna miranda said...

merci, webradio.

luna miranda said...

bad boy ka, bertn! isusumbong kita sa wife mo!:D

you're right, orientals are so lucky...mukha tayong bata kahit hukluban na. a waiter in NYC asked for my ID when i ordered a gin tonic. and american clients who meet me for the first time are always surprised that i look so young (hehehe). oh well, you know how it is. even if i don't mind my age, my family and friends won't let me forget it.:D

luna miranda said...

hello, migs! that's one thing for sure, the older people get, the more they throw the best parties! the get-together with friends and family become more meaningful, and you're no longer pressured to invite people you don't like.:D

thanks for visiting.

luna miranda said...

thanks for sharing your thoughts, dong.