Effective 22 November 2017, I am now 39 years old. And a birthday to me would not be complete without a cake.
This is Midnight Dream, the cake I bought from Caramia/ Amici, a favorite, in addition to the spaghetti and lumpiang shanghai (my favorites from childhood until now) that I bought from Amber (my recent fave) which I shared with the two persons I am sharing a home with: my two siblings. I am not into big celebration. Gusto ko solemn celebration lang with my loved ones. Enjoying good food, while watching TV. This has been our family tradition while growing up when celebrating special occasions. At least within my immediate family.
“Mag-asawa ka na!” was the instant reaction of a colleague/friend upon learning that I just turned 39. Sa tuwing naririnig ko iyon, pasok sa isang tenga labas sa kabila. And I just smiled. And I know she said that because she wants me to be happy, have someone to take care of me.
But if another person made that remark and the intention is because it’s what everybody is doing, get married, or worse, so that there would be children or a husband to take care of me when I’m sick, I think that is more sickening for you’re after what you’re gonna get in a relationship. The children aren’t born yet and they already got responsibilities before they even met you as their parent. Having a man beside me is not an integral part of my being a girl. I can be happy just as I am. There are reasons why a single status is called “singleblessedness.” Being married is a gift, not a goal. To be a female and single in my 30s (this is, in fact, my last year to be in my 30s), it is hard not easy as many would like to think, because I’d like to believe that there is not much difference between being married and being single at all. We all go through the same crap, we all suffer. We all got responsibilities to fulfill: many bills to pay, persons with hangups that you need to deal with at home, on the road, and at work and must learn to tolerate and understand at the same time. And we all experience happiness, joy, and excitement. Walang less problem and the other got more problems. Walang ganun. Hindi yan naka-depende sa civil status. You can be married with children but not one of them is there to take care of you. You can be single and there’d be people to help you, who is willing to care for you. In life, there are no guarantees.
But of course, who doesn’t like falling in love again? Who doesn’t like having his/her own family? But if it does not come, if it’s not for you, it’s not the only reason to be in love, to be happy about. We can be in love with whatever we’re doing at the moment, like writing, and doing it wholeheartedly. We can be happy about many other things that life has to offer.
“‘Pag nag-40 ka na, ang tawag na cougar,” says a superior, sharing a fact of life. Cougar, spinster or matandang dalaga, or whatever, these are just labels. Kasi at the end of the day, what’s important is what’s going on inside me. What’s important is that I love or have loved. At the end of the day, I am a person who has longings and feelings and most important of all, alive. A childhood neighbor and friend recently passed away more than a month after he celebrated his 39th birthday. I just turned 39. I just want to live in the present moment and not worry too much about the future. Besides, the future is right now for we never know if we’d still be alive tomorrow. Except recently where I made a request from God for a friend, I am now at that stage where the only words that I say to Jesus when I pray is thank you.