I think it's best to tell how I feel today with comparisons and observations as to who I was and what I was doing on a birthday month per year basis. Let's begin the story, a decade ago.
I was a few months into high school, obese and friendless, searching for group of friends to belong in and with. I wasn't into any sport (sure, I knew how to play football, but which kid from Malaysia didn't?) so I tried two "cool" things: skateboarding and bboy (breakdance).
I was a month off from being the youngest member of a debating team that beat the 10-year champions. On my birthday month of this year, I was barely home, training and practicing for the State Debates. Ended up winning that, marking the proudest moment of my life thus far.
I was fifteen, and preparing for my mid-secondary school examinations in Malaysia, the PMR. Pretty active in Christian youth circles at this time of my life. Quit debate, as I wanted to finish on top (high levels) but still active in intra- and inter-school debates. Still winning trophies :)
Sweet sixteen, and I spent birthday morning at Church. Went home and found out Mum had a huge feast laid out for me. One of the most unforgettable birthdays ever as my friends had a barbecue at my place and I really felt showered with love and attention.
Final year of high school, and I was also a Senior Prefect. It felt good celebrating my 17th on top - grades were good, played football regularly, and very active in the youth ministry.
First birthday in college! Still a little shocked from the Cambridge A-Levels, coming from high school, but a day out with some friends for my birthday cheered things up. Being 18 was fun and very exciting :)
Last birthday in Malaysia; I was moving to the Philippines (instead of the USA, as per my mother's wish) to study again in a month. One of the most memorable as well, as I tried to say some last goodbyes to many friends I know deep in my heart I will never see again.
Turning 20 was a strange feeling - no usual suspects in my birthdays, what with my moving to the Philippines. Still, it was a chance to celebrate my birthday with new-found friends, some of who will still be with me right now.
The birthday that gave me the right to drive, to vote, and to own property. 21 is a wonderful age to be: young enough to see the world as an adventure, yet seasoned enough to have let go of the childish things of the past.
Summer vibes, finishing university in a bit, as well as being in love made this birthday a contender for the best ever.
Hundreds and hundreds of birthday greetings really made me feel special. My first birthday as a working man with his own place (w00t) makes this one real awesome. I am also spending this birthday with the most wonderful person in the world <3
Ten birthdays. Ten stories.
23 on 23 = Unforgettable :)