Sunday, November 29, 2009

Key To Freedom

It happens only once in a lifetime.
Once it comes, it never occurs again.

You have the key to your freedom, to independence.
Your whole future is ahead of you, and you hold the reins.
You control which direction you go, from here on out.
You are your own person, you call the shots.

You can do whatever you want, and no one can actually stop you.

Turning twenty one. :)

Yes, finally, legally,

I can consume alcohol. Not just "Shandy" anymore.
I can walk into a casino and gamble away every cent in my pocket. (With my height, I think the guards will still ask me for ID; then I can give an indignant face and show them that I am legally allowed to do what I am doing at that moment)
I can get married without my parent's consent and leave the country (but I'd have to get my passport done first, though).

Somehow, I do not feel any different to when I was twenty-plus.

My weight is the same (I wished so hard I was a few kilograms lighter ! ). And my height too (unfortunately), is still the same (since I was in primary school >.<).
I doubt I have suddenly gained an infinite amount of wisdom overnight.
Nor have I matured and aged significantly into adulthood.

Am I happy? Sure.
Excited? A little.

But my birthday was just like any other day.

Oh, but a few days before that, when I was totally not expecting anything...

My mum:
"Go dress up, we're going for dinner."
"Okay, but why must I dress up?"
"Cos...we're going to a nice place."
"It's just dinner with the family, right?"
"Yes,'s a really nice, fancy restaurant."

"Go put on some make-up la."
"Look nicer ma."
"Aiya, it's just us right? No need la."

And my dad:
"How come I never see you wearing contact lenses anymore?"
"Cos...I seldom go out?"
"Then, why are you not wearing them now?"
"It's only family dinner right? Why do I have to dress up, put make up on, and wear contacts if it's just gonna be for a couple of hours?"

Ah ! All the hints ! Why did I not notice them before?

When we arrived at Kensington (the "nice, fancy restaurant" my mum must have meant) I caught a glimpse of a familiar face.
I blinked.
Another different, familiar face appeared.
Suddenly I noticed a whole bunch of people I know standing inside the restaurant behind the tinted glass doors.
And I knew.

All I could say was, "Oh-am-gee ! Oh-am-gee oh-am-gee !!!"

A lovely Chocolate Indulgence cake was waiting for me accompanied by a slightly off-tune rendition of "Happy Birthday". On it was written:

"Happy 21st birthday Lisa! Happy Growing Up"

Happy "growing up" indeed. They can tease me even on my birthday. Or especially because of that. >.< (I was told I had Sam to thank for this ! Aishhh XD)

Almost all of them were there. Along with a few I had not seen in a long time, or did not expect to see.
It was certainly a surprise !
I looked around me and saw all the people I love and care about. People I have had the privilege to know.
And that is the best present anyone could ever give me for my birthday :)

Heartfelt thanks to everyone for making it a great time !
Special thanks of course to WenYun and Sam, who were, I was told, the masterminds behind this little "deception" ! "Family dinner" indeed !!! :P

Oh, you think the surprise stops there?
Of course not.

At half and hour to midnight on my actual birthday, my mum very suspiciously brings out a nicely-wrapped package. To be opened on my birthday, it seems.
I open the package and there's a very pink journal.
"Oh, wow. Thanks guys !"
A journal to pen my thoughts? An appropriate gift when you turn 21 I guess.
"Why don't you sit down while you read it?" my mum suggests.
"Read it? Read what?"
And I flipped through its pages and spied beautifully decorated photos, scribbled chicken-scratch handwriting.
"You guys wrote stuff in it? For me?"

And I sat down to read.

I read what my parents wrote for me, their baby ah girl who is now a young adult; I read what my brothers wrote about me being their sister (which made me laugh out loud - too many inside jokes to explain here), a message from a former teacher, wishes from best friends, close friends; there were even messages from good friends all the way from UK and Australia !

I did not cry. Too much, at least.
There were tears pricking my eyes by the time I reached the back cover of the journal.
I was practically almost speechless. It took a lot for me to not let out a sob.
I was so touched by all the words written especially for me.
I was touched by the time and effort one of my best friends had put in to put this together. It made me feel oh-so-very-special. :)
Love ya, WenYun !! (I can never repay you; I feel guilty for not doing something like this for your twenty-first >.<)

I really appreciate everything that everyone has done for me - the party, the journal, the wishes either through SMS, calls, or FB :)

And yes, I did get my "key" to freedom - along with a lock and a tiny '21' !!
My parents bought me a really lovely white gold necklace with 3 tiny pendants (mentioned above). I love it to bits ! Thanks Ma and Pa !! :)

Although I sorta kinda have gained my "freedom", it does not really mean much to me.
What was more important was that my birthday this year has shown me that I have been so blessed with the friends and family I have around me.
I have people who care about me, who believe in me, are proud of me, and wish me the best :)
These people did not magically appear out of nowhere when I turned twenty one. They were here behind me, alongside me, all these years of my life.
That, has never changed.

Of course, I am secretly thrilled by the fact that I can (as in, the ability to, not necessarily that I want to. Aheh) drink more than just "Shandy" now.

But in every other way, I hope things remain no different to when I was twenty-plus.

p.s: I love you guys ! Thank you for everything :)


William Choo said...

Happy growing OLD!!!!!! Ahahahahahah!!!!

Arnan Koh said...

hahaha.. happy 21st.. all the best in your future.. and by the way what is kensington... i have never heard of it..

you should know you sounded like your brother on his birthday, about not wanting to dress up and go out.. i guess dressing simple runs in the family??

the pink journal is nice... hope you had a nice cry time over it.. i think even i would have teared..

happy 21st!!

carol marol said...

haha.. i lurve the going to dinner part. it's so cool that ur parents are up for it.. too tell a lil white lie to deceive u that is just gonna be another family dinner..

:) cherished ur twenties -es-es of years..u will miss it once u touch thirties-ies-ies..haha

hannah khaw said...

happy belated birthday lisa! :D

Lisa ^^, said...

Thanks guys ! :) It was definitely a memorable birthday; not the crazy wild 21st parties most of my peers have, but better in every way ! :)

wen said...

Wow.. Glad that you have a blast!! Xp..