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Does that mean anything in particular? Yes it does.

MY new year. 8 hours behind my usual time location, I celebrated my nth birthday via Skype.
Second time I am doing it. Last year, I took the day off and did it in the day. This year, I stayed up late and spoke to my mom and brother(very sweet of them) and we did a video call and I took a few snapshots on my skype. Looking at last year’s pictures, it doesnt look like the picture changed much. A fruit cake(which I am not a fan of) – one candle – yes, we(2 brothers and I) have decided, we will stick to one. Or was it one last year? I have to dig out my pictures to check.
Once you have reached the age where sticking too many candles doesnt make sense and gives you problems with the wax on the surface(or at least that’s what I like to believe), you stick with one good candle.

Just before I did my first actually, second celebration, I signed up for my first half marathon in late July, prompted by this friend of mine. Running along River Thames. It may not have been the most exciting activity for everyone but I do feel slightly excited – proper running across a non-repeated route. In Singapore, wheneven I do runs, due to errm…space constraints, we do roundabouts. This time round, a straight route! How cool!!

Back to my reflections, aside from the fact, I got this extraordinary amazing lipstick, which lights up when you open the cover and has a mirror stuck onto it(from a Spanish friend), piggy socks and moisturiser(English friend), two pretty dresses(from Singapore!!), one dim sum dinner(English friend), birthday cards(from Singapore), hand-made craft(friend in Melbourne) and  I think there’s more cards coming, not forgetting well-wishes, I realised I am blessed. Maybe not in the way I would have expected but I feel the care and concerns and thoughts and love for me! Yes, I surely do.

It made me suddenly view birthdays in a different light.

In the past 5 years, I used to think:
1. Pensive, one year older, errm..what have I been doing?
2. Depressed, what have I been doing compared to my peers?
3. What’s really special about this day?
4. A day to eat cake with my family.
5. Maybe think n years ago, my mom gave birth to me.

Since two years ago, my thoughts have surely if not definitely transformed into this –

1. The day my mom concluded her nearly 9 months of ‘suffering’
2. A day when your friends take extra efforts to show you have been on their minds all this while.
3. A day when I should not only make resolutions or take stock of what I have and what I have done, but actually transform my ideas and thoughts into actions, making them a part of my life, integrated part of me.
4. Be grateful for what I have.
5. To celebrate LIFE?
6. I am worth much more than I actually thought I was – more self-discovery time needed -to discover my yet-to-be discovered talent/potential
7. Better understanding of myself – what I can do, what I should do, how I should do it.

Have I matured? What’s really this hype about maturity? Is there a level for comparison? i.e. A, B, C, D? Reminding me of Kate’s post about Septic tanks and Education – and wondering how she is doing in Berlin right now?

With these thoughts running in my head while I was physically running my ~3km run – to refresh myself and body this morning, I have to get back to my lunchtime and work so that I can go out for a proper celebration with another friend tonight.

I sincerely give thanks to my family and my friends.
Albeit the cliche line – but I have to write it out –
Without them supporting me, holding me, talking to me, advising me – I wouldnt be what I am today.
I know sometimes the same advice dished out may not have been accepted or agreed by me but still, remember, I do listen and think about them(before not agreeing;P) But it helps in my thinking process and helps me to make a decision or eliminate certain options. In other words, it was useful and valuable!! So do think twice before thinking I am ignoring your advice.

I can assure you, I am not. Remember, the same advice doesnt work for all individuals – there are exceptions.

Each one of us is unique.
And big big thanks to everyone who has made it through(=patient) with me all this time.