Tuesday, May 24, 2016

24: The World Is Quiet Here

I turned 24 years old yesterday, and it felt like any other day of the week. (It didn't help that my birthday fell on a Monday.) Maybe because I had already celebrated my birthday in advance, so when the actual day came, it felt like just another ordinary day. I spent my last few hours of being a 23-year-old by reading Solanin by Inio Asano -- something I've been meaning to do ever since I went to the Manga Realities exhibit at Ayala Museum several years ago.

I even had a drink to further spur on my feelings (spoiler alert: Tanduay Rum Cola tastes like soy sauce), but more than that, I made it a point to read Solanin before I turned another year older because I knew it would resonate with me -- much more now, at this point in my life, than when I first encountered it as a college student who still had some light in her eyes.

I feel like most of that light has died out by now.

It was inevitable that my reading session would end in tears, though I was taken off guard by how I was destroyed by a particular event in the story. I thought I would be ultimately be taken apart by how relatable Solanin was, and while it spoke to me with how much I saw myself in its pages, the turning point in the story -- brought on by a certain character -- was what left me sobbing in my room whilst the clock slowly neared midnight.

This was the last picture I took of myself before I turned 24. I wanted to remember that moment in time; swollen eyes brought on by crying and staying up late that night, my hair being all over the place, that random water pitcher just waiting for me on my desk.

The next day -- my actual birthday -- I spent some of my afternoon in solitude, basking in the anonymity of being just another regular citizen of the world. There's a curious sense of silence that can be found in solitude; sure, it can get lonely at times, but the past few years made me realize how much I enjoy that little nugget of quiet peace that comes from being by yourself.

My birthdays have always been something I look forward to, and that hasn't changed until now. It might not have felt like anything special, but I'd like to think it was substantially better this time around, especially since I did so much crying around my birthday last year. I had considered it to be my worst birthday thus far -- and I still do -- so it was a relief to find myself in a better place as compared to last year. Though, in the broad spectrum of things, I'm nowhere near where I want to be at this point in my life.

Yesterday, I celebrated my birthday with my parents. We had a quaint little dinner (Japanese, noms), before retiring for the night. It was a normal day; nothing extraordinary, nothing considerably noteworthy, but it was -- for the most part -- pleasant.

I'm only disappointed that I didn't get to watch Captain America: Civil War for the third time because the cinemas were no longer showing it.

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