Posts Tagged ‘Birthday’

I have a very bad habit. And that’s cancelling plans. I usually have some valid reasons, but sometimes I just don’t. My decision to cancel sometimes depends on how I feel that day. Once I’m not in a good mood, I would just cancel. It may seem like a selfish move but it really is not. It’s more like an equation in my head: If I’m not in a good mood, I will draw so much negative energy therefore I will ruin it all for everyone.” So instead of going and being a party popper, I stay home and try to re-mediate myself.

Then there are the times when I do have reasons to cancel. Like I mentioned many times in several of my posts here, I engage in a lot of activities in my church or for my church. Some of them I don’t recall ever affirming that I wanted to be part of, but somehow I’m all up in them. So what happens now is that, everyone__from my pastor to all the presidents of the different departments of the church__ counts on me. Why, you ask? In the words of my blunt boyfriend “Because you don’t know how to say no!”. Not that this is entirely true, but sometimes, I just can’t bear to say no when it comes to doing something for the people at my church. My mother raised me to always be of service for the church anytime that I can. And I’ve always kept that with me. Now it’s making and breaking me at the same time.

There have been times when I had to cancel girls’ outings, birthday parties, bridal/baby showers  just because I had to be at practice or because I had to wake up early for Sunday service the next day. I have broken a lot of my friends’ heart by doing that, and now some either don’t invite me anymore or are skeptical when I RSVP. I hate the fact that, even when I use the proper etiquette of bailing, it still hurts the other person. I then get mad at myself for not handling the situation the right way, especially after I gave my word to be there.

Well, last week was different. I didn’t wake up with a certain state of mind to be bold in the decision I made, but it sure gave me the balls to stand up for myself.  One of my girlfriends came in town to celebrate her birthday: 4-day weekend type of celebration that is. And I knew about her coming since July. And of course, like all the other times, I told her I would be there.

“Are you sure?” I remembered her asking. She sounded unconvinced.

“I promise, I’ll be there.”

Knowing me with my cancelling habit, she was super excited and took (rather, held onto) my word for it. So the plan was for us to meet Thursday night for dinner.  I was excited, that, for once out of  the many times  I’ve cancelled on friends and family, I was finally keeping my word. Only to realize that it wasn’t going to be for long.

Last Sunday was Young Adult day at the church. This is when all the young adults of the church do everything in the services: from ushering to directing and preaching. So guess who was picked to direct THAT Sunday out of every single suitable young person? You guessed right. Me. Now I had a dilemma. If I was to direct, I would need to attend praise team rehearsal which would be that same Thursday of my friend’s birthday dinner. And that night would be the only night she would be in NY, the only night I would be able to see her since she made plans to be in Massachusetts the rest of the week-end. I can’t begin to explain the crowd of thoughts that kept racing through my mind. I wanted to tell my pastor that I wouldn’t be able to direct, if it meant for me to be present at rehearsal. But I didn’t want to let him down. So I said nothing, and concluded that the best thing would be for me to cancel…on my friend.

Too ashamed to call, I sent her a Facebook message, first asking her when she would be leaving NY, because I ‘probably’ wouldn’t be able to make it on Thursday because of rehearsal.

“You always have something going on. I’m disappointed. I’m not going to hide it. But it’s ok. I understand.” was her reply. My fingers  itched to type back “No! you don’t understand! And that wasn’t my question!” but I had to face the truth. And whenever I face the truth, I’d throw a fit then finally, I’d give in. I explained the whole dilemma to my older sister, hoping to get her to sympathize with me, but instead she told me: “So you have so much responsibilities…whose fault is it? There are other people in the church who are  well-able to do all that you do. You just make yourself too available. That’s your problem. Be unavailable for once.”

So I picked up my cell and called the praise team director. I told him I would not be able to come to rehearsal and sent him a list of what needed to be done. He tried talking me out of it, telling me that I needed to be there and such, but I resisted. I knew I needed to be there, but God knows that I’ve always been there, rain or shine, sleet or snow. For once, I had to decline.

So I went to the dinner. My friend was so happy to see me. She hugged me for what seemed to be a very long second and whispered: “Thank you…”. I hugged her back and smiled. That made the rest of my weekend :-).

Then Sunday came, I directed. And the service went marvelously :-).

I’m glad I’m slowly breaking this bad habit.

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Ok! Where do I start?

...where do I even begin???

Should I spill all the juicy details?

I’m sorry but there aren’t any. I wish I was able to flood my blog with crazy fun pictures of  unforgettable moments I shared with friends and family during my birthday, but that was not the case.

Well for one, my birthday weekend “celebration” ended by Saturday morning. I usually keep celebrating until the end of the month, but this year, I willingly toned it down.

My birthday this year was untypically solemn. Some of my friends were…well, in their own world. Some forgot. And those who forgot are whose birthdays I always remember. Some sent me nonchalant wishes via Facebook or text. It wasn’t how I expected it to be, but it truly (and surprisingly!) didn’t bother  me. I have gotten use to that and I’m alright. I just think that once we grow older and grasp a wiser sense on how to control our emotions and not hold on to idle stuff,  situations like these do not faze us anymore. If they don’t send us cards, call us or throw us a birthday party, we do it ourselves and have a good time. My guess is this year, maybe they didn’t matter. Maybe it wasn’t  supposed to be the usual. And I enjoyed every minute of it :-).

First, my day was warmed up by a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my beau.

The bouquet

Aren't they lovely?

He always sends me flowers on special occasions and random days :-). Mom also made me a fruit cake (on top are slices of pineapple, cherries and prunes) since I’m not a big fan of cake icings.

Fresh out of the oven...yum!

Then I received a cute painting from a good friend who lives in New Jersey.  He painted it himself and I was so moved by the gesture.

So full of colors! I believe the Mandarin sign reads: Peace. I may be wrong :-/

This little bunny melts my heart 🙂

And later on that day, Older sis and Judith (a sis from another Mom 🙂 ) took me to see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway!

Before heading out to work, Older sis tried really hard to convince me to take the day off  but I truly couldn’t since Fridays were the busiest days at work.  She was a little disappointed but I reassured her that  I would leave early so we could have the rest of the day to ourselves. I was totally oblivious of the plans she made.

We both met at the train station near home, and we waitedand waited...and waited some more for Judith. When she finally showed up, we both sighed in relief, gave her a reprimanding look and unwillingly digested all the excuses she fed us for being late. We almost didn’t make it to the show. She’s lucky we did.

I was a bit skeptical about the show because I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew that I loved musicals and opera.  I saw the actual movie in French as “Le Fantôme de l’Opéra” when I was seven, in Haiti, and I recalled that it scared the lights out of me. The story didn’t make sense to me then and I just didn’t like it. (Please don’t judge me, I was seven.)

By the way, this is me (and my mommy) on my seventh birthday...Go ahead and laugh at my dress.lol (Please excuse the quality of the photo)

To my surprise, the show blew me away! It was a true masterpiece and the actors were all amazing! It was so beautiful and moving! I didn’t get a chance to take pictures with them but I did buy a poster with their autographs on it.

The autographed poster

The funds were to benefit two major causes: AIDS and Cancer. I can’t begin to explain the joy I felt for contributing.

After the show, we went to a Caribbean restaurant called “Negril Village” in Manhattan, where we chatted and laughed over aromatic and delicious dishes and a few drinks. There was no better way to end the night. This year’s birthday may not have been the typical but it was the ideal one for me and I couldn’t have asked for more.

What I drew from it all this year is that, the more solemn it is, the better. I got to reflect on a lot of things and appreciate the littlest things. I was content to see another year and focused on thanking God for always keeping me and protecting me. Some people either lay unconscious in a hospital on their birthday, or some just don’t see it. Who was I to complain? I was surrounded with so much love :-).

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This morning was one of those mornings I don’t usually wake up to.

I usually get in a hopeless fight with my bed every morning, but this morning, it was different. I felt myself gently shaken awake to the must beautiful sight ever. I reached for my camera to capture such marvel, but I stopped. Moments like these were to be savored peacefully. And for some weird reason, I was afraid that while I’d take a photo, it would all disappear before my eyes. Then I reminded myself that I wasn’t dreaming. This was real.

I heard the wind’s gentle whistle and saw a few brown and orange leaves twirl in the sky. There weren’t any birds chirping (which would’ve made this moment even more perfect) but seeing a few squirrels chase each other on my neighbor’s roof  humored me.

I got myself out of bed finally, anticipating much more. I was grateful that I saw another day, the most beautiful and peaceful day I’ve ever seen and felt in a long time. I was so content that, if I wouldn’t wake up to see my birthday tomorrow, I would repose in peace.

Once out, I deeply inhaled the fresh morning air and watched the sun’s rays play peek-a-boo with the clouds. It wasn’t a full sunny day, nor was it a cloudy one, it was…just right.

I didn’t want this day to end. I wanted all the time in the world to make the best of it.

Then I heard a voice whisper: “It’s yours. Do make the best of it.”

My heart raced with fright and excitement. Unsure, I paid close attention and heard it again.

I heard it say: “Happy Birthday Daughter.”

I couldn’t retain the tears of joy that ran down my face and all I heard myself whisper was: “Thank you, Lord…thank you.”

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