I turned 32 four days ago in Singapore surrounded by my nearest and dearest (including a not-so-little girl I haven’t seen in two years). It was one of the best birthdays I’ve had in a while.

I don’t know when I started feeling weird about birthdays, and not in that oh-god-I’m-getting-so-old/here-come-the-birthday-blues kind of way, but more of a geez-are-we-really-still-doing-this? kind of ambivalence. After a certain age, maybe 25, I just feel like celebrating becomes kind of unnecessary, even a bit excessive. It’s weird, though, because I do get a little intense and excited about other people’s birthdays, and I always insist that people make a big deal about theirs. But my own celebrations just feel a little embarrassing, but I guess that says more about my own insecurities than anything else.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, despite my own feelings of inadequacy, sometimes, birthdays are kind of rad, especially when they bring together the people you love.

While I may have turned 32 in Singapore, today I reached another milestone: it’s been two months since I moved to Hanoi and I’ve never been so grateful and happy about a major life decision ever. It’s early days still but I really do believe it was the right thing to do. On our way home from the airport, I was beaming. It felt really good to be back. Manila had me by the throat, so it feels good to be somewhere I can breathe.

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