A Countdown to My "25th"

In less than a month’s time, I shall be celebrating my 25th birthday. Oh! Don’t you dare give me that dagger look. Wasn’t it last year when I declared to be 25 Years Old Forever until I invoke my right to change my mind? Hahaha!

David Funk's newspaper tribute for my birthday last year

Seriously, I was born to two very young individuals who were unprepared for marriage.

My parents' wedding eon years ago

As a result, I grew up in an environment where I was economically deprived as a child. I could still vividly recall my childhood. It was a childhood that’s devoid of children toys and I wasn’t given the chance to play like all normal kids would. It’s because I was trained to do household chores as young as 5 or 6. I had to look after my younger brother who was only about 3 then. You see, I am the eldest of three broods and the only girl in the family.

With my Mom and my two younger brothers when I was about 9 years old

I cannot recall from my childhood instances when my parents lavished me with a birthday party; even a simple birthday cake. In fact, I only had my first birthday cake two years ago.

My first ever birthday cake that was given to me as a gift by none other than Windy the Man

At such a very tender age, I have realized that life is not a bed of roses. I feel grown-up even when I was just a young little kid.

The idea of writing this article occurred to me not because I felt deprived as a child. Even when life was hard back then, I felt complete because I have a family who showered me with the love and attention that can never be bought by any amount of money.

Family portrait after a Sunday church worship service

While writing this article, I feel proud of my parents because even when they were young and did not plan my conception, they however,  lived up to their responsibilities and love commitment. What I am now is not because I am better fed, better housed and better schooled because as I’ve earlier pointed out that we weren’t well off. What I have achieved as a person is entirely because of my parents. They have molded me to be the best person I could possibly be. As such,  I have become determined to achieve my goals from an early age. Anything dignified about me and whatever decent you read in this blog I actually owe it to them; anything else is simply not their fault.

When I went to school, I was a shy and timid girl who didn’t want to mingle with others. I always have that reservation with people. I have my own inhibitions and it included that I may not fit in their kind of world.

Grade I

Nonetheless, I have been a loyal and friendly friend to those who keep a low profile. I tend not to come close to those who have weird hang ups and those who have a tendency to bully others. I simply can’t stand bullies!

This year, I am celebrating not just any other birthday. It is actually my “25th”. Born and raised with my own sets of faith and belief, I celebrate neither Halloween nor Christmas. However, these yearly seasons are “bookmarks” to an event in my life. For me, these are the time of the year when we have to share our blessings with others. Sharing can not only be manifested by material things but the most essential of all is the sharing of one’s self and being a blessing to anyone that we come across with.

Many times, I planned of having a garage sale. Who wouldn’t want to earn from selling the not-too-worn out clothes? However, I think of my cousins and my nieces (daughters of my cousins) who are much less privileged than I. On most occasions, prior to meet ups with relatives, I would remove the price tags (items are supposed to be up for the garage sale) and replace these with names of my cousins and nieces. I would then pack them individually. As I see the smiles on the recipients’ faces upon receiving these hand-me-down clothing, I feel wonderful. I feel great not only because I was able to share but because I have now a good excuse to go shopping, LOL!

I realized that the art of giving, sharing and loving makes me happier. How can you make something valuable that is already of great value or how do you give value to something that is already valuable? For me, it is when I give out something valuable and that it was given more value by the person who needs it more than me. These are the little things that actually makes me happier. It is not the material things. It’s the unseen things in life that are given to us for free like joy, love, care, trust that makes us the happiest persons on earth.

What excites me and what makes me look forward about turning 25 years old forever is the idea of being graceful when aging sets in and of being wise in decision-makings, especially in my pursuit for personal and professional growth.

As I grow older, I feel deeper appreciation for my family. Most people say that real love can only be experienced when one has children of their own. Since I don’t have children that I could call my own as of now, the love of my family are the only love I know that’s unbounded and immeasurable.The love of my father (may God rest his soul), the love and care of my mother and that of my brothers and later, that of my nephew, Morning Dew. I don’t know yet a love that’s more real than this.

I have always loved to read and write. Though I may not write free of errors, I have always loved to express. I can’t remember anyone teaching me how to read. I must be too young then to recall. But if my recollection would serve me right, I have learned on my own. When I was a little grown up, I simulate what teachers do. I own a piece of board eraser, chalk, blackboard and my students are my brothers. I have been their first teacher. I taught them how to read and write. Yes. I do love teaching. It was my second best ambition. I was almost on the brink of being a college Professor some years back but I believe it wasn’t my calling. I have always wanted to be a lawyer. Yes, a frustrated lawyer I am.

My passion for writing somehow paved the way for me to have interest in learning the ropes of blogging. Some bad experiences at the blogs though kept me from wearing my heart in my sleeves. I had to do away with letting out everything for everyone’s scrutiny as the past experiences had taught me a hard lesson. Some had deviously gathered information about my person and I was dissected like a laboratory specimen. It was a terrible experience that a blogger would not want to go through. I find the gesture unethical and abusive.

When I went to college, I have met more and more people. The more people I meet, the better I understand myself. I discovered the things I like, the things I don’t like, which applies to people as well.

With college pals on our Graduation Day

However, early on, I knew I did not want to be talked or gossiped about, so I deferred judgment against others and refused to gossip about them. I found the people, aside from my family, who can jive with me, who understand me and withstand all of my moods.

On my graduation day. Please don't mind the oily face, okay?

I found friends, online and offline, who are so like me in some ways and so unlike me in others, stuck by me through thick and thin. I need not mention any of them here because they know who they are.

I know one day, someone is ready to make me his world (a scary responsibility on my part). That someone does not mind building a family with me and consent to my being mother to his future children (a risk on his part). I know my capabilities as a woman and with the many roles I play, I strive to be a woman who is a better daughter, a sister, a soon-to-be-aunt, a friend, a blogger, a servant of God, but I could not be certain if “wife” and “mother” fit me. Only God knows. I cannot imagine being responsible for the future and well-being of another individual, much less an innocent, all-love, trusting little child. Right now, I am happy being me, focusing on completing myself, making myself whole, before I become that someone’s whole world, before I become a wife and a mother.

In my 25 years on Earth, I have made mistakes, I guarantee. But these mistakes I turned to lessons learned. And I also guarantee that I will make some more mistakes. However, this will not stop me from moving along, taking each day one step at a time and planning for my future. It is a conscious effort, a continuous everyday choice on my part, to constantly look at life in a positive light. I am scared, like a little girl of 6, of what my future will hold. But I gather strength from God, my family and my friends. I am encouraged and inspired by the unending love from those I love the most.

To get me through another 25 years, I need the younger version of me who thought herself a full-grown woman, ready to take on the world. I am truly uncertain of the future, but I am certain that with all the uncertainties of tomorrow, I am both scared and excited of what the future brings.

One more thing that I am very certain about is that I love to be forever 25! Hahahaha! There are still a lot of people who gets deceived by my real age. I feel good that the aura that they see in me is the younger version of my real age, LOL!

Yours truly at 25 years old forever ;-)
Yours truly at 25 years old forever ;-)

So as I excitedly and giddily prepare myself for another 25 years of my life, I am ready to take on the world, unafraid of the storm, heartaches and pain that may come my way. I believe in my heart and I know in my mind that I have loved, I am loved and my life is worth living.

54 thoughts on “A Countdown to My "25th"”

  1. Hi Lainy! Nice to be back here… Advance Happy Birthday! I was deeply touched by your story and I enjoyed reading it from top to bottom.

    On your coming birthday, I have only one wish for you….

    “STAY HAPPY” :)

    Love and Light,

    Krizza

  2. hey laine ! happy birthday in advance :) you have come a long way so you deserve to be 25 forever ^^ thanks for sharing this part of your life to your readers despite the previous experience. i know some people make it their business to lurk into other people’s lives, so i appreciate that you still open up for your online friends 😉 glad to have read this as i’ve gotten to know you more :)

    enjoy planning for your upcoming 25th birthday bash. i will await for updates 😉

    hugs !

    ps: that purple cake looks majestic!

    1. @KM,

      Hi KM! Thanks for the advance birthday greetings.

      Haha! Do I really deserve to be forever 25? Thanks a lot for the affirmation, LOL!

      I try to learn from the bad and good experiences. If they later use this post against me, well, up to them. I can never expect everyone to love me for what I really am.

      I don’t have any plans as of yet for my upcoming birthday. I want to keep it plain and simple as I believe being simple is the new fabulous, LOL!

      The cake was really something. I felt like I had my debut, hahaha!

      Hugs back to you, KM! :-)

  3. Hi Lainy,

    This line from you makes me smile “I feel great not only because I was able to share but because I have now a good excuse to go shopping,.” Such a silly girl.. 😀

    Anyways, Advance Happy Birthday Lyn.. I’m sure God will continually bless your life with goodness, as he witnessed already how pure your heart is. Your such a wonderful person and It’s a blessing indeed to be part of your friends list.

    Love yah,
    Honeybunch

    1. @Honey,

      Hahahaha! I wrote that to give this article a lighter mood, Hon. I just feel I was too serious when I pour my heart out, LOL !

      Thanks Hon. You’re one of the few who’s always been there since I was a newbie in the blogosphere. My ever all out supporter and yeah, No. 1 reader of all my craps, hahaha!

      Thanks for the beautiful compliments. I feel the same way for you too.

      Love yah too! Mwah!

  4. “forever 25” I like that. you definitely pass the 25 y/o look. thanks to your mama dear’s good genes.

    a well written post, Sis. and yes, while you are definitely ready to take on the world, and many storms will come your way like many of us do, the love of the people that matters to you the most will help you conquer every storm.

    I can only wish you happiness and good health. it’s way too early to say happy birthday but just the same, sige kahit maaga.hindi naman mapapanis di ba?(lol)

    1. @j,

      Thank you for the affirmation yet again, Sis. LOL!

      You said it, Sis. The people I love the most will definitely keep me stronger to weather every storm that may come along my way.

      Thanks for the well wishes, Sis. Tama! Di nga mapapanis, hahahaha!

  5. I’ve always love reading your posts and I love this post even more. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I love what you said and I quote : “Anything dignified about me and whatever decent you read in this blog I actually owe it to them; anything else is simply not their fault.” That’s great tribute to your parents, sis and I’m touched, being a mom. Advance Happy birthday and I hope you continue to write great posts!

    1. @mai,

      Hi Sis!

      Thanks for reading through and I am glad that you appreciate it. Your comment just now inspired me to write more craps about me, hahahaha!

      Thanks for the birthday greetings.

      See yah!

  6. Wow u look like a small little girl on your college graduation!! I wanna be 25 too and I wanna go back to college, NOW! Ha ha ah ah ha have a blast on ur birthday sweetie, I’m sure u will have a wonderful time celebrating with your family and Prince! Hugs! :):):)

    1. @Mariuca,

      Thanks Sweetie! I look like a dwarf, hahaha!

      I don’t wanna go back to college anymore. You’re always a student and there’s no money, LOL!

      Thanks for the birthday greetings Sweetie!

      Hugs back to you! :-)

  7. advance happy birthday lainy… I can really relate to your stories especially your birthday stories… I had my first birthday cake when I was 18. A gift from my dear college friends.. I actually forgot that it was my 18th birthday because I was busy with school…

    Our experiences made us who we are and what we are now. I can say that you really are a good and positive person… Lagi ko nga sinasabi sa mga kapatid at kaibigan ko na masaya maging mahirap dahil mas madali mong ma appreciate ang mga bagay bagay na nakapaligid sayo…

    It is an honor to have met and known you…

    1. @Rovie,

      Thank you, Rovs. Thanks for sharing a part of yourself too. Re: When you had your birthday cake at 18.

      Thanks for the compliments. Ganahan ko ana, hahaha!

      I am happy to have found new pals like you too. I hope to meet you one day 😉

  8. Very well said, perfectly written…all of the above! 😀

    And naka-relate jud ko sa uban nimong gisulti diri, Laine.

    …I felt complete because I have a family who showered me with the love and attention that can never be bought by any amount of money.

    …I have been a loyal and friendly friend to those who keep a low profile. I tend not to come close to those who have weird hang ups and those who have a tendency to bully others. I simply can’t stand bullies!

    …I knew I did not want to be talked or gossiped about, so I deferred judgment against others and refused to gossip about them. I found the people, aside from my family, who can jive with me, who understand me and withstand all of my moods.

    …I found friends, online and offline, who are so like me in some ways and so unlike me in others…

    And you are right, it feels so good to hear people say that we look younger than our age. So don’t be afraid to say you are 32 because you definitely don’t look like one. 😉

    Have a great day! Stay pretty INSIDE and OUT!

  9. There are so many things common in us both, Sis and it’s great to have known so many more about you through this post. You are 25, I am 50. Thus, I am older than you! Hahaha.

    Happy birthday advance! My wish is to see you in flesh someday, and my prayers and hope for you is more love, more happiness and more moolah, too! Lol.

  10. Parehas pala tayo Birthmonth Lainy :) Ang cute nang pictures mo, you still remained sexy. what is it about 25? enlighten me a bit as I am turning 25 in the next 6 days.

  11. Hi, Lainy. Advance Happy Birthday! It’s nice reading your story, lots of lessons to learn. Each of us have different worlds and different experiences but it only matters as long as we learn our life’s lessons. More blessings in your next 25 years.

  12. same here, wa jud ko katilaw anang mga dulaan…ako dula kay tumba lata, takyan, piko, hehe..eldest pod ko, so ako bantay sa manghud…ang pagkakaiba lang Lain, sa iyaan ko midako kay gipasa ra man ko sa ako mother sa iya manghud 😥 … lucky you kay maski mga bata pa sila, kinaya nila obligasyon nila.

    ganahan ko sa imo pic kanang naka yellow ug Gr.1 hahaha 😀

  13. You don’t look your age at all! Nung nabasa ko ang title ng post na to akala ko nga 25 ka lang. Advance Happy Birthday! May God always bless you and your family!

  14. Hey Lainy,

    I’m a little late on the greeting but happy birthday. Damn, you’re younger than me and I envy anyone who’s younger than me. 😉

    Happy birthday!

  15. you are blessed with a family that cares… that’s something so many people in this world don’t have. I love your old photos. It’s good you kept them all these years!

    thanks for sharing, Lainy! hope. Late visit again!

  16. Advance happy 25th birthday Lainy!

    That’s the first comment I planned to comment upon reading the title…hehehe. Bitaw Lain, you don’t look your age at all. Layo ra kaau ang imong real edad sa imong hitsura. Baby face kaau ka so be forever 25!

  17. advance happy birthday, Lainy. I am so glad to have met another wonderful person on Earth, though still very young but so full of values I admire. Your sharing of your heart almost, (well, it does now), bring tears to my eyes. I can so very well relate to your experience, and I really admire your thoughts in life.

    though i love all that you shared here, but let me quote again what you said, “How can you make something valuable that is already of great value or how do you give value to something that is already valuable? For me, it is when I give out something valuable and that it was given more value by the person who needs it more than me. These are the little things that actually makes me happier. It is not the material things. It’s the unseen things in life that are given to us for free like joy, love, care, trust that makes us the happiest persons on earth.” —- I could not add more Lainy. Happiness is more than just the material things, deeper happiness indeed is brought about by these unseen things.

    wishing you the very best in life, and I know with the values you have, I have no doubt you will become a thoughtful, loving, caring, and open-minded mom and wife. Meantime, enjoy everything, every blessings you have, such as being an aunt to Drew.

  18. Advance Happy birthday,Lainy. We’re on the same shoe, my parents are not well off but they molded me with love and have faith in God. Thanks for sharing your life with us. I have been known you a little bit on online as I read some of your posts “You’re an amazing woman” so keep your age 25 forever xoxoxo;)

  19. I think that if you compare your childhood to mine, you are still wayyyyyy luckier and economically blessed over me hahaha.

    Here’s to many more years of becoming 25 years old again hehehe (double this time).

  20. Happy Birthday! 😀

    I’ve read the entire story and I think you’re a strong person overcoming obstacles in your life. But it’s never too late to experience many good things and I’m sure you’ll be the happiest woman alive and you may live longer life! 😀

  21. That’s so funny…forever 25 is the best age ever!!!! I wish i could settle for my age forever too, just hoping I won’t get lost if someone ask me about my real age in some sort of federal questions. hehehehe… thanks for sharing those memories you have, it feels like I’ve been a part of you knowing who you are.

  22. Happy Birthday Lainy. Your positive attitude is quite endearing. I know some things may have changed since you wrote this post but you can be forever 25 in your heart and mind and no one can take that away from you. Just wait for the wisdom of the 40s still to come and age will only become a number. Stay happy always.

  23. Nandito na naman ako to greet you a Happy Natal Day. Reading back, I can only say, You did just fine. Hoping that the next birthdays will bring forth more blessings to you and your family.

  24. This post makes me feel old. LOL! Kidding aside, you have come so far and it is good to acknowledge people who are there to be with you. I wish, I have those kind of people in my life.

  25. happy bday lainy! i’m turning 25 next year too! hehe its nice to read the whole article and nice to know a little bit about you and see those throwback photos! i love how you’re so positive and happy as always. cheers to more years and more blessings! =)

  26. How many times have you celebrated your 25th birthday, Sis? Haha! I feel like I want to to adopt this very same number, too, for my birthday starting next year. What do you think? Lol.

    Well, advance happy birthday to you Sis! I am so thankful to have known a genuine person like you. And now, my daughter’s fan, too. She has told me of the Zoo ticket and now I feel like I am bound to be booking a trip for four because of that free pass. Oh my, how I wish it’s just a jeepyney ride from here to where you are! 😀 Nonetheless, I still wish for the time when we can meet each other in person! :)

  27. So another 25th birthday is coming. I know since the day you wrote this article, there are plenty of great things happened in your life.

    Any other wish my dear? Our heavenly Father will be glad to bless you because you are such a kind and loving person.

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