My 21st Birthday

My “first” drink – an LA Water

Finally I am 21!

Early this morning, I woke up and looked at my phone which told me it was 3:23am and that I was 21. It was an amazing feeling – sleepy as I was.

Then before my alarm had a chance to ring, my mom called me to wish me a happy birthday and remind me that I was in her prayers.

After speaking to my parents, I got the chance to talk to my younger brothers which was a rare privilege due to religious differences.

But the day gets even better.

Here at work, to celebrate an office employee’s birthday, their lunch of choice is made for the entire office, so today the menu will be lasagna, Caesar salad, garlic bread, with banana cream pie for dessert.

It may be simple, but it is my favorite meal.

Then this evening after work and school, the traditional 21st birthday rule will be applied……use your imagination.

When I stop to think, it feels as if it were just the other day, that I was at home living the simple life of a care-free child.

I now understand what “adults” mean when the say, “My, how time has flown by!” and it has.

Ten years ago (wow, that sounds like a long time) my biggest concern was whether I would get my promised BB gun on my birthday. Four years ago, my highest achievement was obtaining a driving permit, and then two years ago I finally attained the long-anticipated and magical 18 year-old status.

Since then, I have almost dreaded birthdays just because I felt like I was getting old.

At times I still feel like a child inside forced to grow old by the order of Time. Perhaps I am sentimental, (I hope not) but every great once in a while, I go through my photo albums and remember all the wonderful memories of my childhood. There are photos of me as a four year-old helping my dad push the mower to cut the grass, standing on a chair washing dishes with my sisters, and sitting on the porch getting ready for my first day in school.

Those are great memories, especially when I remember the soap bubble fights and the pranks I played at school. All my childhood, the driving idea in my subconscious was to move out on my own, drive a nice car, and be a boss in an office. Sometimes that drive made me less appreciative of the good times as a child and I now wish that I had  “stopped to smell the flowers” more often during my childhood.

Now I have all my childhood ambitions, my own apartment, a nice car, and a management position, but I now also have all the responsibilities that come with that liberty and freedom.

But that is just life and I am learning how to be an adult.

I suppose the next milestone to reach or dread is turning 25.

But I am determined to enjoy life day by day and live it to the fullest. Even now, there are things in life that I would love to redo, but all I can do is avoid making the same mistakes twice.

Life is good in that regard because time gives us the opportunity to plan the future, change the present, and even forget the past; and I intend to take full advantage.

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