This was a different birthday. one where I wasn’t concerned about how many people remembered or how many gifts I received. It was a birthday full of thanksgiving and joy I just wanted to share it with everyone.

Birthdays are a celebration of lives.

I am celebrating my birthday this year because of several reasons.

Firstly, I feel 20 is an important milestone to celebrate because I am reaching a new level of maturity. I am grateful for the 20 years of amazing life I have had and all the people that have come into it. This birthday is especially significant to me because I have gone through a difficult season, and now, life is starting to become beautiful again. I cannot begin to express how grateful and happy I am whenever I think of how I see myself getting better each day. God has been good, and today, I want to celebrate the hope that has come in this season of my life. To my friends and family who walked with me through my valley and cared for me in various ways, I remember your help and I am very grateful.

Today I want to share my joy with you. I want you to know that I reached a point in my life where it was so bleak I felt there was nothing worth celebrating at all. I want to tell you that it is possible for God to take a life bruised and hurt, and make it beautiful again.

I am grateful to all of you for making a mark in my life and colouring my life. My 20th birthday wish is that I will be able to live a beautiful new chapter, and that I can be a light to others just as you were a light to me. And my wish for you is that you will come to know this awesome God in a deeper way whether you are Christian or not, and that whenever you feel life is dreary, whenever you feel lost and hopeless, you will remember my story, and you will be reminded that God can turn a life around.

To my mum who gave me a bouquet of pink roses and a lovely card which said “I am very very proud of you”: It seems I have forgotten or failed to see how thoughtful a person you are–a trait I inherited from you. Or rather, I never thought you would waste money on something as frivolous as fresh flowers. But you did. And it means the world to me.

To my sister who made the photo frame: It is hanging on my door now, big baby. You are my kai xin guo, always. You are a genius to write that poem and record a birthday song for me and send it over. I can play it a thousand times on iTunes now whenever I need cheering up. =)

To my ee ee: I chose to spend my birthday night with you because friends can change, but I know your love for me is strong and deep. Thank you for spending an hour in the bookshop hunting for the bible I wanted and for imparting your wisdom into my life.

To my LG mates: You are a gift from God to me, an example, and a spiritual hedge that keeps me safe. A birthday celebration without you guys would be outrageously wrong because of how you have shaped my life.

To Zi Jun, Soon En, Chun Kit and Siew Lin: You came!!!!! Especially Siew Lin all the way from Melaka. You made my day because of that, and I’m glad you were able to meet my friends and that I could share my life with you.

To my dance team: Thank you for blessing me with your words. Sharon Jie, you gave me the perfect gift for my stinky feet. =)

To various other people: Thank you for coming as well, although I did not have the chance to talk properly to everybody, and although my self-made birthday cake turned out like…literal shit. =P Sorry.

To Yap Wei Yee, I wished you FIRST this year. Hoho. I hope you had a special 7th Feb too. Happy Birthday. Next time you so busy we won’t even think of wishing you happy birhday! Ceh!

And to everyone else who wished me: Thank you for remembering.