Otherwise known (at least, to me) as the beginning of my No Excuses Decade, the time in my life when absolutely everything of consequence happens. Get a job that I love, one that will hopefully keep me writing long-term. Finally re-take that written exam I failed the first time so I can get my learner's permit and start driving again. Apply for U.S. citizenship (next year). Visit Europe. Run a marathon. Buy a home. Pop out some babies. (More goals to follow, I’m sure.)
I’m getting ahead of myself though—it’s only Day 1. I really shouldn’t overload my brain with all these unnecessary stress triggers, especially on my friggin’ birthday.
So how is it going, you ask? Let me tell you.
The day before the ‘Big 3-0’
Realization #1: 30 year-old me is not as excited about celebrating my birthday as, say, 25 year-old me.
A few days ago, I came up with a Top 5 list of things I kind of wanted to do to give my 20s a proper send-off:
• Hot air balloon ride
• Watch that Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil show
• Ride a big-ass rollercoaster
Thing is, in order for these 5 things to even happen, I needed to plan them out weeks in advance. By the time I decided that hey, maybe I should do something special for the Big 3-0, it was already too late to set things in motion.
Confession #1: A small part of me was hoping J would do all the planning/surprising for my birthday, but of course I was forgetting that it can be hard for him sometimes, being married to a Filipina woman who occasionally turned the passive-aggressive behavior way up and had unrealistic expectations of epic mind-reading abilities.
Since my birthday fell on a Monday when normal people like J had work, we decided to celebrate the day before (which is technically the actual day of my birth anyway, if we’re taking time zone technicalities into serious consideration). Like any decent human being, J asked me what I wanted to do so we could make it happen, and I seriously had no clue.
Confession #2: That was a lie. What I really wanted to do was eat. And that, we did. After doing our P90X exercises for the day*, we got on the road and proceeded to partake in the following, which are some of my favorite food items:
- Bon Chon fried chicken – because it’s friggin’ delicious and it’s been a while since we’ve both eaten there.
- Mamon from Red Ribbon – I got butter, J got mocha. He insisted that I never made him eat mamon before, so naturally he assumed it was a disgusting dessert (I have never met a dessert I did not like, thank goodness). He ended up liking it (but he downplayed it, of course).
- Taro milk tea from Quickly – I got my usual order (Large, with double servings of large tapioca and one serving of lychee jelly), but from a different branch. Note to self: Don’t get Quickly if it’s not from the downtown San Jose branch…unless you don’t mind your order being taken by an Asian woman so perennially pissed off, she might as well be sucking on a lemon.
The culminating activity was supposed to be dinner at Boiling Crab – which is my favorite restaurant in the vicinity of South San Jose – but we decided to take a quick nap after driving around and trying to fill up the day with out-of-our-routine activities (like go to the mall and be super stressed and terribly disappointed) and by the time we got to the restaurant at 8pm, there was a 2-hour-and-a-half wait list. The restaurant closed at 10pm, so obviously, having a 50-50 chance to even get offered a table and having to rush through dinner wasn't going to be worth it.
I was terribly disappointed…I WANTED CRAB GODDAMMIT! J knew it, too. So he said we’d make it my birthday week (I married the best-est guy, I swear) and do Boiling Crab sometime this week. We ended up getting Vietnamese pho takeout instead before heading back home to watch The Princess Bride (a birthday tradition).
In short, the day ended on a high note!
The actual ‘Big 3-0’
It was almost exactly like every other Monday I’ve experienced in the past. I woke up all Popeye-like, with one eye open first before committing to opening the other, greeted by a strong urge to pee and an even stronger urge to go back to sleep. I checked my phone, cleared all notifications, replied to messages people left me on various platforms, and fired up my sleeping laptop in order to fully connect to the people on the interwebs. I got some iced coffee running through my veins to wake my inner self up.
The only difference is the barrage of birthday greetings on my Facebook Timeline – from the speedy and generic hbd’s-no-punctuation-marks-or-emoticons courtesy of my acquaintances to well-thought-out wishes from my besties, complete with a photo highlighting my goofy face – and the push I felt in my gut that compelled me to add a little bit of oomph to my routine today, because it IS my birthday, after all.
For a non-driving, funemployed, homebody such as myself, “a little bit of oomph” meant leaving the house by foot. After I finished my re-watch of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I got dressed, walked to the light rail, and made my way to the mall closest to me (two train stops and an additional 15-minute walk away). When I got to the mall, the big question hit me:
I guess I could celebrate by buying myself something nice. Nope. Every store I went into that had something I liked made me internally comment, “Pshh…I could totally buy this (or something like it, but better) cheaper online!”
Confession #3: I sort of have an online shopping problem. Hi, my name is Jam and I am a bargain addict. Even though I already have everything I want and need, I have a hard time resisting a good online sale.
Maybe watch a movie by myself? Most of the movies on the mall’s lineup were ones that I wanted to see with J, so I skipped those. The ones left were Tammy and The Fault In Our Stars: one had a low Rotten Tomatoes rating and featured Melissa McCarthy in a hot mess (not in the mood for that), one was a cancer romance (definitely not in the mood for that).
After five more minutes of walking around, I was done giving the mall a chance – am I turning into a grumpy hermit? – I bought a bag of Twizzlers Bites and went home.
And now, here we are. The day isn’t over yet and I’m sure it can only get better at this point, so let me end my first entry of what hopefully becomes a regular blogging habit with a list.
The ‘Big 3-0’ list of realizations
- See #1 above.
- I love naps, and it’s totally OK. That doesn't make me a useless bum. That makes me human.
- A messy bun is a perfectly acceptable hairstyle for a 30 year-old woman. It’s not a big deal.
- These two quotes (thanks, Ate Rizzo!):
- With the previous quotes in mind, I have the best husband/partner/best friend in the universe right beside me, so I don’t really need a birthday gift. Well, it’s not really a realization. It’s more like an actual fact.
This is 30. What’s next is just a series of awesomeness.
J just came home, armed with these:
For the record, I would just like to re-iterate....just how much I love you, J-Man. <3
*Yes, we have begun yet another attempt at finishing a fitness program. More on that in another blog post, soon.