I turned 40 today.
I can't believe that I am actually saying this since I've been told before that I wouldn't even reach past 21 and now, I just turned 40.
Some people have asked me what I wanted for my birthday and aside from frivolous but not really necessary things, there's actually very little that I want because I have what matters the most in life.
So instead, I am listing down things that I am thankful for in the last 40 years of my life.
2. my education. I know that it is one of the tools that I am able to use to get ahead in life.
3. my Chinese upbringing. The Chinese culture is nowhere near perfect BUT it does teach you a lot of things such as being resilient and always able to find ways to have a better life. It teaches you the value of hard work and how even small amounts will lead to bigger savings.
4. my love for reading. It was my Mom who instilled it in me and I have learned so much through reading over the years. It has also taught me to be more imaginative and to appreciate language and scenarios.
5. my love for coloring pens and stationaries. I think that it helps to ground me and remind me to be grateful for small things. When someone gives me even a sheet of stickers, I feel really happy. Small things should be able to make us happy because if they can't, then we will have a life full of misery.
6. my teachers. I know that I didn't appreciate them that much when I was a student but now that I look back on my school years, I realized that a lot of the way I work now is because of them. I learned how to persevere more and to be more meticulous because of how things were in school. It was a great training ground for me.
7. my writing skills. It's how I earn my living now and I am so thankful that I have words constantly floating in my head.
8. social media and digital marketing. Who knew that writing can actually earn you enough to have a decent lifestyle. It used to be that writing didn't make much but with social media and digital marketing, it had a total pivot and is now lucrative.
9. my blog. Who knew that a diary of my son's monthly activities would be the reason that I got to see Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia for free? Who knew that this would be a great source of experience, learnings, and adventures? Something that was born out of laziness has become the source of so many amazing things.
10. betrayals. I've had so many in the past and it has made me a wiser and stronger person.
11. my friends. I have very few but I know that they are true friends and I couldn't ask for anything more. They have my back but at the same time, I know that they will call me out when needed.
12. my travels. Though it has only been a few countries that I have visited, I learned so much from the culture of other places and how they lived. It made me appreciate what I have and it taught me that there are other ways to do things.
13. my cats. They have taught me how to give unconditional love. Weird I know but cats are sometimes the epitome of unconditional love. You see, you take care of them, pet them, and love them. In return, they will sometimes throw you a glance, a lick, or a purr but more often than not, they will just go on their merry way.
14. all the men I loved before. They helped mold me into becoming a better person, someone who is perfect for Mark. Naks. Hahahaha. Seriously, every heartache that I experienced has taught me the beauty of love, the ache of heartbreak, and how with each layer that gets peeled, you see a better version of you.
15. constantly moving around. While it was tiring and toxic, it taught me to let go of things that I no longer needed and the value of having space for those that I truly love. When you have to constantly move houses, you learn to discern what it is that really matters to you and what you can let go of.
16. my arts. Cross stitching and diamond painting is an art form, right? These things have helped me stabilize my bipolar tendencies. It has helped to calm me down and ground me especially when my mind goes on overdrive.
17. our helpers. They make life so much easier and I know that I owe them a lot. Yes, they work and I pay them but our helpers have been with us for a long time and they have become family.
18. PRs and brands. For the trust, the product seeding, the event invites, and the collaborations. You have humbled me, taught me a lesson, and reminded me of how fleeting everything is.
19. My family. Things are no longer how it used to be but I will always be grateful for my family. Always.
20. My sons. They are the reason that I keep fighting and will always keep fighting. I know that 15 years ago, God gave me B to ensure that I don't give up during the most difficult stages of my life and now, HE gave me Khali to remind me that life is a blessing and it is wonderful.
21. M. He is not perfect. Sometimes, he can be infuriating but he loves me and he treasures me. He is why everything else did not work out in the past. He is my partner and he is a constant reminder to me of what love looks like.
Most of all, I am thankful to God. He has blessed me with so many things that I never even asked for and I am humbled and truly grateful. They say life begins at 40. I can't wait what God has in store for me for the next 40 more years.