Friday, January 2, 2015

Thoughts of a New Year's Eve Baby

6:10 AM

Share it Please

When you’re born on New Year’s Eve, you share your birthday with the world. Well, not technically, since you literally “pop” out of your mother’s womb when the year’s coming to a close. It is what it is: a paradox. Everyone’s out celebrating the 365th day of the year while you go on to celebrate the first day of your year. You don’t hear a dissonant chorus of people attempting to sing “Happy birthday to you!” in different tunes. You hear every single kind of firework, illegal or not, in literally every street in Manila. You don’t blow out candles on a cake — you play with sparklers until they either burn out or burn your fingers. You don’t count down to your birthday – you count down when your birthday’s about to end. Call it sad or whatnot, but I’ve lived through it for 17 years now – and I love it.

“1:36 AM.” I didn’t even make it to the last minutes of December 30, which was a more preferred date since it is also my older sister’s birthday. It would mean less hassle for my family to prepare separate birthday celebrations for my sister and I. (Eventually, they realized they can just save their breath singing one birthday song for the two of us during the last minutes of December 30 and the first minutes of December 31.) My mother vaguely remembers pushing me out in a hurry to catch the “deadline” — but well, even as a fetus, I was hard-headed. You could say that I stayed “chill” in there for a while.

After I popped out, the next thing on my family’s agenda was how to manage my birthday parties. My family has since given up throwing them after the first three ones. However, this wasn’t due to people not being able to attend since it’s New Year’s Eve – it was because each party would either begin or ends in tears—mine. Clowns and mascots? Not my cup of tea. Not now, not ever.

My cup of tea, however, is anticipating the flood of “HBD”, “Happy birthday!” and photo collages from close friends who braved the night just for you. It is also expected that you’d like to reply to each and everyone of them. However, it isn’t all too easy for people born on New Year’s Eve. Replying to a “Happy Birthday” greeting requires two things from us: a “Thank you” and a “Happy New Year to you and your family!” One time, I accidentally ended up typing, “Thank you and a Happy Birthday to you and your family!” #Awkward.

Speaking of awkward, I used to think that every firework that lit up the night sky every 31st of December was for me – like little Rapunzel in Tangled, except for the fact that she guessed right and well, I was way off. Finding out that they weren’t broke my heart but for the time that I did, it was all so magical to a child. To be celebrated about with such happiness in the air — it was, with a lack of a better term, amazing. Now, things have changed and of course, I am now aware that my special day can’t really ever be just for myself.

I don’t mind, not one bit.

When you’re born on New Year’s Eve, you don’t only celebrate yourself, you celebrate everyone. By the month of December, everyone yearns to start anew, have a fresh start, and begin again. This hope fills the air like a widespread virus (if there was ever a good kind) that you’d want to revel in it for as long as you can. You almost forget you’re turning a year older. At the end of it all, it doesn’t really matter — you grow with the rest of the world anyway. You change everyday anyway. You always get to turn over a new leaf anyway.

I am grateful for the chance to celebrate with the world because for kids like me, there is and always will be more than one reason to look forward to that one date on the last line found at the last page of the calendar: to simply celebrate a year passed and to get excited for the year to come.

Article by Ancilla
Art by Ginny
Photos of fireworks by Andrea
Ancilla (that's pronounced An-chi-la, mind you) Diamante, obviously born on the last day of the year 1996. Currently taking BS Occupational Therapy. An avid fan of musicals and Coca-Cola. Can't whistle to save her life. Quirky. Weird. Talkative. Always curious. Most importantly, a work-in-progress. #AFJ, always. (Twitter and IG: @piedrasplatas -- after the famous fictional tree in Ibong Adarna which is filled with, you guessed it, diamonds.)
Presumably human (although we have our doubts), Andrea is a Padawan of art, fashion and photography, a feminist, a non-conformist and a Pastafarian. And also seems to like speaking in third person.

Ginny is a self-proclaimed aesthete majoring in Advertising Arts. Aside from art, she enjoys baking, playing video games, watching animations, and getting distracted by cats. While still uncertain as to what she exactly she wants to become, she has an unwavering ambition to pursue a career in the art world.


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