Lhorie Alejandrino

Life Lessons and 38th Birthdays

12:15 AM on January 17. I’m sitting in my patio with a blanket on and quote-unquote LAST cigarette in my hand. Today is a special day because this is the day the world said “Hello” to me. Or was it I that said “Hello” to the world. Point is, it’s my birthday. I have officially lived 37 long years here on earth.

I can go on and on about all the things that have happened in my life and the lessons I learned from it. Some good. Some great! And of course, some not so good and the occasional completely miserable moments. But today, I’m not going to indulge in nostalgia. Today, I look forward to tomorrow. As Bridget Jones wisely put it,

I have to move forward and not repeat the same mistakes. I have to make new ones!


I mean, isn’t that what life is all about anyway? What is the purpose of living if not to evolve? Even if the evolution comprises of more mistakes. At least they’ll be completely new and different. I believe that if we have absolutely no regrets, then we evidently made no mistakes. And if we made no mistakes, how can we possibly say we’ve lived to the fullest.

I used to be so scared of regret. I cannot fathom the idea of asking the questions “what if” or “what could have been.” That’s when it hit me. I shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes that might lead to what ifs. I realized that it was these very mistakes that have led me where I am today.

If I hadn’t accidentally gotten pregnant at such a young age that caused to put a hold on some dreams, I wouldn’t have had Janelle or Vince. Life without them…I can’t complete that sentence because I can’t imagine a life without them.

I am now 38. Would my life be completely different if I had pursued my dreams first. Of course! Would I have been happier with that life? Maybe. Then again, maybe not. As the old saying goes, “In life, you have to play the cards you are dealt with.” These are my cards.

And I can honestly say, it’s a pretty good deck. And if you know how to play, you’ll rarely lose.

I usually make New Year’s resolutions. I didn’t this year. Resolutions feel so daunting. I’m pretty much telling myself that I’m not good enough so I have to change these things about me. Of course, as New Year resolutions go, it doesn’t stop with one. It’s a list, and for some of us, it gets pretty long. And how many people do you know that have actually followed through on all their new year’s resolutions? That’s why I skipped the resolutions this year. If I know I have to change certain things, I’m not going to wait until a new year comes. I’ll do my best to change when I realize I need to.


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