First of all, for those of you who I told that my birthday is on 29 February, which means that my birthday comes only once in four years, and believed it, you fell for my trick. My birthday was indeed a few days ago.
It has become a bit of our tradition that we would have a meeting, or a productive hang-out as we like to call it sometimes, the second weekend after the return of a GYCi Delegation. So we did have our AYC + GYF + AYC Productive Hang-out, which happened to fall on my birthday...
I have never really liked celebrating birthdays, especially with other people. To me, a birthday is just like ending the financial year where you count all your profits and losses. I treat my birthdays as a time to review what went wrong, what I could have done that I didn't do and all the things that went well. To me, it's more of a personal time.
Therefore, with the objective of making sure that the meeting was focused to productive stuff and not my birthday. So I decided not to tell anyone that the event would fall on my birthday and for those who insisted days before the event that I treat everyone to lunch, I came up with the silly scheme about my birthday being on 29 February.
But unfortunately, that morning, I was awoken to a text greeting me "Happy Birthday". Somehow, the whole world found out and denied all information that it was not my birthday. So, when I got to Living World (it's a mall in Alam Sutera Complex where my
ex school is), the whole Laurensian WORLD that was there seemed to know what day it was. I had so many Laurensians who I don't know the names of come up to me and give me a signature AYC hug (nothing really signature about it really, just a hug). Text messages also kept pouring in till my phone hanged (no kidding). Including the most shocking yet meaningful of the texts saying "HAPPY BIRTHDAY WORLD LEADER!" and the text from someone who was right there in front of me but just had to SMS his/her birthday wishes. Thanks for the texts guys! Sorry if I didn't reply any of them because I either overlooked them or missed them and sorry to those people who got replied many times because I did not remember replying them. (=D)
I'll be honest, I have lately come to realize and accept the harsh fact that throughout my time in Santa Laurensia Junior High School, at least in my final 9th Grade year, every student in the school at least knows who I am one way or another (as if I'm Student Body President or something) but I don't know everyone. I do recognise the faces of every Junior High Laurensian in 14h to 16th generation, but I don't think I would know all the names, all the more have saved their phone numbers on my phone and know who's is this text from. I would not really say that I am a "popular" student. I don't even know if people associate their knowledge of me to good things. But my point is, it just feels weird. In PSB, everyone knew who I was, but that was because it was such a small school and everyone knew everyone else anyways. But here in Laurensia, it's all different. Whatever it is, I don't like this concept of being "known".
So, long story short. The conclusion: the whole world found out it was my birthday, despite that I still forced everyone to work (actually, it was kind of the other way around at the beginning) and my parents decided to treat everyone for dinner (which was still mostly a work-based session) and it turned into a birthday party when there was a cake (damn birthday cakes!). But despite my frustrations that I didn't pull off my trick, it was an awesome day, as any AYC + GYF day is. It was my last birthday spent in Jakarta for at least the next few years and I'm glad that in my last year in PSB, I spent a birthday with my PSB pals and now I have one birthday with my fellow Laurensians as well.
But the thing is, I don't want to think of that day as a celebration of my birthday. I prefer to regard the festivities as a celebration of my relationship with these Laurensians. The people who came were all AYC or GYF or the 2 people who inspired me to end up in Houston. They are kind of the perfect representatives of the group of people who have shaped my Laurensian Journey (ok, not perfect, certain people were not there and those people would have perfected the day, but it's ok). It's a celebration of our journey together and at the same time, the perfect time for me to close the book and let go of them to continue on without me.
So what was the lesson learnt on that day? There is no hiding a birthday from a Laurensian!