Heart pounding, hands sweating, feet’s clammy and tummy funny…. Woah! I am fourty (40) today, for real. So, I’m gonna write a looong status message here in my wall since it’s only once I’m turning the big four O and if you have clicked the continue reading button you’re now morally obliged to finish reading my blessings ‘coz I’m counting them one by one. Seriously. And you had better leave a message on the comment section so I know you’ve done what I asked you for… it’s the least you can do. I haven’t gotten a birthday present from you? So humour me. I love you.

I could’ve made this my speech project for my Toastmasters International, you know one less speech to go towards my competent communicator title. Ha! Mem Che Agot would be very happy with this for sure. Or I could’ve have incorporated this into my table topics and won that coveted stationery paper from Governor Hemady Romarate 🙂 . Indeed, the cliché is true, life begins at 40. Who would’ve thought that I’ll go this far… physically, geographically, and “maritally” speaking. I, myself can’t imagine the things I’ve done for 39 years shaping me into what I am today, (not that I’m super cool or my life is super perfect) and I’m not even finish yet, Oh No people! I am just starting. Like what my late father had said, I’m a slow starter, like a diesel, it takes time to heat me up but once I’m going, oh boy you better get out of the way.

The Lord is good and worthy to be praised. This life has been a very eventful joyride that most of the times I just want to get off the wagon and scream ‘till kingdom come, but He has always sustained me. Giving me the strength when I could no longer take a step. And providing me the courage when my heart would’ve wanted to crawl into a corner and cower.

As the eldest in my family I was raised to be tough and resourceful. I was conceived when my Mama had nothing to eat but dried fish head. My first memory of being a ghetto kid was when I was six (6) years old and Bangbang was four (4), our parents locked us inside the house ‘coz they were going to work and nobody was around to look after us. I got soooo hungry and bored I climbed up the window of our 2 storey house down to the ground (leaving Bangbang behind, ooops) and went picking guavas, star apples, peanuts and sugar cane with Bobong ( a childhood ghetto friend) in the Caraga State University’s (where Mama was the guidance counselour/teacher) forest. The university campus was my playground and main food source. By the time, I was full and about to get an upset stomach, I went back to our lockdown house, and I found Bangbang eating the wood of our bed. True story.

Due to my “resourcefulness” I’ve gotten so big for my age plus with the amount of time I spent gallivanting around dodgy places, I’ve acquired a ‘tough” look that people mistaken as “intelligence” and “leadership” qualities. But, truth be told I’m nothing like that at all! I was just hungry all the time!

My elementary years were a blurry of schools I had seven (7) schools by the time I graduated grade six (6). At the graduation, the teacher felt sorry she awarded me a girl scout of the year and I was not even a girl scout!

High school was different. My life normalized. No more changing schools and I’m beginning to have friends. I was into a lot of school organizations and clubs. The president of this and that, I mean, the only position I hadn’t held was being the muse. Go figure!

Then, four (4) years of living on top of a mountain surrounded with rolling hills and lake. The Muslim call to prayer played several times throughout the day around the Mindanao State University Marawi campus were music to my ears. And taking a bath with just a pail of water by the sink has become an art. The melting pot of the south was a boot camp on life No one gets out (alive) without being changed.

Whew! Law school! This phase in my life was a mess! It messes me up big time… up until now, it hounds me like a serial killer about to cut me anytime if I let my guard down. I think I’m not even through with this sh*te… wherever I go it’s always there. It has become both a sinking ship and a lifebuoy for me. It’s complex.

Then came the years of travelling and going places… My first foreign work place was Zibo, Shandong, Peoples Republic of China. Home of Kong Zi (Confucius). I didn’t speak Chinese, the only ones I knew were from my exposure from Sanchai and Dao Ming Zi’s Meteor garden, and they were not even the proper Putong hua. I arrived at the beginning of winter, and Oh My God it was freaking cold my eye lids had frozen! By the time, I turned 35 I had also visited 35 countries.

Never thought, I could work in a government agency. But when I came home to Butuan from Moscow, Russia, I was given the privilege to work for the Commission On Elections. Election times were challenging to say the least. I have become a whirlwind of personality in every municipality and city I have been assigned to be the Election Officer. My last election was like a torpedo of stray bullets, it was both exhausting and exhilarating! It was only by God’s grace I was able to successfully pull it through.

September 2016, I got married. Who would’ve thought! At 39! I know, right? Now if it’s not a good way to end your 30s I don’t know what is 🙂 . To close this chapter, I’ve met Stan. His perfect for me. He tries to understand my mood swings and put up with my childish ways. He loves me just the way I am, flab and all. He lets me change the channel and watch the shows on TV that I like even though he’s still watching something he has seen 48 times already! He willingly shares to me his stuff though I break them sometimes. He washes my clothes and buys me take out Chinese vegetables. And most of all he voluntarily submits his body to all my loving. Ejejejejeje 😉. I’ve been single my whole life and never learn to share (apart from my family) with the little that I have. It’s always been me first and on how to survive on my own. But this marriage thing is a whole new game and requires an improved version of myself.

Thus I say, goodbye to my 30s and hello to 40! I know it’s going to be a bumpy ride ahead but hey, I always thrive in unstable motions. A new chapter in a new location with some new characters… to be honest, I’m scared as sh*t! Whew! I know what I gotta do though, put my trust in Him that everything will be a’it… enjoy the journey and live the moments. Cheers! Happy birthday to me! Woot woot! #gimmemywine

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