I’m turning 24 today, and I don’t know what to make of it.

Usually, I’m not so big on birthdays. Why should people celebrate getting older, especially that few years later they will wish they were younger?

Living for almost quarter of a century, I have come to realize how useless my life has been so far. Not that I’m not trying, but I just fail. Again and again. Maybe I’m not trying hard enough? Or am I trying too hard that I can’t put things in perspective anymore?

I don’t know.

My birthday cake from last year. Courtesy of my roommate.

When I think about the past year, and despite all disappointments and failures, after all is said and done, I believe that I am blessed and lucky. Blessed because I have people in my life who made it their mission to see me happy and content; and lucky because although I have not done anything impressive, many good things happened to me.

I have made great friends, I have traveled to new places, and above all I have been overwhelmed by people’s kindness. Whether those people know me better than I know myself, or total strangers who recognized me in airports and restaurants, I have come to see and feel the goodness inside them, and it was a reminder that no matter how hard life can get, that it is with love and compassion that we survive.