REFLECTIONS: This is 30!

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 27 December) –This should have been posted on November 9, the exact date of my birth. But that day, for many people, was too ordinary — nothing special. As for me, it felt like the longest day of 2022.

Before anything else, I’d like to apologize to the people I called old at 30 when I was 18. 😂It stings. 

Thirty feels strange. I planned to celebrate it with friends in Jollibee with all the mascots present. But a close friend recently passed away and it didn’t feel right to party without her. So nothing remarkable took place that day. Instead, I carried on with my usual stuff and left behind my phone at home. 

My day started early at 4 a.m. and ended at 6 p.m. Fourteen hours seemed like 14 years of waiting for a birthday greeting to arrive. When I found my phone, only three people sent a message. It was bittersweet. But still, thank you to those who remembered.

Is this 30? The age when my mother was raising the two-year-old me. The age when strangers and a pool of Marites will barge you with statements such as: “Kelan ka mag-aasawa? Mag- reunions are nothing but a showdown on who’s successful and who remained to be a loser. Thirty is a social construct of a deadline — suffocating, destructive and a power gaslighting move.

But who’s counting? Age is just a number. THIS IS MY 30:

What’s important to me has changed with time — at 15 it was good grades, at 21 it was career, at 26 it was family, and at 30 its mental health. My sanity and peace come on top. If someone or something doesn’t feel right, no is a full sentence — I do not have to explain my actions and to do so is my choice.

I am fortunate to be born in a supportive family who allowed me to do what I wanted rather than the expected. I have a handful of people who I call friends and were there in my best and worst points in life. I am grateful to the work I do and the people I work with. My heart is in a good spot. Being single at 30 feels great for my soul. There is power in solitude. 

In our 30s, we can do everything we want to do in our 20s, only with more freedom and power. In any case, as an Asian, I still look like I’m 21. So yeah, KBYE!

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews.  Valerie Lambo is currently an executive assistant at the Bangsamoro Sports Commission)