I turn sixteen on Monday, October 14, but I have to send out an emergency blog post. I was mostly convinced that we were having an emergency ASB meeting. I had some small thought that maybe they’d celebrate my birthday, but in my mind, I dismissed it. When it comes to class business, I remained engaged, or so I thought. My memory remains fleeting, so posts like these are what I will look back on to remember.

I approached the table they were at, and was socially awkward as always. We were talking about the rally, and it felt like normal ASB business. Suddenly, out of the gift shop, my non-ASB friends walk out, and, they all start singing “Happy Birthday”! I was confused, and yet delighted. I’ve been to surprise parties, but I’ve never been the surprised. I felt happiness, love, and more than likely, a boost of dopamine.

We had ice cream, and I had fun conversations across the table. Hearing my friends try to say things in Tagalog like, “adewboo” (adobo) and later in the day “julibee” (joliebee) brought me joy. After ice cream, the group became smaller and smaller. We went across the street to a fast-food place, and had fries. We talked and laughed the night away, while partaking in risqué behavior like… helium inhaling from the balloons I got at the ice-cream place.

What I can say is that today is a memory I want to remember. I cannot express how grateful I am to have experienced this. The person who planned this out knows how much I appreciate this. My friends who showed up know how much this has meant to me also. I am very grateful for everyone who has been in my life, and this continues to give me reasons on why it is always worth it in the long run.

Thank you friends, I really am thankful. Here’s to another year.

john daniel