This is not what I want and absolutely not what I planned.

I wanted a party. A feast. An opportunity to dress up and wear another design of mine. A chance to see my friends all glammed up. A way to gather all my family and friends complete. I wanted to celebrate my 21st in the best way possible, who doesn’t? But then again, COVID-19 happened. This pandemic robbed me off of one of the most important moments in my life. I guess it’s normal to feel so frustrated and disappointed after wasting all the planning and anticipation I did in the past two years.

However painful, the onslaught of this pandemic could also be a fortuitous event that made me realize that what I wanted was just the superficial, the shallow, the fleeting, and the brief illusion of having it all. Things may not have gone my way but I have learned to shift my attention on the more important things—family, health, and safety.

I may have failed to gather all my friends, but at least my family is complete. I may not have a fancy and lavish dinner party, but at least we’re all healthy and doing well. I may not have spent a birthday weekend in a hotel room, but at least I’m safe at home. I may not be having a good time in one of my favorite places, but at least I’m not isolated inside a hospital room. The Little Prince once said, “what is essential is invisible to the eye. At the end of the day, a plan delayed is not a plan denied. I believe that God has better and greater plans.

On a lighter note, the classic and beautiful quote “The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” from Mulan has inspired me to get back to painting after 6 years on hiatus. This painting is also like a birthday gift to myself instead of having other mementos. Sometimes it’s good to have a reminder of how I’ve spent and immortalized these times.

One thing the pandemic taught me is to bloom where I am planted. I was able to grow where God has placed me, despite the uncertainty. However, I fully acknowledge my privilege when I say these things, I know that not everyone has the capability or the means to just do things as they please when people all over the world are actually dying. The past four months I spent at home taught me to utilize all my innate talents and skills, not only for my personal development or financial gain, but also for the common good. I’m able to help my family financially, help flatten the curve by staying home, help our relatives to have a source of income, help in spreading awareness about the current situation, to name a few. Now that I am finally 21, I know that God has blessed me to become a blessing.

Above all else, thank You Lord for another year in my life. And for keeping us all safe and healthy amidst a terrifying health crisis. Thank You for watching over me and guiding me to where I am now, I know that I will be able to conquer anything through Your everlasting grace and love. Your will be done.

Thank you Mom and Dad just for everything. I won’t be living the kind of life I have right now if it weren’t for both of you. Thank you. Saranghaeyo.

Thank you to everyone who remembered me and greeted me today. I appreciate you all. Keep safe, stay at home, and always wash your hands. See you in my next blog post.




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