Wednesday, October 9, 2013

the best birthday I never would have imagined celebrating

Feeling so, so grateful. 

I woke up this morning not realizing what kind of surprises the day would have in store for me. I thought I would be passing just another simple day at school, and the fact that today was my 18th birthday would just be a little secret for me to enjoy by myself. I thought the most that would happen would maybe be just a few Facebook friends would remember and wish me a happy one if they happened to pass by me on campus.

Well, I was wrong.

By the time I'd woken up and gotten ready for school, the house was basically empty and I wasn't expecting my grandmother to remember. I loaded my car's trunk and then proceeded to open the driver's door. The first thing I saw was a red envelope sitting on the seat, with the words "Happy Birthday" in Chinese written on it in my mother's handwriting. I teared up immediately and had to stand there like an idiot wiping away tears.

I got to school just five minutes before class started, and I didn't have a chance to see anyone before class. I sat next to Y and noticed she was more tired than usual, but I only assumed that she hadn't slept well the night before and that her morning practice for the rowing team had been tougher than usual. After class we left the building together and before I could say bye she made a beeline for two of my friends who were standing outside the entrance and I was stuck behind a small crowd of people pushing their way out. By the time I went down the steps they were all smiling and that was when I realized that J was holding a plate of cupcakes out for me! They all said Happy Birthday and I was so surprised I didn't know what to do! The reason why Y was especially tired that morning was because she and J had spent the night baking for me. Ahh, I was so unbelievably touched.

As a group we headed to Benson to meet up with others for lunch. After I sat down A met up with us and the first thing she did was place a little box of macarons and a chocolate cupcake in front of me! I gave her a big hug because she knew I hadn't had macarons in a really long time. She remembered that I love pistachio-flavored everything, too. Then D sat down and handed me a big plastic bag. Inside was a giant slice of chocolate cake from Safeway, along with a copy of Aesop's Fables. That was totally unexpected! When he'd texted me in the morning asking if I wanted to have lunch with him, I was just expecting a Happy Birthday and some catching up, but he was so sweet and actually gave me something. At that point I was already feeling incredibly overwhelmed with happiness.

After lunch, I went to move my car to the parking structure, and I saw M and Ch there. Ch gave me a cute little balloon that she'd doodled on. It was a simple little gift, but it still made me smile.

The surprises didn't end there. After my last class of the day, I went to the APSU meeting and a couple of upperclassmen wished me Happy Birthday too, so that was really nice. BUT BUT BUT! The major surprise that basically made my jaw drop was when the meeting started. Our meetings are guided by Powerpoints designed by the super wonderful T, so the first slide was just a regular introductory slide. They clicked to the next slide and what popped up was a bright pink slide that read: "KEEP CALM AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY SERENA." I could not believe it. They'd dedicated an entire slide to me, a tiny little freshman who no one except the board members really knew! I was so moved, oh my goodness. They then had me stand up in front of everyone else and the room sang to me. So flustered and happy and nervous and all those feelings you get when you're just 100% flattered!

Finished the night by eating yummy Paris Baguette cheesecake with my family. :')

I'm incredibly grateful to have found all these people on campus who make me feel so loved. I really couldn't have wished for a better day. I was smiling like a dummy the entire drive home.

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