What’s the difference between a 25 y/o Issa and a 24 one?

A minute.

Excuse my humor practice. I’ve been emotional lately that I cry seeing a yellow cake and a yellow bear. Was it a coincidence that I received presents with a touch of yellow? Never mind the question- it’s trivial.

What matters is that I’m still alive on the day I thought I should be dead. Now that sounds even more dramatic, you’d think. But let me continue. At 4am, a truck bumped into a tricycle where my 25 year-old cousin was in, perhaps sleeping. She was working in a call center for a Korean tutorial company where every teacher’s soul starts to sing at 5am. She didn’t make it to work that doomed Wednesday – incidentally – my 25th birthday.

Death is peace. I always think it is best for every tired soul to rest. But how do you know if you have died on the right time? That passing away is the sweetest thing? That living is just tiresome, it’s not worth keeping on? Would we ever get a clue if we’re dying anytime soon?

Sulking that people I cared for don’t care for me as much, I intentionally benumbed myself of their effortless showing of affection. I just thought I deserve to be treated better. Selfish me. But it’s valid to be egotistic once a year. Then I pacified myself. “Issa, you’re not the core. You need not be a geologist to understand that you’re not the center of the earth, or the world, or even your room.” My cousin’s death, peace be with her, somehow awakened me.

Tin was a loving soul. She enjoyed without neglecting being an “ate” to her younger siblings. She told me to shout when I messed up my racing car at Timezone. We ate ice cream at Wendys, her fave fast food resto. We played chess no matter how many times she lost. She played guns like a PRO. She loved sudoku and always left my phone low-batt. She borrowed my MP3 player til its battery’s spent. She was just so comfortable breaking my things, the last one she broke was my 800-worth eyeglasses. But she hugged me every time she offended me. And she wished to belong to my group of friends, though it was sometimes obvious the clique didn’t want her in. She’s the friendliest soul I’ve ever walked past in. It’s impossible not to love her.

What else does she want me to learn for dying on the day I’m celebrating my birthday? Tin, is this your gift for me: To waste NO time doubting, start living carefree, and keep loving unconditionally?

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