On turning thirty-one   

Published September 4, 2021, 12:14 AM

by Alex M. Eduque


Alex M. Eduque

Tomorrow, I turn 31. Not quite a milestone year, an ordinary birthday, if you will, but these days, we celebrate the smallest and most mundane of matters. I remember how I welcomed my 30th last year – what was a milestone birthday celebrated at my parent’s home, just with the both of them, my sister and my now husband. Nonetheless, it was a year that ushered in a major milestone, saw some big changes, and ultimately, blessed me. Suffice to say, my 30th year was anything but ordinary. It was as quiet as we had welcomed it, but it in fact, was perhaps one of the biggest, most major years in my life to date.

My 30th was the year I got married – not once, but twice. First, civilly, with only our immediate families around, having postponed initial plans of a destination wedding, and hoping that we could push through with it in April, but alas, an even smaller church wedding happened earlier this year in the midst of ECQ season two.

Although none of it went as initially planned, I honestly could not have asked for more. As someone who had always wanted a small wedding, but with that being an impossibility pre-COVID, how everything turned out was a true testament that God knows what is in your heart, and rewards those who are faithful. The most important were present both times, our friends and family did not fail to make us feel their love, and finally, after a decade, we signed on to forever knowing that we had in our union what matters most.

My 30th saw major moves as well. As I write this, I am half way across the world, settling in to a new life and creating a new home away from home. I could not be more grateful though to still be able to continue on with the advocacies I have established, and the partnerships I have collaborated with back home, thanks to the virtual workspace the new normal has created for all of us. I never thought the day would come when there would be something that came out of the pandemic I would be grateful for. Yet, here I am, thankful that last year saw us all maneuvering and pivoting into a cyber work space to keep ourselves safe. Without which, I realize, this transition would most definitely not be as smooth.

It was, and is still is, a year of transition and adjustment. But as I go through it all, I feel so blessed. I did not realize until now that the resilience, strength and grit the past year has brought was God’s way of strengthening my faith, and preparing me for more changes to come. I feel blessed that my loved ones are healthy and around; that I have this new opportunity to explore, and make the most out of this new life.

That is not to say however that I am not without my own personal frustrations that surround the pandemic back home, but let us leave that for another day. Instead, I will end this by praying for our country, for our people and, our leaders. I pray for another blessed year to come – for me, my family and my loved ones. I pray that God continue to guide us through, and that we be receptive disciples of his will. I claim that my 31st year will be one that brings hope, fulfillment and meaning, as I pray that no matter where I am, in my own little way, that I be able to continue to inspire positive change and bring light to the lives that need it most.