I had to muster a great deal of strength and energy to launch that distant brain cell to recall where I first heard of the term “birthday luck”, or who was the outrageous liar who had introduced such a fratulent term. And perhaps it was my fault to have fallen into the trap of self-deceit that whatever happens on my birthday is bound to go my way. After all, it is my birthday and I should be counting my blessings and well-wishing messages on Facebook and handphones, be it altruistic or a mere formality. You were blessed enough to be born on this day a quarter of a century ago, and after creating unbearable pain in your mother, when you popped out, and many years after, you have grown to become what you are. Birthdays are often celebrated, because that is the day you came to this world, and tortured your mother in the process.

Now I am not someone who is used to blowing balloons, popping champagnes, inviting everyone on your Facebook and demands everyone to witness the day you grow older. I am more used to sitting in the comfort of my dining room with my family and relatives, with a cake and a few candles on it. No champagne, no balloons, no drama.

So where does birthday luck come about?

In fact, I have never had good experiences with birthdays, but who could blame me for holding high expectations because after all I was created on this day many years ago? Just because something falls on your birthday, is it just natural to anticipate slightly more than if it were to fall on any other day?

But all is fine, because I know that similar to how all good things come to an end, all bad things come to an end too. When your life dips into a nadir, the only way to go is up. Reminiscing about last year somehow gives me the strength, because at the start of last year I was down in the drain, but a spate of miracles turned things around and before I could count my blessings, I transformed from zero to hero.

This year, a similar pattern of events are showing up, albeit in a more damaging way. Take all the damage, and prepare for the rise. When you run out of stamina, strength and sanity, let optimism take you back. Someday, somehow, this optimism converts into strength, strength converts into effort, the effort brings about opportunities, and through the complicated equations of life, success is derived at the end. This is why I must stay up now.

Birthday luck? Forget it. I should have known better I am more likely to have a birthday jinx, but that is not a bad thing. Bear it all now, and the second half of the race is something to watch out for now.