Just this Thursday past, I turned 30. I remember hitting twenty and laughing with my friends about how we were 10 years to thirty. And now, here I am. Here we are. 30.
I remember my 21st. Just before turning 21, I was diagnosed with Anorexia. I had my 21st birthday celebration the week after, and was admitted straight into hospital the next morning. I looked horrid in those photos. And I remember thinking later on that when I turned 30, I would throw a big birthday bash and celebrate the way I couldn’t quite when I turned 21. I figured it would be like a second 21st birthday.
Instead, I chose to enter my 30s quietly and simply. Over the last 9 years, my friendship groups have become smaller, but tighter. My relationship with my family has become closer. And I have come to realise that birthdays are best celebrated with those I love. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, just meaningful and thoughtful.
I always thought that I would be free from anorexia by the time I hit 30. And while my disorder has not been completely reordered, I know that I am far closer to that goal than ever. I have been weight restored momentarily on a few occasions in the past, but my mind still struggled. At present, with psychological support from Dr. A and emotional support from Flo and my family, I am at a far healthier place than ever, and growing in strength and confidence every day. I told myself that now that I am 30, I am choosing to be fearless and free. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to gorge on cheesecakes and fried chicken galore. No. It means that I am going to feed my body food that makes it feel good, in the quantities that it needs to function optimally, but without the burden of calorie counting or any form of counting for that matter. Every. Single. Day.
So I started my day with my favourite kickass breakfast with nothing weighed and nothing measured…
Then I got to work on some cake ordered before Mum texted me to say that she and Dad were popping by. It was a bit of a surprise but a nice one nonetheless because they’d decided to keep me company over lunch. When they popped downstairs to buy some food, I heard a knocking at the door and thought the DHL man had come to deliver Flo’s drone.
Opened the door and standing there was my handsome boyfriend with a gorgeous bouquet of roses in hand.
Flo had rushed over from work during his lunch hour just to spend some time with me and deliver these roses. I felt so loved by the effort he’d made, as well as the thoughtfulness of my parents to spend a few hours with me.
Flo had to scoot off about an hour after, and Mum and I went for a quick bout of shoe shopping before we sat down for some tea and some heart-to-heart girl chat. I love that Mum and I are able to talk with each other about all sorts of things and oftentimes, she dispenses the best advice. I’m super blessed!
Mum and Dad went home soon after while I finished off my work for the day. Then ALL of us met once more for dinner, with my dear brother and his friend, Alice, joining us as well. Yup! Kor and Alice happened to have attended a friend’s wedding in the Philippines last week, and so they decided to stop by Singapore a couple weeks in part to celebrate my birthday with me, as well as to do some work at their branch office here.
I’d chose Din Tai Fung at MBFC since dumplings are love, and it’s convenient for Flo to get to after work without needing to rush. Since Kor and Alice were coming from Tanjong Pagar, I met them at the Raffles Place station to go with them to DTF since I knew they’d not have been able to find it themselves. My brother – the Singaporean who knows nuts about Singapore. Lol.
We ordered a few appetisers to start with – Chilled Cucumber with Chilli Oil, Stewed Beancurd with Shiitake Mushrooms and Black Fungus, and Oriental Chilled Salad.
We also had a basket of my favourite Vegetarian Dumplings! I still think they could do with being even more generously filled but I’m greedy like that.
Of course, the must-have Xiao Long Baos which was a first for Alice. We taught her the different ways you can eat a XLB but ended up confusing her I think. In the end, she decided to go with Flo’s easy way of placing the XLB onto the spoon, dousing it in a bit of vinegar and picking up some ginger to eat with.
My way, which I believe it most ideal, is to bite a little hole on top (yep, right at the ‘nipple’ of the dumpling) and pour in a bit of vinegar straight from the vinegar pourer jar thing – this helps cool the broth down a little as well, then top with some ginger and pop the entire thing into your mouth. A titch more elaborate perhaps but still the optimal way to get the most flavour in my opinion.
There were also a orders of La Mian (handmade noodles), Stir fried Pea Shoots with Pork and some Chilli Crab Xiao Long Baos but happily gorging on them dumplings, I forgot all about taking food photos of the dishes that came later.
Mum was still egging Kor on about possibly ordering another plate of fried rice but thankfully, we didn’t because we were all filled after all the food we’d ordered was polished off. Thank you for dinner Kor!
Upon Flo’s clever suggestion, we hopped across to Starbucks after dinner so that we could chat some more since DTF tends to be a bit noisy. And while I may be petite, I managed to stretch my arm out long enough to take a passable #wefie shot of all 6 of us!
To be honest, I wasn’t quite so certain about Alice joining my family and I on what I had hoped to be an intimate family meal especially since it was my first time meeting her as well, but right after meeting her, I was glad she came. Alice was so warm and friendly, and a joy to talk to. And who would have thought that someone who had never met me before would be able to come up with the most perfect presents for me.
I didn’t expect anything from Alice, but she so very sweetly gifted me with some books on baking and cooking, as well as the cutest Russian Doll measuring cups. I was incredibly touched by her gesture and the effort and thought she put into getting them for me. The book ‘Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating’ weighs a ton and she actually lugged it over from the UK specially! I’ll be sure to savour each page word for word!
To be surrounded by the people who mean most to me in the world is the most blessed thing. To hear the sounds of laughter ringing in my ears as we exchanged banter and anecdotes about our day made my heart feel so full.
As Flo said to me during his lunch hour visit, this year will be our year.
At one point in my life, I hesitated to think that I would make it past my 26th birthday, much less my 30th. I’m glad I did. I know that while I couldn’t have done it without this bunch of lovelies in my life, I also owe it to God to have carried me over so many bumps while healing my wounds and bruises. In recent weeks, He has opened doors for me in ways that completely boggles my mind, and yet, He has! So really, I thank God for all His blessings through the various people who have crossed my path and have helped me in various ways.
I am human and I am a work in progress. I always will be. But what I can be is to be the best possible version of myself every day, striving to better myself as an individual, a life partner, a daughter, a sister, a friend. Hopefully one day in the near future, a mother. I must embrace who I am the way my loved ones embrace me, and forgive myself for my imperfections that also make me who I am.
Turning 30 sounds big, but really, it feels no different from being 29. Nothing’s changed overnight, but I am determined to make change within myself and make my 30s the best time of my life! I will be stronger, I will be healthier, I will be better.
I have this awesome man in my life, a man who lifts me up, makes me laugh, calls me his ‘Farting Queen’ (because my farts smell of roses. Seriously!) (and he’s my ‘Poopy King’ btw), and makes me want to be a better person every single day.
I am blessed with the most supportive family who are always there to catch me when I slip up, always there to encourage me when I feel down, always there to cheer me on when I face obstacles ahead.
I bake cakes for a living and make people smile because where there is cake, there are always, ALWAYS, happy smiles! And I love being able to do that!
Yes, I cannot complain one bit about the life that I have. The only thing that holds me back now is me and so, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I am going to be fearless and free.
I AM fearless and free.
So step with me as I embark on this new decade of my life. It’s going to be a pretty fun ride! With a lot more baking and a few more cooking recipes to come. Pinky promise! X