To my Baby Girl (Meg),
Happy 18th Birthday Anak!
You could have been born in August 22 or 23, 2003. But I decided that you get born on August 21 because it is a Holiday. I planned to always celebrate with you on your birthday.
Your mother waited more than 12 hours in the labor room when she gave birth to you. But when we first saw you, it was all worth the wait, we saw the most beautiful and cutest baby in the whole world.
You got your name from me (minus the letter M). We also think that Erin is a strong/fighter’s name (like Erin Brockovich). Gabrielle on the other hand means “God is my Strength”. It is also a name of a guardian angel. We want to make sure that a guardian angel is always watching/guiding you. You are a strong person, anak.
You are our first born. We became parents because of you. You are the world to us.
You are loved. You are the only girl among your siblings. You are the “ate” of Troy and Derek. They look up to you. Your siblings are always there to listen and care for you. They love you unconditionally even if you are sometimes grouchy and short-tempered to them. Always remember that they will always be there for you. Love them back, anak.
You are intelligent. No matter how you downplay your intelligence. Don’t convince yourself that you are just average. You know you are not. Don’t be too self-conscious and too afraid to shine.
You are talented. Everybody knows. Always challenge yourself to become better. Do not rush things. Greatness takes time. Always remember “if it’s giving you a hard time, it’s because you’re learning”. Don’t stop improving. Never be complacent. You have what it takes to succeed. You have the talent.
You have full of opportunities ahead of you. Yes, there were setbacks. But you learned early from those experiences. It made you a better and a stronger person. You now know how to avoid, deal, and learn from failures. You now cherish and make the most of opportunities coming your way. Your mother and I will always try our best to provide life’s opportunities to you, anak. But we could only do as much, the rest is up to you.
Welcome acquiantances but carefully choose your friends. I understand that in this stage of your life – you crave for acceptance and belonginess from friends. Be careful in choosing your friends. Never beg for friendship. There are so many people in the world you can be friends with. One thing I am sure of – Troy and Derek are not only your siblings but your friends forever.
Avoid exploiters around you. You may find them in school, in your workplace or among your circle of friends or acquiantances. They are everywhere, learn to spot them. They take advantage of other people for their own gain. They only look after their own interest (selfish). They are the credit-grabbers. They bring drama. Cut them out of your life or if you cannot avoid them, learn to manage your relationships with them. Don’t let them use and abuse you. On the other hand, be also conscious that you do not become like them. Be good. Be fair.
Choose your battles. You cannot fight everything that comes your way. You cannot change or control attitudes of other people. You can only change yourself and how you think and react to situations. It is better to be silent on small things (let it go) and be bold and outspoken on the most important things.
Always, always challenge yourself but do not make it a habit to compare yourself with others. Every person has his own journey. Life is not a race. Some succeed early while others later in life. Compete with yourself, be better everyday, keep moving forward.
Be a good person. Always choose to do good to others. Even if others are not doing it.
Give back. Give forward. Share. Be thankful to (appreciate) people who have helped you and will help you in the future. Always share your time and talents to your family. Always be there for your siblings. Be generous with your resources – treasures, time, and talent.
Choose to be happy. Happiness is a choice. If bad things happen, and bad things really do happen in life, always look at the bright side. There is always a bright side. Always learn from experience. Practice choosing happiness over despair. Your happiness is our happiness.
Again anak, you are a good person. You are strong, intelligent, talented, and dearly loved. Smile more. Choose to be happy always. We are forever here for you.
We love you very much. I love you so much my Baby Girl.
Happy 18th Birthday!