Dear Friends and Loved Ones,
First of all, many thanks to all of you who remembered and conveyed your warm birthday wishes to me yesterday. Most of these wishes came through FB but some came via IM, emails, and even call/FaceTime. Thank you again for remembering and taking the time to greet me.
As I look back in the last 45 years I had been in existence in this world, I can say that in general it has been a good life. Sure it wasn't easy at start. I had to struggle in early parts of my life but 45 years hence, I have not only survived but also thrived in life. The past faillures and mistakes (a lot of them!) have all but became part of the learning journey and in most cases, served as seeds for future successes.
Of course, I owe this to a lot of people who played an instrumental role, big and small, to what I have become and will become in the future. From my parents, siblings, and relatives, to teachers, classmates, bosses, officemates, clients, partners, friends and even strangers and of course, to my own family (wife and kids) who are helping me write yet another chapter of my life's book.
So what's next in the 45 years? I don't know for sure. I will let life unfold itself in all its glory and make the most out of it. However, I do wish that after 45 years I can look back again and say the following to myself:
That I had lived a great life by having lived my life to the fullest and I have become the person not only what society expected me to be but most importantly, the person I wanted to be;
That I had been true to my personal motto: "Carpe Diem! (Seize the moment!)" and took every chance I got to live a better and fulfilled life;
That I had used my talents and borrowed time on earth to make a positive impact on others (loved ones, friends or strangers alike);
That my existence mattered at all or that I have made some contribution to leave this world even a little bit better than when I first arrived;
That I had paid forward to others the blessings and gifts life has showered me along the way in my brief existence in this world;
That I can still call you a "friend" even in the passage of time;
And most importanly, that I experienced how to love and be loved in return by people who mattered to me the most.
Now, I don't really know if I am going to live another 45 years or so but if ever I don't, I would like someone passing my grave to read on my epitaph or tombstone: "Son, brother, friend, husband, father, educator, and an avid student of life."
Again, thank you very much again for the gift of friendship and for allowing me to become part of your own life's journey.
I wish you and your family all the best.