The Gift Of Contentment: Why I Want ‘Nothing’ For My Birthday

The Gift Of Contentment: Why I Want ‘Nothing’ For My Birthday

Yesterday, I watched a vlogger unbox her brand new Hermes birkin handbag and she said ‘So, I got myself this birkin for my birthday…’

Youtube was on auto-play and so even though I had never watched this vlogger before, I was intrigued by what she was about to unbox so I just carried on watching. When she finally revealed the handbag, I couldn’t focus on it because I couldn’t stop looking at how big her diamond engagement is and on top of that, she had a whole set of diamonds all over her wedding ring too. The diamond sparkles were so distracting that I completely missed what she was saying about the handbag.

When I found out the average price of a birkin hand bag I was shocked. This handbag she was unboxing was worth around £20,000. I don’t think I will ever spend this much money for a single handbag even if I had the money to buy one. The birkin looked great and I must admit, because of the colour, quality and it’s classic design, I would want a handbag like that too but no not for as much as a deposit for a house.

If you asked me what I want for my birthday, my answer would be,

‘I want nothing for my birthday.’

When I was little, I always asked for a birthday cake. It was a must-have for my birthday. It didn’t matter if I had no other gifts. I had to have a birthday cake and blow some candles to make a wish. My mother always bought me a cake from special bakeries of my choice. My favorite was ‘Tinapayan’ bakery in Manila. I love the way they bake their cakes because they use thick marshmallow icing.

I remember a very special birthday- my 7th birthday when my mom threw a party for me. I was so happy and I had so much fun and so many presents! I still treasure the memories I made from my 7th birthday even now, 22 years later.

My life is pretty simple now and I really don’t feel like I need anything. I’m so grateful for the contentment that I feel and that to me is enough as a birthday gift. I can’t tell you how much I longed to have this feeling. I no longer feel like I have to keep up with other people and what they’re doing. I don’t feel like I had to have special celebrations or special trips to go anywhere.

I feel at peace knowing that I no longer crave material things to keep me happy and at this point of my life, I no longer feel sad that I can’t buy myself a nice purse or dress or anything superficial.

All my life, I was imprisoned by this idea that my personal success is defined by how much money I made that year or how many holidays I could afford. I also put so much unnecessary pressure on myself to achieve certain milestones in my life. I used to think that by the time I turn ’30’ I need to be making this much money or own a house or be settled down. Fact is, we can’t put deadlines on anything because life unfolds in mysterious ways. You never know what’s around the corner. Things can change in a second, in a minute, in a day. I have learned to live each day as it comes and just let all the pressures go.

So, I don’t want anything because I’m just so grateful for what I have and I know that this contentment that I feel can’t be bought.


To keep with my personal childhood tradition, even if I don’t want anything for my birthday, I still would like to wish for some things… I might just buy myself a birthday cake and blow some birthday candles too whilst I make a wish for many more years of love and happiness for myself and my loved ones.


The Tala

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