Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Happy Birthday To Me!!!

Gosh, I am 25 today. I feel like a dinosaur already. My only consolation is that I still get mistaken for a freshie on campus and get called a ‘Xiao Mei’ (meaning: little girl, in Chinese) by aunties. ;-) Maybe that’s because I am so petite! Not like it’s an asset.
Seriously, birthdays lose their excitement the older one gets. In fact, I didn’t even remember it myself if not for some reminders from a sweet dear!
However, birthdays are ideal times to take a step back and do a comprehensive evaluation of one’s life so far. To reflect on past resolutions and ambitions, take stock on the decisions and collate their worthiness.
As for myself, when I did the aforementioned activities, I regretted not spending more time doing personally enjoyable things when I was younger, and had more time on my hands as an undergraduate. I wished I had been more active and involved in campus publications (I love to write), wished I had done some theatre productions (I love drama and acting), took up dance and singing lessons. So, I decided on this momentous occasion to draw up a check list for the things I want to do/accomplish in my life. The items may change over time, and I may not finish all I hope to do, but the most important thing would be that I DID TRY.

Ivy’s list of “Things to Do Before I Die”:

1. Invest like Warren Buffet
2. Be a multi-millionaire
3. Be a CEO of a listed company
4. Be as inspirational as Stephen R. Covey and Anthony Robbins
5. Learn how to Dance (Hip-Hop, Jazz, MTV and Ballroom Dancing)
6. Travel the world (or visit as many places as possible)
7. Sing like Sarah Brightman (do a cover of her ‘Diva Dance’ in the Fifth Element well)
8. Rap like Jay Chou
9. Act in a musical
10. Alleviate poverty (help some Third world citizens personally)
11. Nurture beautiful kids (kind, intelligent ones)
12. Read at least 1000 good books! (whoa, speed reading required)
13. Play the piano as beautifully as Kevin Kern
14. Learn how to play Drums, Gu Zheng and Flute (master my piano)
15. Learn Spanish, Korean, French, Italian and Cantonese (not to mention brush up my Japanese)
16. Write a book (autobiography, children’s book or management book—any will do)
17. Own a Super Car (preferably Jaguar, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus or Maserati)
18. Own a luxurious villa (with tennis courts, swimming pool and a library)
19. Invent a gadget/ technology that will improve the life of Mankind
20. Run for political office and effectuate sound policies

(All the above should be done with relish, and with a healthy body and mind).

I think people who read this would either: 1. Die laughing or 2. Faint in disbelief.
Oh well, I don’t give a hoot. Cos, it’s my list and it’s my life. Just let me die trying and I will have a happy smile on my face when my journey’s up on this beautiful place we call Earth.

Daily Trivia: No trivia. Nothing’s trivial on my big day (gives a narcissistic guffaw-Muahahaha). Here’s the lyrics of a song I really like instead. It dispenses out great advice!

Everyone’s free (to Wear Sunscreen)
Baz Luhramann

Ladies and gentlemen, of the class of '99.
Wear Sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters.Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents.You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths:Prices will rise. Politicians will philander.You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Place to Visit: Greece-One destination on my near immediate travel agenda. Socrates and Plato, here I come.

Fira, Santorini, Cyclades Islands, Greece

Harbor Town of Yialos, Island of Symi, Greece

The Parthenon, Acropolis, Athens, Greece

Mykonos, Greece

Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens, Greece

Sunset on the Island of Santorini, Greece

Moonrise over Santorini, Greece


Blogger riskybiz said...

Wise for a 25 year old.
You forgot to mention to drink lots of water, it's good for your skin.
Happy birthday!

7:53 AM  
Blogger I.V.Y. said...

Thank you! And yep, water's my favourite beverage. ;-)

2:58 PM  

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