A Different Kind of South: Birthday Edition

dat baby

That’s me on March 4th, 1990, 7 days after I was born on February 25th, 1990.

22 years and 364 days ago, my mom was eating spaghetti (at least I think that’s how the story goes) and then I was like “LOL, time to get born, so get on to the hospital.” My February 25 birthdays have come and gone. I remember on my 7th birthday, I couldn’t recall if it was my birthday because I

Thanks parents!

Thanks parents!

had just been released from the hospital for pneumonia.  I distinctly remember asking if it was my birthday. Sometimes we forget. Of course, there was my 10th, 16th, 20th, and 21st birthdays. All very good ones.

The boy came 5 years later. I'm sure glad he did!

The boy came 5 years later. I’m sure glad he did!

For my 23rd birthday though, I’ll be abroad. I’ve never been abroad on my birthday, but it’s been quite the adventure. If you would have told my parents 23 years ago today that “23 years from this very day, the day before your daughter’s birthday, she will be living on a Korean island, eating sea urchin guts, and sucking down snail meat,” they’d laugh because they couldn’t imagine that far down the road. I don’t think any parent can. But nevertheless, I’ve graduated college, made good friends, and here I am, almost 23 years later, celebrating my birthday with my Korean family. There’s been special galbi dinner, cream and milk cake, peeling oyster things off of rocks, and even an eel in a bowl that plumb scared me out of the room to the hilarity of my host family. This has been a good birthday and it hasn’t even started.

Overall, if someone were to ask me right now (preferable a handsome Korean newsman), “Sarah, how would you rate your life after 23 years on a scale of 1 to 5?” I’d give that handsome Korean newsman a 4.98. 23 years ago, my life was on the brink of just getting better and better. I have no regrets and I think I’ve made healthy life choices. Here’s to birthdays. Here’s to my biological family. Here’s to my Korean family. Here’s to another fabulous 23 years.

geon bae!



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