(Jsyk my bday is on Oct. 6)
  1. 1994
    First birthdays are a very big deal in Korean culture so my parents really went all out for this one by inviting both sets of relatives and a few close friends, few being sarcastic because there were at least 60 people in our tiny ass apartment. Like a college party but replace the alcohol with seasonal fruits and rice cakes. Obviously don't remember any of this but there's plenty of video footage for me to relive the day (the camcorder being my dad's "birthday present" to me).
  2. 1997
    So my fourth birthday was cool because I got to invite all my pals from preschool and it was also my first boy-girl party, but not like I cared at the moment and I was always allowed boy-girl parties so I never got the hype tbh
  3. 1999
    Last one from the 90s. 6th bday at Chuck E Cheese (pizza, cake, prizes, tokens, arcade games, ball pits, and mascots) is hard to beat.
  4. 2002
    My parents bought my whole entire 4th grade class ice cream and I had a party with DDR at my house after school. Good day!
  5. 2006
    Celebrated my foray into teenagedom with Cheesecake Factory and my first unsupervised mall trip with friends. First purchase was the softest cream sweater at Abercrombie Kids, which I bought and wore once because it was actually quite itchy and unappealing.
  6. 2009
    Sweet sixteen means cars for a lot of people but for me it meant a tennis match in Orinda, an age-inappropriate sheet cake (Monsters v. Aliens felt sooooo childish), and 16 trinkets ranging from batteries to band aids. Oh and crippling self doubt and academic stress. I love high school!
  7. 2012
    Celebrated my last year of teenagedom in a semi-drunken bliss dubbed "CLA$$ OUT THE A$$" (because that's what college sophomores do) with 60something people in a triple. So basically if you take my first birthday and replace relatives and family friends with college friends/random people in my year - and the fruits and rice cakes for booze and "Watch the Throne"...you get the idea.
  8. 2013
    Culturally speaking, my 20th birthday was how my 21st should have been aka lots of legally purchased booze, a serendipitous mixtape at the restaurant where we had dinner, eating cake in parking lots, and dancing. Viva España, viva study abroad.
  9. 2014
    Culturally speaking, my 21st birthday is how my (and I'm really guessing here) 38th birthday should be like aka Monday night at a low key bar and the barkeep doesn't care about my age or that I am 21 years and 0 days old, just that I am old enough to drink legally. My friend's boyfriend dropped me off in a car I was 5th wheeling in and I was in bed by 12:30.
  10. 2015
    22 kicked off like this: work (where no one remembered it was my bday), dinner (with my parents), and no "22" (by Taylor Swift). Also realizing that I have to floss more now. Talk about feeling happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time!