With my nose sneezing unconditionally, I had a pill and fell asleep by 11pm. Unusual of me. A few minutes into a dream I no longer remember, I had my phone buzzing and the person on the line says, "Happy Birthday". My semi-asleep brain processed it a little lazily and whispered to itself, "Oh shit, I'm 26 now!"

I don't usually celebrate an arbitrary day in 365 days, to mark an anniversary. But the progress of my existence on earth is apparently irreversible. The moments I left behind are forever left behind but the shredded leaves do transform and get buried deep inside, waiting for a wake up call.

Age is a way to make fresh memories and waking up old. Age tells the amount of footprint I left on this planet, in the lives of others and the role I played in this maestro dramatic adventure called life. When I frantically look back at the role, it's all mess. A whole lot of mistakes draped in the cloak of childhood, young age, inexperience, whatever.

Reading the listicles of "things to do before 25" makes me cringe. I didn't meet the world's expectations. I did a few things before 26 like going to Iceland on my first international trip, climbing a mountain above 14,000 ft, a bunch of solo trips, few other adventures, changed a few jobs, went out of comfort zones. But they're nothing compared to what's written in listicles.

Life has been a roller coaster with peaks of joy and trenches of mistakes. Despite the excitement and sheer amount of fear, the ride has no purpose. It ends where I begin, may be a few minutes or a few hours later. Somewhere on the mountain top, I may realize I'm mature but when I stranded myself in the middle of an ocean knowing it's depth, the fear takes over.

Given a chance, will I do it again? Absolutely! There's not a single day I regret living, but I'd not like to be remembered any of it.

With everything going on, you wish me a happy birthday? Well, thank you. While I'm yet to find a reason to be happy about being born, it makes me think when I die and go to the other side, if it exists, will I be happy?

If leaving footprints is what life is about, I'm here not to leave a trail. With each day passing by, I want to wipe out my past and be young, forever.