Philiz Cumpleanos: Another Year in the Life of Phil

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August 18th, 1990. 12:12PM. My family’s lives changed forever, and my life was just about to begin. Isn’t that beautiful? The thought of being born with a clean slate, entering the world without a clue as to what lies ahead. 27 years later, my slate isn’t as clean, and I still don’t have a full grasp on what exactly is going to happen in the future, but I know that there’s something meant for me in this world, and it’s only a matter of time before I discover what exactly that is.

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27 years old. Not gonna lie, hearing that number has a strange resemblance to nails on a chalk board. Feels like my childhood was forever ago, that someone pressed the fast forward button, and suddenly, I have a beard and a dad bod. I can still remember when I would fake sick to skip school and go to work with my dad just so I can ride the golf carts, since it was the closest thing to driving a car. I remember getting my first tape player, and my mom’s Don McLean tape of “American Pie” was the only one I had in it. Going to school to tell jokes (and eventually learn a thing or two), the hockey games, the parties, the friends I’ve made (and lost), and just all the crazy shit that I’ve been through. If I had to do it all over, I’d do it all the same way, because hey, I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t right? Life is about living with no regrets (REGERTS?!?).

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One thing that has been a constant for me in my 27 years of living is my hunger for knowledge, and learning as much as I can about whatever I can. For example: I’m fortunate and grateful for being able to live the life I do. Has it been easy? Eh, not quite, but I know for damn sure it’s a lot easier than a lot of people have it out there. I’ve learned that everyone, no matter what their story is, goes through their fair share of shit, just on different levels. I’ve learned that there are times where you need to go through things on your own. I have the best support system of friends and family, but some things are better off going through by myself. When I do need help, I have plenty of ears to hear me out, and a good amount of shoulders that I can lean on if need be, and there are no words to explain how meaningful that is to me.

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I also learned some of life’s more… interesting lessons: don’t mix liquors with beer (unless you can, I for sure can’t), the innocence of kids is sometimes better therapy than a doctor, don’t say more than is needed, and when you live on your own, it’s important to take the trash cans to the street on garbage day. I discovered that the best place to sleep when you’re drunk is the bathroom floor: it’s usually has the coldest floor, and you’re right next to the toilet if you end up having a Kobayashi reversal. Never keep your cash in your wallet, or you’ll be pretty pissed when you lose everything. Some shirts shrink in the wash, make sure to ask if the brownies in the kitchen are “special” before eating them when in college, and in the words of my Poppy “don’t smoke in bed, and don’t piss in the wind”.

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I learned that laughter is the best medicine, and to always extend a helping hand to those who you can tell need it, even if they don’t necessarily ask for it or accept it. We’ve been going through a crazy time as a society, and two of the best weapons in your arsenal are love and happiness. Sadly, I’ve also noticed that hate seems to spread faster than love, but only light can remove darkness, so it’s better to be positive than negative.

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             You hear it all the time: life is a constant balance of successes and failures, and it’s how you overcome those failures that help lead you to your successes. In my life, I’ve had my fair share of both. Just when I think that everything is going right, life grabs the wheel and pulls me in a whole other direction that I’m not particularly prepared for. In this circumstance, I could choose to lose control, or grab a hold of my life and get back on track. I always choose to grab the wheel, for I’m in control of my destiny. Sure, there are times and things that I must go through by myself (and some I’d prefer to experience on my own), but I’ve learned there’s no shame in asking for help when you think you need it.

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              On a positive note, this past year has been exciting! I got to see one of my favorite stand-up comedians perform live, spent this summer playing on five softball teams that are filled with friends and family, gone to a bunch of amazing shows and concerts, and even had a few additions to my family as well. I’ve been slowly but surely taking on more responsibilities in my life, helping me better understand the true meaning of “independent living”. Most importantly, this past year I’ve learned a lot about who I am, what I expect myself to be, and how to put myself before anyone else. I love who I am, and love who I am becoming, and am excited to see what my future holds!

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               I wanted to end this little excerpt by saying thank you to everyone that I have ever encountered in this crazy life of mine. Somehow, our interactions have taught me something, whether it’s about life in general, or about myself. I love all of you with all my being, and will continue to be true to myself, to grow and learn, and most of all, have fun. Life flies by, so you might as well make the best of it while you can, and I think I might just do that! Now if you excuse me, I think I’m going to watch some cartoons and have a bowl of C.T Crunch.


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