I’m fighting to live every each and single day. I can feel it to the depths of my bones. Almost like stepping on eggshells, but I really fought and is still fighting. I do. And I’m conscious of every single decision I make, every single thought, choice, and I question myself like a criminal.
Where is my identity?
In the past I never struggled with all these. Like any normal kid, I grew up in a half peranakan-half Chinese home; I was brought up by conservative, strict parents, sent to an all girls’ school and had private tuition. Everything I wanted or needed was cared for, I had music lessons, a loving home and a comfortable house, when I was 18 I threw my own party, I never knew how to worry; my only problem was deciding if I should wear a romper or a dress for mum’s function night the following day. I got what I wanted and I was excelling—grades, school, friends, life.
My friends were nice, caring and genuinely loving; I went to school, church, the library. In secondary school when the cool kids dashed to play arcade or hang out with the guys at the nearest basketball court after school, I go home. Always before 7pm for dinner. I worked hard, never skipped school and I wasn’t that girl who copied people’s homework.
Then I grew up. I joined church bible study groups. I lived and lived and read Kinfolk magazines and went to French cafes. I shopped and shopped to my heart’s content, whoever said money can’t buy happiness didn’t know where to shop. I gloss my nails, did my hair, I pampered myself and most of all, I loved myself. I dressed demure, I frequented TWG tea and I don’t shout, I had fun but I never crossed the line. I stayed at home and paint and draw. The most exciting thing was watching cat videos. I listen to Taylor Swift and her soft country tunes. I have a classic playlist. On other days I would sit at my armchair with a book, with a cup of coffee, facing the window. I had warm baths. It felt peaceful. Serene.
I write a lot too. Poems, blogs—lots of them. It kind of whisks me off to another world. I went cafe hopping. I wasn’t financially tight. I like to dress in floral, sometimes with lace. I braid my dark hair. Kind words came out from my mouth. I never knew how to swear because mum threatened if I ever swore again she would kill me, so I didn’t and I forgot how to. The kind of safe I know would please my parents, would please God, would feel like home.
Until I met him.
What happened to me?
I asked myself.
Clubbing, smoking, drugs, sex, virginity, alcohol, gambling, swearing, vulgarities, friends with benefits
In the past, excuse me can someone tell me what’s all these things?
Truth is this is not even a quarter life crisis anymore, this is a MAJOR identity crisis; I found myself doing things—actual things—that I’m not proud of, doing things that the old Grace wouldn’t do. Of course I didn’t do all of the above, but I knew I would never push myself to go this far if not for him.
I don’t recognise myself anymore.
“God damn Celia, I never even tried flicking a lighter until I met him.”
“Oh well, couldn’t blame you. You are so delicate and demure, you were brought up this way.”
“My mum didn’t even let me touch a lighter at birthday parties. We always had someone do it for me.”
“You were brought up by conservative and strict parents, Grace. Which might be a good thing, it actually pushed you to the opposite.”
Yes, that’s how enclosed I am. A world I never knew existed outside the boundaries and walls my parents built up. Now presented a different culture, a different way of life that I will never see or never will have seen if I hadn’t…forget it. The point is, the more I’m confined, the more I want to break free? And it’s scary. It’s like an eagle learning how to fly, I might just crash and die. It’s downright scary.
I need to find myself, do self-discovery, Haz’s right, I’m at the rebellious phase of my life and I’m fully aware of it, and no one can save or help me except myself. Sometimes life is not all about reflection and figuring out. We cannot spend so much time figuring out ourselves until we lose the moment to enjoy the ride.