The scars you carry

If there was one thing my parents hated about me, it was my tendency to pick at my scabs.

Stop it! They cry suddenly from across the living room, index finger pointed accusingly in my direction.

I freeze, knee up the chair, fingers midway through a peel at a scab on my leg.

You’re going to have so many scars. It’s going to be so ugly!

I grin sheepishly as my mother advances, nostrils flaring, and give one final pull at the dry, hardened skin.

As it turns out, I did have many scars. My aunts, during the dreaded Chinese New Year family gatherings and birthday dinners, loved to remind me of the marks I have.

And yet still, sometimes, it was just immensely satisfying to pick at something I know I’m supposed to leave.

Sometimes, the wounds are so small you forget about the blood that pools. It’s interesting for the first few seconds, then you get bored, and you let it heal.

Other times, it’s a laceration. Torn into your flesh, deep and gaping – blood flowing, tears streaming – and it never seems like it would be complete again.

Or more often still, it’s healing. It’s trying to make you as whole as you once were, but it somehow starts to itch, so you absentmindedly start to pick at the edges again, bit by bit, little by little.

Then you hit blood, and you hastily push the skin back down.

At some point though, you either set your mind to letting it recover, or you simply stop remembering it exists.

So you let it heal.

Scars are like carrying around a constant reminder of what went wrong. Eventually, it heals – although sometimes you can still see the smudges of what once was, but never will be again.

And you let it heal, because for once, just once, you so desperately want to feel some semblance of normalcy again.

It’s never really the same the second time around.

But you let it heal anyway, because you don’t have a choice.

Some day, something small will remind you of the scars you carry. It could be a few days later, or it could be a year later. It could be anything at all: an unexpected reminder of how you got scarred, or the sudden presence of someone else’s newly-acquired scar. So you’ll look down for the first time in a long, long time, and realize with surprise that the scars have faded so much, they don’t look anything at all like what you remembered them to be. Daunting. Harrowing. Tormenting.

Because on hindsight, that’s all that scars will be: a random topic during one of those dreaded Chinese New Year family gatherings. A small blemish, a little discoloration. A gentle reminder of your own strength, and your ability to heal. Any time.

Every time.

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To be entirely honest, I might not even be in the right frame of mind to be penning new year resolutions.

It’s only Day 4 of the new year, and already I feel like somehow, this year isn’t going to be kind. So much has happened in the last 96 hours alone.

2016 has been incredibly beautiful. Despite the drama happening everywhere else, the year remained steadfast in its kindness to me. Perhaps I hadn’t said my thanks enough, perhaps I hadn’t been as aware of my blessings as I should have been. But now – now I truly understand how blissfully fortunate I have been thus far.

And I am deeply, deeply thankful for everything I have been given.

The year started off magically; surrounded by friends, with a heart full of love and gratitude. Yet in the next moment, I find myself lost in some kind of web. A tangle of fiction and fabrication that make it difficult to lift my heavy heart.

Stuck in a strange, miserable situation, I can only keeping whispering that this is temporary and you will do better. 

You will be better.

 

I can only hope that I will be given the strength to see the positives, and to somehow look beyond the negatives this year. I don’t want to forget all that I have been given last year, and the years before. This is a good life, and I will not wither it away.

With every hardship there is relief – so be patient. I am not alone. 🙂

AND SO! This year I resolve to: 
– Sleep early – because haha I have to be at work at 8 oh god
– DRINK MORE WATER because I am starting to like water HAHA can it be???
– Be nicer to everyone 😀
– Do more charity work 😀

May this be another beautiful year to remember.

On the Cusp of 15 and 16

To be honest, I don’t fully know what to make of 2015.

It was a year of decisions. Of learning to leave, and then learning to grow. It was about not knowing whether choices were wrong or right, yet still blindly putting my faith in dark unknowns then crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

But most of all, it was a year of great privilege.

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I was blessed to travel the world yet again, this time covering eleven cities in six countries. The adventures this time were bigger; I was lucky to have had a constant companion everywhere, but the two of us were more alone than ever. Pickpockets trailing us for a good fifteen minutes, illegal peddlers hawking their wares, too-heavy bags and illnesses abound, it was a real challenge this time round.

But, we were privileged. We got to study abroad, make friends from all corners of the globe and see so many varieties of beauty in every single scene and setting this wonderful world has to offer.

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We went to Paris, marvelled at the Louvre and had macarons. We went to Cinque Terre and had such a difficult time, but explored all five settlements anyway and hiked for two hours off the face of a cliff. I finally stepped into my father’s favourite city of Manchester and went into Old Trafford. We studied in Cambridge. And we, like everyone else before us, fell in love with London.

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And 2015 was a year of friendships. I made so many new friends, some for life, and got closer to old ones; I smiled, cried and laughed like crazy; I had a hell of a time with every single one of them, regardless the experience.

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January saw me end my floorball captaincy on sad terms, yet February kept me busy with the high and exhilaration of Dance Production. March was a month of hard decisions and sadness, but of great support and joy as well. April through May saw me reconnecting with old friendships and forging new ones. I travelled extensively in June and July, and in August it was back to the grind. I struggled with my studies and commitments in September, but I somehow pulled through October with a smile on my face to meet the examinations in November. Then it was December, and I spent time with my family, my friends, and myself.

Now it is January, again.

2015 was a beautiful year, and I can only hope 2016 will be just as fulfilling, beautiful, and memorable. I am thankful for this journey, and the wonderful adventures yet to come.