I must admit that I was never known to be an excellent writer nevertheless this fact has never deterred me from words that I grew to love through my readings. I love words because through them I have learnt to express myself, that is, in my mediocre ways as my friend had said once to me.
My passion for words came during those cold, peaceful nights in November when the rains would play tricks on you and boggle your mind into thinking whether it would drop or not. I was with my mother and no one else except for the quietness of the moment to entice us with nature’s best companion; the clouds in the dark sky hovering above our heads like black balls of cotton. The only irony of that moment was in between the darkness of the night was a streak of yellow coming from the moon giving light to the feeble creatures on the planet. It was then, like a strike from the fairy godmother’s wand that I had the initiation to write.
My first born story was about the ups and downs of being a vertically challenged person which, I thought could amuse people. But then again, at the age of 12 it was excusable for me to be naïve! Thinking that my anecdote could regal many lives, I wrote without any stop signs or junctions to abide to. I wrote what I felt, the sorrows of being called numerously a midget for the simplest sin of standing at 4’ 5” foot tall, or the times when I would pass by perfectly beautiful evil girls and they would say “Hi, Ewoks” just for the fact that I was short and fat, or when I would put my hand up in class but no one would take notice or even when they sometimes nicknamed me Mrs. Invisible for being heard but never seen. That was not hurtful enough, being blessed with the toughest of hearts I managed to face it all, but my heart sank in the courtyard when a boy failed to notice me for he thought I was a Grade 4 girl. Juvenile! That was his description of me! And so began the story of how badly I was treated and name called and my unrequited love and on how Zulfadlizan only noticed me when he wanted porn materials from my brothers.
I managed to pour out all my thoughts onto paper and proudly I showed it to my mother to whom I regard as my worst critic. Worst depicts her precisely for she had no mercy when she commented on this frail 12 year old girl’s virgin writing. “Mediocre” is how she had begun her first phase of skinning me alive. “You don’t have style or even good choice of words. This work is so hurried” How was I supposed to feel? Shattered? No, not me so the following day without any inspirations to begin with, I rewrote my story on the hazards of being short. Only this time I managed to put some thoughts into it before I had executed it on paper. I chose my words carefully and strung them neatly like an expensive piece of a pearl necklace that you would see displayed in Mikimoto in my attempt to amuse my beloved mother. I tried to add the void of style by referring to books I was fond of reading and when I finished, I presented the paper to her like a student to a teacher.
She read it with a tinkle in her eyes which I thought meant her approval of it. But no for she did not when she said to me “It’s good Kida, but not good enough.” She paused a moment there and I knew she was scrambling for nice words to utter “There is so much emotion lacking in it. You should not hurry when you write” To think of the time and effort that I had put, how could she have said that my feelings and my thoughts were written in a haste? And that is when my heart got broken and never was I able to mend it again. I was crushed to the ground.
I restarted my passion when I was surrounded by all sorts of people who were very apt and able in English when I was an undergraduate in TESL at an old but distinguished quiet college in Cheras. Seeing that these friends of mine were on a writing spree, I decided to join in on the bandwagon and like a déjà vu, I remembered the annihilation by my mother reprising itself when they too, my new found friends, called me mediocre. I knew there and then that I was never ever meant to write on the wonderful workings of the world or even on the interesting yet peculiar beings that I would stumble upon in my adventures. I was hurt, yes, embarrassed, true enough, but most of all I was torn! It was then my so called passion became dormant in an instant as I had been given the same comments that had attacked me aggressively 6 years ago.
When things repeat itself countless times in your life, you tend to believe the messages that it signals you. I knew it was a sign to stop and I understood it quite well but as a person who is as hard as steel, I started to write again when my son came as an inspiration to me. I am now 32, and like it was during my naivety and mediocrity, bullets would come forth shooting me straight to my heart to wear me down when friends to whom I seek approval of, would say the same darn things “hmm..Fida, honestly, you just don’t have the flair” or “mmm.. it is quite on the surface or just too shallow” and not to mention the ‘not deep enoughs’.
Why is it that when every time that I send my writings on what I feel, on my own thoughts, in my own way, about my own self, I need to conform to the ways of others? I have to admit my writings are naturally stunted but that is just me and this is how I am comfortable when putting my thoughts across. But then again, has it ever occurred to anyone that if I were to have the same flair like some bereaved Mr or Mrs. X, than it just would not be me?
However, despite all the negativity, at least you will have fans of your own who would add zest to your mundane life and although life may be cruel and bitter, but it tends to ooze out its sweetness too. Just a simple yelp helps to patch up a broken skin, but the ‘oohs’ and the ‘aahs’ heal it almost immediately.
Hence, it is indeed a luxury to be able to have dear friends, who are not scared to be inconspicous of their opinions but it is a treasure to have friends, be it just 3, who manage to feel your emotions without comparing it to other wonderful works, and it is even nicer when one of them says to you “Why should you make it any different? It is your work, your thoughts and your emotions! To characterize your life in accordance to the way of others would just not make your life yours, now, would it?” To which I would like to end my mediocrity by typing, to hell with all the negativity and not too much feeling in your story. At least I have found my greener pastures in friends who love me for being mediocre me, even if it is at least 3.