NO ONE ELSE I’D RATHER BE

When I was a young girl, I realized that my paternal grandmother had her favourites. Her favourite granddaughter was petite, just like her, and pretty too.

It was around that time that I realized that Asians had particular tastes in women – they favored small-sized girls who were demure. Those who dressed in a more feminine way and sported long hair were also preferred, as were the slim ones.

However, I was none of the above.

Even as a teenage girl, I was already more than 50 kg, and the doctor told my mum that it was because I had heavy bones. Since a medical professional told her that, she wasn’t going to dispute it.

I was also strong. As a teenager, I was strong enough to lift my mum off the ground, without ever having gone for any fitness training. But this wasn’t a desired trait, unless I was a farmer’s daughter. I wasn’t interested in dolls and make-up, instead I preferred to wear simple clothes and sport a short hairdo. In my university years, I went to class in unfeminine jeans and baggy T-shirts. Perhaps I was deemed rebellious?

Self-Discovery And Self-Acceptance

As a working adult, I lived on my own for almost two decades. Slowly, I explored and developed my own preferred style.

I was still not interested in make-up, but I grew to love flower dresses, and wearing them made me happy. I loved good quality clothes, but didn’t see the need to buy new arrivals. So, I waited for the big sales, and bought my favourite brands at 70% discount. Glee is being able to buy a trendy Supergirl T-shirt complete with glittery font at Terranova for RM15.

Delight is being able to buy a chic flower dress at Dorothy Perkins for less than RM100. I let my hair grow long, and discovered I had wavy hair without needing a perm. I liked to admire my wavy hair in the mirror, and I thought it looked awesome.

And at 35, I discovered a single line of white hair on the left side of my head. I thought this was unique, my signature, and sometimes when I felt like it, I would dye it diamond blue at the hairdresser’s for RM30. The hairdresser said I was the one and only customer to do that. She said, “Why don’t you try red or shocking pink?” I said, “But I like blue the most.”

Being Comfortable Being Me

As time went by, I learnt that there will always be people out there who will not like us for who we are, whether it is our weight, the way we look, what we wear, what we like, or even what we say.

The best thing to do is to be happy being ourselves. As I disregarded what people thought of me, and what I did and wore, I realized that some people actually naturally liked me the way I was. Once in a while, a friend or two would tell me they liked my dress, or they liked the way I looked, and I appreciated them for saying that.

Some people actually thought I intentionally bleached my line of white hair to make it white/blue in order to be trendy. They were surprised when I told them it was naturally white.

Living On My Own Terms

In mid-August 2017, I took a leap of faith and became self-employed. I was bored and didn’t find pleasure in my daily work. I needed something else, to be fulfilled. I wanted to be happy, live a simple life and enjoy simple pleasures, like going for a morning swim, and having a healthy breakfast.

Working from home as a writer, made me happy. If people enjoyed making a lot of money so that they could buy luxury homes and big cars, and go on holidays half-way around the world, l just want to be comfortable and live my life on my own terms.

So far, I love it. I have been feeling my way around, and discovering what I can do as a writer. I was delighted that I could do medical writing for conference show dailies and magazines, among other things. If you don’t try, you never know. Right?

I’m looking forward to discovering more about myself and having more adventures in this year. Life is a journey of discovery and I’m relishing every step of the way.

Khor Hui Min is a writer, content creator, blogger, poet, face painter, potter and photographer. She is also a Shutterstock and 123RF contributor. You can follow her @MinKhor or email her at khor.hm@gmail.com