Portrait

After having gone through a few of my short stories as well as the first few chapters of my still-to-be-finished novel, a friend of mine – with whom I have the very intriguing tendency of landing in the same classes with eventhough we’ve done no prior planning to enrol for the same subjects, what more the same groups – commented on how it struck her as interesting that all my heroines seem to be characters who are strong, purpose-driven and enigmatic by nature.

It got me thinking as to how and why I might have subconsciously written them out to be that way. I definitely have never given it much thought, the question of how I want my female leads to be character-wise. In fact, I’ve not even realised this tendency of mine till this friend pointed it out.

One thing’s for sure, they are exactly the sort of people I want to eventually become. Confident, driven, and independent, yet passionate, empathetic and compelling; those who are absolutely certain of themselves and what their needs and desires are, and are not shy at all to do what needs to be done to fulfill those wants. People who do the best they can to achieve that that they’re able to and take it gracefully in their poised and refined stride that that they cannot, so as to learn from their weaknesses; they are the ones who have always held my awe. It is for people like these for whom I’ve always reserved my respect.

On the contrary, it is those who are needy and forever reliant on someone else- a perpetual best friend, or worse yet, a boyfriend/girlfriend to lean on and leech off – who are my greatest peeve. Honestly, it is all I can do to not pull a gun out and shoot them down, helpless parasite by helpless parasite, as I did the ants that infest my grandmother’s rambutan tree with a water pistol back when I was eight or nine.

(Yes, I grew up with very disturbing violent inclinations. I’ve noticed that whilst going through my very old folder of short stories written when I was probably eleven and still thought the world was against me and my Mum was the arch enemy.)

Having said that, I realise now how un-myself I have been these past few weeks.

I am not the whining, pining schoolgirl I’ve been lately. I am not the pathetic damsel in distress who knows only to wallow in self-pity and woes of her own making – of how dark and scary and cold it is the cellar she’s been imprisoned in by the evil warlock – yet does nothing whatsoever to try to escape.

I am much better than that. I have always been one to pick myself up after stumbling down and this time is not going to be any different. Only this time, I’ve learnt not to fall so easily again, especially not when there are no safety nets waiting below.

My mum always said that I could be whoever I want to be and achieve anything at all that my heart desires so long as I put my heart and mind to it and not let the slightest distraction that’s bound to come aplenty along the journey deviate me from my goals. Today, I finally hear the ringing truth in those words and I intend with every fibre of my being to heed it.

Today, I am glad to tell the world that I am finally done. I am much better off on my own =)

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