“If you were in a fire, and you could only take one item in your room with you.. which one would it be?”
A random question in casual conversation that resulted in unexpected soul-searching.
I’d bring along this box that I like to call my “treasure box”
It’s a pink Barbie box I’ve had since I was a little girl… It was so precious to me that I decided to keep only important things inside this special box of mine.
Which is why in case of a fire, I’d definitely save my box of memories.
Inside are old photographs…
Of people who were once a huge part of my life that I’ll never see again
No prizes for guessing which one’s me!
Ticket stubs to remember my fun days out
Dates with ex-boyfriends and old friends…
Evidence of the mischief I used to get up to
I never attended any… and I had a lot more cards than this
I got my very first legitimate job when I was 15!! As a promoter at International Sight and Sound exhibition… and I got my very own pass woohoo
My primary 1 student pass. Wow I was a retard back then. No wonder my crush never liked me back LOL.
My very first present from my first boyfriend.
He promised me flowers, but he said he couldn’t find any flowers and he gave me this keychain instead. Looks like 50 cents keychain but I was 13 years old and happy with it, LOL.
Awww…. who knew I was so cute back then?
I had fun looking through photographs, letters and other old memorabilia but one particular photo made a huge impact on me when I saw it.
For a second, I didn’t recognize that girl in the picture because I sure as hell wasn’t so slim back then. Then the instant I remembered, I felt a deep sense of sadness.
….That girl wasn’t me,
but you could say she was the girl I wanted to be.
She’s my dad’s other daughter, and she was everything I was not.
I was a pretty messed up kid back then. Life wasn’t easy even though I was a child. Parents were always fighting, never had many friends, always got bullied at school…
I don’t know where I got this photo from, and to be honest I’m not even 100% sure this is her but I secretly kept this photo when I found it as a kid because I was jealous of her.
He would spend so much more time with her, and I was always distant from him.
I would hear many stories about how nice, intelligent and beautiful she was… and on my side, all I got was being reprimanded for not being good enough.
I really couldn’t help but be jealous. She seemed so perfect. And it didn’t help that I was always being compared to her.
I didn’t feel that I was beautiful or intelligent. I felt lost, neglected, and unwanted.
I was convinced there was something wrong with myself.
“Why can’t I be his first daughter? Why can’t I be beautiful and smart, like her? Why can’t I be the perfect daughter my parents want me to be? What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t he love me as much as her?”
I didn’t have a clue who I was, or what I was meant to do… so I kept this photo, a photo of the girl whose shadow I lived in, hoping that one day I’ll be just like her.
8 years later, I open my box of memories and I’m shocked by what I see.
I’m reminded of a bleak childhood, and I still feel sad about the situation but at the same time I’m really thankful that life is a lot better now and I’m a stronger, better person.
I still have problems with my dad, and she’s still daddy’s little girl.. but I’ve learned how to deal with that fact after all these years.
I heard she got her doctor’s degree just like my dad wanted, but she switched to media (her own interest) in the end anyway. What a waste of time.
Must have finally woken up and realized she has to live her life for herself, and not anyone else.
I had a fight with my dad recently, and he sent me a lengthy email, saying that he couldn’t accept who I was and that he gave up. It’s amusing how he said he was going to give up, as if he was ever there to guide me in the first place.
You gave it all up a long time ago.
It’s a long and complicated story, I assume you don’t need to know the details.
I cried about it for awhile, but I got over it soon after.
I wasn’t going to cry anymore for losing something that hasn’t been there my whole life.
I realized that I can’t please everyone with everything I do, and I’m done with trying to please the almighty professor who will never be pleased by anything except A stars, which is pretty much all he cares about.
Doesn’t matter if his daughter is earning good money by writing advertorials for big companies on her website that she established herself at the age of 17.
Just tell her you’re disappointed in the “foul language” she uses in her blog and that you don’t think what she’s doing is right.
Doesn’t matter if his daughter is being a good girl by actually attending school AND doing part time work. She’s not being a slut by having sex with every random guy she meets at a club / taking drugs / getting wasted every night / *insert other stupid thing to do here*.
Just tell her that she doesn’t have high values and expectations for herself.
Doesn’t matter if his daughter is pursuing her own ambition and chose media & communications to major in because that’s her interest.
Just continue to be convinced that she’s throwing her life away by mot doing anything “proper” and say that she’s wasting money, even though she’s paying for her own school fees too
Doesn’t matter if his daughter enjoys feeling confident about her looks by applying make up and dressing up fashionably.
Just tell her that only hookers do that, and that she’s a disgrace to you.
I quote him in part of his email,
“Maybe I didnt understand that it is COOL to use”wtf”, F–K, and “bitching” with other girls about trivalities, and exposing your personal life/experiences to the world in your website.
Meanwhile, I do hope that you can elevate your self-esteem, not by “powder and make-up” alone, but by your intellect and integrity. I wish you all the very best in your studies and become a somebody.
You are a smart, pretty and lively girl whom I still believe can mature into a lady, a true lady with sound guiding principles and high values and expectations for herself.“
He told me I need not reply his email, but I feel obligated to respond so I thought I’d express my feelings on my blog instead.
….I am somebody, dad.
It’s just unfortunate that you never gave this somebody a chance, and you’ve already made harsh judgements before you know anything about her.
I’m someone more than make up, more than my blog – and if you only judge me based on these 2 things, then you’re no different from a random blog reader who doesn’t know any better.
Yes, as you mentioned before – it’s not all about powder / make up, it’s not all about looks.
Yet at the same time, it’s not all about power / money / career / status either. It’s not about what you’re doing for a living, I believe it’s about HOW you are living.
Are you really doing what you want to do in life? Are you even happy at all?
I may not be the somebody you wanted me to be, but I am my own person and my life is not your decision to make, especially since you’ve never been around throughout most of it.
I don’t know what is “sound guiding principles and high values / expectations” to you, but if I’m not a “true lady” just because I like to dress up and put on lots of make up, or if because I like to say FUCK a lot on my blog and I like to bitch about trivial matters, then in that case..
Who the FUCK needs to be a true lady?
Who wants to be a robot manipulated by society’s norm and the old fashioned ways of a ridiculously critical father who is always absent?
I want to be a human being, not a “true lady” by your definition.
Someone who is allowed to make mistakes,
Someone who is allowed to express herself freely even if it means using expletives
And someone who is allowed to dream and live her live as happily as possible, in whatever way she chooses.
What about being TRUE to yourself?
What about being TRULY happy, even if it means not giving a fuck what other people say or think?
Life is more than being book smart and saving money and trying to be as “normal” as possible.
I’m not doing anything wrong or doing anyone harm by living life the way I do now… but you just think it’s “not good enough” for you.
Maybe it’s time for you to look into the mirror, and realize that a successful career does not necessarily mean you are a success in life.
Life is short, dad. Live life with risks, with passion, with forgiveness and with mistakes.
I still love you, and miss you. Or maybe I just miss the idea of having a dad around in my life.
I will never be good enough for you, I know.
But I am good enough for ME, for Sam, and the rest of the people who matter.
They love and accept me for who I am.
And I am actually HAPPY living my life the way I want to.
Not many people can say that, not even you.
Here’s to all the kids whose lame parents were never there.
I’m not that girl in the picture..
And I’m damn fucking glad that I’ll never have to be.
P.S – You need not respond.