when i was 11 or 12, i drew a picture of the spice girls and backstreet boys and sent it off to smash hits magazine. it got published in one of their valentines’ day issues. i scanned the picture and put it up on my (then) homepage. it was one of the proudest moments of my life at the time…maybe even now. i mean, how many 11/12-year-old malaysian girls can say that they had their artwork published in the most popular entertainment magazine in the united kingdom?
anyway, i kept that issue of smash hits along with all the other issues i saved up for in a cupboard in the library. then i grew up and smash hits became too expensive even with the increment in my allowance. the pop acts i used to love were replaced by rock bands and formerly-from-a-boyband-but-now-wants-nothing-to-do-with-pop artistes and, with the help of the internet, i could keep up with entertainment online.
but that stack of old smash hits remained hidden in my library, tucked safely away…or so i thought.
a couple of years later, i suddenly remembered that published piece of artwork. i opened the cupboard and every single issue of smash hits that i diligently saved money for was gone.
apparently one day my father decided it was time to throw them away and so he did.
it’s something he’s done before and continues to do so today. it’s funny because he still has old economics text books from his masters days. they’re all outdated and pretty much worthless, but he keeps them around and no one throws them away because, well, it’s my father. he has a temper that i have, unfortunately, inherited. no one messes with him.
and it makes me wonder why he wonders why i struggle to keep my voice from rising when throughout my life the main lesson he’s taught me is that i have to be loud and angry in order to have things done my way.
i wonder if he knew just how hard it was for me to not get visibly upset or angry that he threw some stuff from the car a moment ago…just because i didn’t immediately take my things out of the vehicle before it’s due to be serviced tomorrow. just because i didn’t do it at his timing, in his way.
it’s hard but the very last thing i want to do is raise my children the same way he did – cowering in a corner in my heart each time he raises his voice. i refuse to be part of that even if it’s ingrained in my genes. i believe my God can continue to change me and lead me away from that path.